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Chicken Panini or Pressed Phillies with Fontina

Chicken Panini or Pressed Phillies with Fontina


  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed

  • 1 ¼ pound chunk fontina Val d'Aosta or other easy melting cheese, like provolone

For the Spice Sprinkle:

  • 2 teaspoons each: salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and fennel seeds or fennel pollen

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepperoncini or red pepper flakes

  • Non-aerosol cooking spray

  • 6 round or oval flat panini rolls or ciabatta rolls, split OR three 12-14-inch sub rolls, halved then split OR plain focaccia, cut into large rectangles and split

  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced or mandolin cut

  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 sweet green or red frying peppers, cubanelle or red field peppers, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock


Serves: 4 to 6

Place chicken in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, then, using a very sharp knife, horizontally thinly slice each breast into 5 to 6 cutlets.   

Thinly slice the cheese or shred on large-tooth grater.

Combine spice sprinkle.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, spray with oil and cook chicken in single layer in batches. As you add the thin slices to the pan, sprinkle with spice, cook a minute or 2, then flip and season the other side; remove to a tray. When all the chicken is cooked, add more oil and the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and soften and toss 4 to 5 minutes. Add stock and let it fully absorb, further softening the vegetables.  

Preheat a panini press to 390°F or heat a cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high. 

Build sandwiches: bread, chicken, vegetables, cheese, bread. 

Press sandwiches to melt cheese and toast bread crust.