Family Meal: BBQ Chicken Panini with Cheddar Cheese
and macaroni salad
$9.95 per serving
Prep & Cook Time:35-45 min.
Cook Within:5 days
Spice Level:Not Spicy
A note about serious food allergies
Just because summer's over doesn't mean you can't recapture the magic on your dinner table. BBQ sauce adds sweet-sassy-molassey flavor to this chicken panini topped with melty cheddar and caramelized onions. Served next to a simple-yet-delicious macaroni salad, you can fill your house with summertime vibes even as the leaves are falling.
Halve and peel onions. Slice halves into thin strips. Trim ends off celery and cut into ¼" dice. Halve baguettes lengthwise. Use your fingers to hollow out baguettes slightly to make a ¼" deep trench. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season both sides with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.
Make the Pasta Salad
Add macaroni to boiling water and cook until tender, 7-9 minutes. Drain in colander and run cold water over pasta to stop cooking process. Shake colander to remove as much water as possible, then transfer pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, seasoning blend, celery, and ½ tsp. pepper to bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate pasta salad until plating.
Cook the Chicken
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and chicken to hot pan and cook until browned, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to baking sheet and roast until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 3-5 minutes. Rest 5 minutes before cutting into ⅓" slices. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean. While chicken roasts, caramelize onions.
Caramelize the Onions
Return pan used to sear chicken to high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and onions to hot pan. Season with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and tender, 6-9 minutes. Remove from burner and set aside.
Assemble the Panini
Replace foil on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Brush baguette insides with BBQ sauce. Assemble panini on baking sheet in this order: bottom half of roll, onions, chicken, cheese (halve to fit roll), red cabbage, and top roll. Lightly coat tops and bottoms of panini with cooking spray.
Press the Panini
Place second baking sheet on top of panini and place an oven-safe heavy pot or pan on baking sheet. Bake until crunchy and lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and halve on an angle. Place panini on plate and serve pasta salad on side.