We don’t need to tell you how excited we are to plow through a whole cookbook of genius panini combinations. But suffice it to say, thanks to author Kathy Strahs’ recent release, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, we’re firing up the press, slicing bread off the loaf and inspecting the fridge for any “extras” that might make these awesome, melty grilled sandwiches just a little better. This chicken cordon bleu panini, however, is just about perfect the way it is.
It’s time to take things a little retro. Chicken cordon bleu (which translates to “blue ribbon”) may not have actually originated at the famed French cooking school, but it was nonetheless a winning dish for many American families in the 1960s and ’70s. The key components—breaded chicken breast, cheese, and ham — transform easily into a sandwich, along with a sweet kick of honey mustard.
For the chicken
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally to make 4 cutlets
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the sandwich
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
- 8 slices rustic white bread, sliced from a dense bakery loaf
- 4 ounces sliced ham
- 4 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced
For the chicken:
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Set up a dredging station with the flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs each in its own separate shallow bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, and place it carefully in the skillet.
- Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack or a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
For the panini:
- Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
- Whisk together the honey and Dijon mustard in a small bowl.
- For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over both slices and spread 1 tablespoon honey mustard on the other side of each slice. Top one slice with a breaded chicken breast, followed by ham and cheese slices.
- Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
- Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.
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