For sandwiches with great crunch, look for a rustic whole-grain bread boule. If you have trouble cutting 1-ounce slices across the width of the boule, cut it in half first.
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons fig jam
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped Lacinato kale
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
8 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain bread
1 small ripe pear, cut into 12 thin slices
3 ounces Brie cheese, chopped
How to Make It
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thin slices. Combine chicken, jam, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat.
Combine kale and vinegar in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 bread slices. Top each with 3 pear slices and 3/4 ounce cheese; sprinkle remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper over sandwiches. Divide kale mixture evenly among sandwiches; top with remaining bread slices. Lightly coat sandwiches with cooking spray.
Return pan to medium heat. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches, pressing gently to flatten; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and cheese begins to melt.
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Flavors are unique but not sure about them all in combination. Messy to eat, too. Hubby liked the pears. Teenager liked the brie. I liked the bread. But all in all, we feel CL has some better panini recipes. We'll stick with those. Glad we tried it though!
Loved the combo of the chicken, fig and Brie. We didn't care for the sherry vinegar on the kale, so will likely skip that next time. I made the chickey ahead of time so this was a nice quick meal after work.