When we made the sous vide chicken last week there was one boneless chicken breast remaining. They were huge, weighing 14 oz each! Quickstep, being a young man, has never missed a meal nor has he met a meal he didn’t like so he had no problem with a 14 oz. chicken breast and all the trappings. Here is Quickstep engaged in his favorite activity.
He hates it when I do this to him but I just can’t help myself. 🙂 He has his hands full so he can’t grab the camera. 😮 But I digress.
Baby Lady and I split one of the chicken breasts and it was still a lot of food for us lesser mortals. This left one beautifully cooked, moist breast in the refrigerator for another day. Today was that “another day” and was Quickstep’s leftover day. It’s also summertime so the meal had to fit the season and boy was it good.
Sous vide really is an interesting technique. Currently, I am reading (among other things) Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure trying to get a better understanding and grasp on the technique. One thing that is made very clear and with which i absolutely concur with my limited experience is that sous vide is not a replacement for traditional cooking. It is another technique to use in combination with traditional (and not so traditional) techniques. For instance, while the sous vide chicken meat is cooked perfectly, you must brown the skin to make it crisp and more fully develop the flavor of the skin through its rendering on the grill. Nonetheless, the sous vide process produced one of the moistest, tenderest, most flavorful chicken breasts I have ever eaten. I knew it would be perfect for a sandwich and it was. It sliced beautifully, had wonderful color and wasn’t dry in the least.
Not surprisingly, it also retained its strong chicken flavor, along with the flavors of the rosemary and thyme with just a hint of garlic. It was just mm good!
Now that I had decided what to fix Quickstep for dinner, the question became what type of sandwich to make. The choice was obvious. Panini! You see, a few years ago I bought a wonderful Breville Die Cast 800GRXL – Grill.
It’s made out of die cast aluminum with a brushed stainless steel exterior and is a real workhorse. When our youngest son, Knothead, was living at home (before he became a US Coast Guard Cook) he made paninis with it all the time (at least until the day he was cleaning it and it slammed shut on his thumb. It’s really heavy). I had never fixed Quickstep a panini until recently (that’s another recipe) and he loved it. So, I knew a panini was the sandwich of choice for the leftover chicken.
OK, but now what do I put with the chicken? Let’s see. It’s leftover night so what’s in the refrigerator? Then I remembered that when I bought way too many peaches last peach season I had made a fabulous peach chutney which is perfect for sandwiches, especially chicken and pork.
Now the brain begins to churn and cream cheese would be a perfect compliment to the chutney and chicken as it will melt and get ooie, gooey and delicious, not to mention smooth out the chutney. Next, place a little arugula for the peppery bitterness to go with the sweet tanginess of the chutney. Now we got something going on. This chutney is killer. I don’t know if it makes the dish because there is so much going on but it sure adds a lot of flavor. The chutney makes 6 pints but when you can make sandwiches like this, you gonna need the 6 pints. 🙂
For the Chutney
- 6 pounds peaches
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cup chopped onion
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
For the Sandwich
- 2 pieces sourdough rye bread
- 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese (I’m on a diet and so is Quickstep but he doesn’t know it), softened at room temperature
- 7 oz cooked chicken meat
- 1 oz Garden Fresh Arugula
- 2 Tbsp Peach Chutney
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
For the Peach Chutney
Peel, pit, and cut peaches into 1/2-inch chunks; set aside. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook 1 minute.
Stir in vinegar, sugar, and cherries; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until syrupy, about 10 minutes.
Add peaches; simmer until soft, 15-20 minutes. With a wooden spoon, mash some peaches against side of pan. Put in Mason jar and process in hot water bath for 20 minutes. Serve with grilled meat or poultry.
For the Sandwich
Get two pieces of good quality artisan bread. I prefer the sourdough rye bread if you can find it. Any really nice artisan bread will do.
Slather the softened cream cheese on both sides of the bread.
Add the Peach Chutney
Layer the arugula on top of the chutney
Layer on the chicken
Cover with the other piece of bread and butter both sides
Place on the preheated panini press and grill for 3 – 4 minutes.
When golden brown with nice grill marks remove from grill.
Cut in half on a diagonal and stack on a serving plate.
Serve with a watermelon slice or two and enjoy!