The Smoky Case For Cooking Chicken In A Panini Press

panini press
panini press - Debbismirnoff/Getty

Cooking chicken can be a bit of a hassle, especially on those weekday nights when your schedule feels more crowded than ever. However, you can hold off on popping that TV dinner into the microwave. If you own a panini press, you can easily cook up some chicken breasts.

That's right: You can use a panini press to make far more than just sandwiches. There are all sorts of amazing foods you can cook using the handy kitchen invention, and chicken happens to be one of them. The panini press helps solve a couple of issues when it comes to cooking this meat. For one, it's recommended that you sear chicken before baking as that helps it lock in the flavor, leading to a juicier piece of meat. With the panini press, your chicken will cook from both sides. This will leave your meat with a beautiful crust that gives your finished dish a nice crunch and an extra boost of savory flavor.

Grilling your chicken on a panini press will give you all the texture of using an outdoor grill in the convenience of your own kitchen. This is particularly beneficial on rainy days or during the colder months when backyard barbecues are just a summer memory. Take your panini press on the road next time you go on a trip and have fresh grilled chicken wherever your travels take you.

Read more: The Best Weeknight Chicken Breast Recipes

How To Cook Chicken On A Panini Press

chicken breasts
chicken breasts - Easybuy4u/Getty Images

For obvious reasons, you won't be able to grill an entire chicken with a panini press. It just wouldn't fit. Your best bet when choosing a cut to cook is to go with chicken breasts. Due to the fact that chicken thighs often have bone, they may be harder to cook and end up cooking unevenly. To prevent this from happening with chicken breasts (which should ideally be boneless for this process), you should consider flattening them slightly with a mallet so they cook evenly and quickly.

As for the actual panini press cooking process, it couldn't be simpler. All you have to do is put the appliance on a high cooking setting. It's important to note that panini presses vary from each other, so the exact setting may be different. If yours starts smoking, you should lower the temperature. You should also let the panini press pre-heat for several minutes before lightly brushing it with vegetable oil. Make sure to get a good coating to avoid your chicken sticking to the pan when done. Season your chicken breasts, then close the press. It should take around 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

Afterward, carefully remove the pieces of meat. Check to make sure the chicken is properly cooked, and then enjoy.

Read the original article on Mashed.