Did you know April is national grilled cheese month!? I fully subscribe to bread and melty cheese, and everything good that comes in-between.
Today’s recipe is a version of a grilled cheese, in the fact that you make the sandwich on the grill, and there is indeed cheese, please! The secret is smoked chicken, and a two-ingredient sauce! So easy!
I ‘m remaking a classic favorite of mine, the Panera Chicken Frontega Panini. This sandwich has smokey chipotle smoked chicken, pulled and piled high, with mozzarella, tomato, basil, some red onion, and of course- fresh bread.
The traditional sandwich comes on focaccia, but I bought some local sourdough that really added an extra zing to this sandwich.
I used a family farm chicken breast, Covey Rise Farms, out of my home state- Ohio. And smoked the chicken on my Char-Griller Texas Trio Grill. After the smoked chicken was ready to be pulled, I tossed it in a chipotle-mayo, and pilled it on fresh sourdough with caprese toppings, and finished the sandwiches open face on the propane side of the grill, over medium low heat, just until the cheese melted.
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While the chicken does take a little bit of time to smoke, it’s really worth the effort- the layer of flavor it adds is so good. Here’s a list of equipment you will need for this recipe
– A smoker/grill
– a heavy duty baking sheet
– a sharp knife
-charcoal and your favorite smoking wood, I used applewood
– some patience, so don’t make this while you’re hangry.
After all your tools are in place, here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe!
-chipotle in adobo sauce
-ripe tomatoes, I picked mine from the garden
-sliced red onion
– salt and pepper to taste
Now that you have everything you need, let’s dig in! This recipe is so good, and if you want to just make the smoked pulled chicken, add the chipotle mayo, some celery, red onion, and grapes, for a kick to your chicken salad recipe.
Copy-Cat Panera Chicken Frontega Panini
A copy-cat of my favorite Panera Sandwich, The Chicken Frontega Panini. Full of smoked, pulled chicken, tossed in a spicy chipotle mayo, and piled high with caprese toppings.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 8 minutes
4 large chicken breasts
1 cup mayo
3-4 T chipotle in adobo sauce
3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
8 slices fresh mozzarella
1 loaf of round focaccia or sourdough
s & p to taste
- Stack charcoal chimney with charcoal, and 2-3 larger pieces of applewood. Light the chimney over the burner on the Texas Trio. Let coals heat for about 25 minutes, until they’re a pale grey color and fully heated through. Transfer to side box, and add 2 more pieces of wood, closing the lid, allowing the smoke to build in the grill chamber.
2. Season chicken breasts with salt, and place on grates, allowing to smoke for about two hours, keeping temperature around 300-350. When chicken is done, it will be a golden-brown color, and the temperature will read 165.
3. While chicken is smoking, mix sauce ingredients, the mayo and chipotle in adobo sauce. Slice tomatoes, onions, and cut bread into quarters. Pull chicken from the smoke and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, shred meat and mix with half the sauce.
4. Now we assemble the sandwiches. Spread each half with the remaining sauce and add a pile of shredded chicken to the bottom half, and a slice of fresh mozz. Add another slice of mozzarella to the top and a few slices of tomato and onion. Grill over propane at medium-low heat with the lid closed, about 8 minutes, just long enough for the cheese to melt.
5. Serve sandwiches with a cup of your favorite soup, a side salad, or eat as is! Perfect amount of spice to carry you to summer. Enjoy!
Keywords: remake, panini, smoked chicken, pulled chicken, chipotle mayo
While soup season may be over, spring is the perfect time to bring soup & a sammy into your full rotation- keeping things cozy and fresh at home. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do, and can’t wait to see you recreate it at home! Be sure to tag me on instagram, @thatswhatsheeats, so I can keep up with your foodie journey!