Apricot Dijon Chicken Paninis & Yam Fries

What to do with leftover chicken? This is a regular question in our house.  We love roast chicken and while I haven't really made it thus far in the challenge, at least not for dinner, I did make one on Friday night.  The Greek Roast Chicken that Carole shared a month or so ago.  Now I have to say, my experience with this chicken was not as sublime as Carole's.  My potatoes were not as tasty, they didn't get all crisp and brown the way hers did, nor were they as deliciously flavored at least as she described.  It was a disappointment because I consider myself a little master of the roast chicken.   I'd love to test it out again in the hopes that maybe my uneven oven was the culprit or that it was just an off night.  Maybe the next time we have friends over for Sunday lunch.

The one potential problem with that plan was that one little part of the directions caused the first real domestic we've ever had over dinner.   I pulled the chicken when the internal temp was 172F, a whole 7 degrees more than the recipe called for and about 8 degrees less than the standard 180F internal temp for chicken.  I was 100% comfortable doing this, not only because it's what the recipe called for, but because I knew the bird would carryover cook, that is it would continue cook as it rested out of the oven.  But once the boy started carving he wasn't comfortable with the juices, I looked at the meat though, even tasted it, it was cooked.  We had words over it, that's all I'm going to say.  It wasn't fun and it was really the first time we have EVER had an argument about anything I've cooked for dinner, EVER.  I'm not going to lie, I was pissed that he didn't trust that I knew it was cooked and ok.  He begrudgingly ate it at the coffee table in front of the TV and, because I was pissed, I ate at the dining table.  It was not a happy dinner time in the Hoffleby house.  We got over it though, watched a movie and ended the night on a good note.  But it was a surreal experience to be fighting over food like that.  So if I do tackle this puppy again, I'll keep him out of the kitchen and carve the bird on my own.

But out of the controversial chicken came last night's delicious chicken salad paninis.  This chicken salad is really special, the mixture of the two types of dijon with jam was awesome and I'm happy to have some leftover for my own lunch this week.

Apricot Dijon Chicken Panini
Serves 2-3

2 cups leftover roast chicken, shredded
1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp plain Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp apricot jam - I used my homemade apricot jalapeno jam
3-4 slices Oka Classique, or Havarti (Oka is a Canadian cheese that melts beautifully and has a slight sharpness, havarti is a bit creamier but not as sharp but melts as well and would be a nice substitute)
8 slices Bradley Benn's Beer Bread from HBin5, or any whole grain bread (the bread I used made for smaller slices so I made 2 sandwiches for the boy and ate 1 1/2 myself, if you use a standard loaf you'd only need 4-6 slices)

1. Heat panini press on low.  In a medium bowl mix the jam and mustards, add the chicken and toss to combine.
2.  Place some chicken salad on one slice of bread, top with a single layer of cheese and another slice of bread.  Make 3 more sandwiches the same way.
3.  Place a bit of butter on each side of the panini press.  Place 2 sandwiches on the grill, close the top and grill for 6-8 minutes, until the cheese is all melty and gooey.  Repeat with other 2 sandwiches.
4.  Let sandwiches sit for 5 minutes before serving.

I have to admit after Carole posted her potato salad with the purple yams from our local Chinese market I ran out and bought some too.  I saw them when I was there early in the week, but was convinced that they would turn grey when cooked. Since they didn't for her, I knew they'd make for some really gorgeous yam fries.  For such a special colored fry I knew I needed some special dipping sauces and threw together a Cilantro Lime Mayo, which I didn't photograph but was my fave, and a Chipotle Ketchup.  Both could easily be made from scratch, but I wanted quick and easy for a Saturday night dinner to I used prepared mayo & ketchup.

Purple & Orange Yam Fries
serves 2-3
adapted from Family Feedbag

3 average-sized purple yams
1 medium orange yam
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  Peel the yams and slice them into stick, making sure they are each about the same size.
2. Toss in oil, sea salt & pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3.  Roast for 10-12 minutes, then turn over and roast for another 10-12 minutes until golden and crispy.

Cilantro Lime Mayo

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp lime zest
juice from 1/2 lime

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chipotle Ketchup

1/2 cup ketchup
1 chipotle pepper - seeded and minced
1 tsp adobo from the can of chipotles
1 tsp or more balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

All in all it was a tasty meal and I'm happy I bought some extra yams to maybe make some more fries this week or you may see the purple beauties in a Meatless Monday dish tomorrow.

March 12 - Apricot Dijon Chicken Panini's & Yam Fries


  1. i am going to make those fries tonight - I have two yams left. You know, half the people that make that chicken have too much water left in the pan or the potatoes don't get all gooey and almost burnt and the other half say it came out perfectly. I use a really heavy, cast iron skillet and I don't know if that makes any difference but it always comes out perfect following that recipe for me. Tell your husband to trust you and eat his dinner like a good boy because I have tasted his bbq'd shrimp lol


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