One of the great things about having three kids is all the more moms you get to meet! Third baby recently started a toddler group and I was beyond thrilled to meet another person with a Web site, Kathy who has started the fabulous PaniniHappy.com. Don’t own a Panini maker? Not to worry — she gave Breezy Mama instructions on how to make her buffalo chicken pita sandwich with or without one.
“I originally made them for the Super Bowl two years ago,” she shared. “But they’re just as good at the start of football season as they are at the end! It’s one of the more popular recipes on my site.”
Simmered in wing sauce, the chicken has all the spicy and tangy flavors you love nestled with creamy melted blue cheese and sweet caramelized onions. All of this great taste is folded up inside a pita bread, grilled nice and toasty.
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into 1/2″ strips
12-oz. bottle of Buffalo wing sauce (i.e., Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce)
1 tablespoon butter
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4-6″ pita breads
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Add chicken and Buffalo wing sauce to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through well.
While the chicken is simmering, heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onions for 13 minutes until soft. Stir in sugar and saute for another 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized. Set aside.
Heat the panini grill to 350°F. (No panini grill? See “Oven Directions” below.)
Assemble and grill each sandwich one at a time to ensure the pita breads do not break. Microwave a pita on high for 15 seconds (it should be malleable enough to fold without breaking; if not, microwave for a few more seconds). Lay the pita flat on a clean work surface. Place 1/4 of the caramelized onions on half of the pita. Add chicken on top of the onions with a slotted spoon, draining most of the sauce through the spoon. Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese.
Carefully fold the pita over the filling and transfer it to the panini press. Grill for 5 minutes until cheese is melted and pita is toasted. Serve hot.
Oven directions: Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F. Fill and fold panini according to directions above. Place folded panini onto a baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pita is toasted.
To get more of Kathy’s recipes, check out PaniniHappy.com.
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