My Mother's Chicken "Panini"

My mother liked to play with food. She is the only person I know who would shape red potatoes into mushrooms to serve with this dish. This is not your usual chicken panini - it is really a chicken meatloaf with a crisp bread crust. Use an inexpensive white bread for rolling (in her day there was little choice of bread); good bread doesn't flatten out enough. Serve with "mushroom potatoes" and a salad. This is a slightly updated version of a recipe she taught at her cooking school in the sixties..


  • 1 ½ (750 grams) ground dark chicken meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or tarragon
  • ¼ cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup watercress leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 to 6 slices white sandwich or egg bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine chicken, egg, onion, garlic, rosemary, oatmeal and watercress in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Fry a little piece to taste for seasoning.

Roll out all bread slices very thinly and brush one side of each slice with oil. Place two or three slices slightly overlapping on an oiled cookie sheet, oiled side down. Pile chicken mixture on top and shape to cover bread to the edges. Top with remaining slices, oiled side up, and form around the chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until white juices appear. Bread should be crisp and golden. Slice into pieces when serving (hot or cold). Serves 4