Jerk Chicken Panini with Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

by on March 23, 2010

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I heard about jerk chicken panini not once, but twice in the past month. The first mention was on Twitter, by Natasha from @thatssoyummy:

When I replied to her that it sounded fantastic she followed up to let me know it was, in fact, delicious. I had just made a mental note to try it soon when reader Olivier left this note on the Panini Happy Facebook Fan Page:

That clinched it – I was definitely grilling some jerk chicken panini. If you’re not familiar with jerk seasoning, it’s an incredibly flavorful (and spicy!) blend – most notably including allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers – native to Jamaica. I don’t know precisely how Tasha and Olivier made theirs but I was pretty pleased with how mine came out. I paired the spicy chicken with a sweet and fresh pineapple-black bean salsa and creamy Monterey Jack cheese. Talk about flavor!

If you’ve followed Panini Happy for a while you’ll recognize the pita bread that I often use when I’m dealing with fillings – like, say, pineapple-black bean salsa – that are prone to falling out of the sandwich. After first trying this one first on ciabatta and winding up with more salsa on the plate than on the sandwich I switched to the pita with much better results. Amazingly, the bold flavors of the chicken and the salsa don’t overpower each other – you can taste both and they really complement each other. I actually found myself enjoying spoonfuls of that salsa on its own, it’s that good. Pretty colors too. :-)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Celeste Croxton March 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Hey Kathy,
Jerk Chicken is the best! My Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Chutney is one of my most requested dishes. I will try the panini. It’s looks good.
Celeste

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2 Kathy March 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I’d love to try some of your dishes, Celeste! One day soon, I hope. :-)

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3 The Food Hunter March 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I’m stuck on the salsa. It sounds delicious.

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4 grace March 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

oh, that salsa! the panini is great, but i’d be remiss if i didn’t proclaim my love for all things black-beany. :)

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5 Marisa March 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Mmmmm yes, that looks phenomenal!
.-= Marisa´s last blog ..Chicken Pad Thai =-.

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6 Kalynskitchen March 24, 2010 at 7:45 am

I think this is a great panini idea!
.-= Kalynskitchen´s last blog ..Recipe for South Beach Diet Friendly Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal =-.

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7 bellini valli March 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

Now this is my way of serving up a great jerk chicken.

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8 Esi March 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

I seriously think I could have four of these at once. Every single part of it sounds great.
.-= Esi´s last blog ..Sticky Meyer Lemon Rolls =-.

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9 Julie March 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

That panini looks wonderful and the salsa too, although I’m a little bit afraid of those peppers…ha!
.-= Julie´s last blog ..Eggplant Parmesan–Lightened Up =-.

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10 Memoria March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

This panino looks amazing!! I was craving jerk chicken last night and saw your post. What a coincidence! I need to make some panini soon.
.-= Memoria´s last blog ..Life-Changing Chocolate Cake =-.

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11 ThatsSoYummy March 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Kathy,

The panini looks delish!!!!! For those who have a hard time making the homemade jerk seasoning you can always get Walkerswood… I live by it! The Pineapple black bean salsa sounds incredible on it as well…. will have to try!

-Tasha
.-= ThatsSoYummy´s last blog ..Yummy Questionnaire: Carrie Vitt from Deliciously Organic =-.

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12 Shawntai March 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

That looks amazing. I normally buy my paninis at Irving’s Market in Kalamazoo (because they make them to die for) but I might have to do some home cooking!

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13 Kevin (Closet Cooking) March 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm

These would be so good! I tried a jerk chicken wrap with a mango and avocado salsa a while ago and it was good.
.-= Kevin (Closet Cooking)´s last blog ..Spinach and Feta Quinoa Salad =-.

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14 lo March 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Whenever we have a charcoal grill on hand and time for an overnight marinade, you’ll find us marinating chicken (and tofu! and veg!) in jerk marinade. So hard to find a better companion for fruit salsa, and I’m glad to hear it makes a fantastic panino too! We’ll have to try that next time… if there are any pieces of chicken left :)
.-= lo´s last blog ..In Which I Speak of Maple Syrup, Custard, and Little Baby Pancakes =-.

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