https://www.tastingtable.com/1570264/smoked-turkey-and-cherry-chutney-panini-recipe/

Recipe for a Panini with Smoked Turkey and Cherry Chutney

 Ksenia Prints

If you’re in the mood for a sandwich that’s a notch above your everyday fare, try your hand at a smoked turkey and cherry chutney panini. This recipe brings together the savory flavor of smoked turkey with the sweet and tangy flavors of cherry chutney, all warmed and pressed to perfection. 

Fruit and poultry pairings are quite common in many culinary traditions, as the sweetness of the fruit often balances the savory notes of the meat. In this recipe from developer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant’s Table, lean, mild turkey serves as an excellent canvas for bolder flavors. The natural sweetness and slight acidity of cherries can cut through the richness of the turkey, adding a refreshing contrast that enhances the overall taste. 

The best part of this sandwich is that one of its main components, the chutney, can be made well in advance — up to a week before you need it — allowing you to get a head start on your meal planning. This also helps to deepen and enrich its flavor. Simply keep it covered in the refrigerator, and it’ll be ready when you are to enhance your panini. What’s more, you can use it for in other robust, savory preparations, as it tastes lovely on a cracker when paired with a strong aged goat cheese, charcuterie, figs, or Manchego cheese. This smoked turkey and cherry chutney panini recipe is ideal for a satisfying meal, promising a delicious bite that stands out from the rest. 

Gather the ingredients for smoked turkey and cherry chutney panini

ingredients

Step 1: Combine the chutney ingredients in a saucepan

Chutney ingredients in saucepan

Combine all of the chutney ingredients in a saucepan.

Step 2: Bring to a boil

Chutney in saucepan

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Step 3: Cook

Chutney in saucepan

Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Let cool

Chutney in saucepan

Remove the chutney from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Preheat a pan

Hot grill pan

Preheat a panini press or grill pan over medium heat.

Step 6: Cut the ciabatta

Cutting ciabatta in half

Cut the ciabatta in half through the middle.

Step 7: Slice in half

Two ciabatta halves on cutting board

Slice each piece to form sandwich halves.

Step 8: Layer chutney, turkey, and Gruyère

Adding chutney to bread half

On the bottom half of each slice, layer ¼ cup cherry chutney, then add smoked turkey and Gruyère cheese slices.

Step 9: Close the panini

Covering ciabatta with bread

Top the panini with the remaining bread halves.

Step 10: Spread with butter

Smearing bread with butter

Spread the softened butter evenly on the outside of each assembled panini.

Step 11: Grill the panini

Panini in pan

Grill the panini in the press or pan until golden brown, about 3–5 minutes.

Step 12: Slice in half

Cutting panini in half

Remove from the heat and slice in half diagonally.

Step 13: Serve

Person serving a platter with panini pieces

Serve immediately.

Ingredients

  • For the cherry chutney
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted
  • ½ brown onion, diced
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • For the turkey panini
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 4 ounces smoked turkey breast, sliced
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
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Directions

  1. Combine all of the chutney ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the chutney from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Preheat a panini press or grill pan over medium heat.
  6. Cut the ciabatta in half through the middle.
  7. Slice each piece to form sandwich halves.
  8. On the bottom half of each slice, layer ¼ cup cherry chutney, then add smoked turkey and Gruyère cheese slices.
  9. Top the panini with the remaining bread halves.
  10. Spread the softened butter evenly on the outside of each assembled panini.
  11. Grill the panini in the press or pan until golden brown, about 3–5 minutes.
  12. Remove from the heat and slice in half diagonally.
  13. Serve immediately.

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Can I use frozen or canned cherries in this panini recipe?

Three slices of panini on cutting board with cherries in back

Ksenia Prints/Look

Feel free to use frozen or canned cherries for making cherry chutney if fresh cherries are not available. We prefer fresh cherries for their deep flavor and firm texture, which can contribute to a more spreadable chutney that holds together well. However, when out of season or not readily accessible, frozen cherries are a convenient alternative. Frozen cherries tend to release more liquid during the cooking process, which may require you to extend the cooking time to achieve the desired chutney consistency, so it carefully.

Canned cherries are another substitute, but make sure you choose those that are packed in water or natural juice rather than heavy syrup to avoid an overly sweet chutney. With canned cherries, drain the cherries thoroughly before using them. Canned cherries may also be softer than fresh, which will affect the texture of the chutney. Make sure you taste the chutney while you’re cooking so that it has a balanced flavor and a thick, jam-like consistency.

What other bread besides ciabatta works for a panini?

Three slices of panini on board

Ksenia Prints/Look

When making a panini, the choice of bread is important as it needs to withstand the heat of grilling and the moisture of the fillings without becoming soggy. Ciabatta, with its robust crust and porous interior, is an excellent choice for panini, but there are other options that can work just as well. Sourdough bread has a tangy flavor and sturdy texture that can add an extra dimension to your sandwich while providing the necessary structure. Focaccia, another Italian bread, offers a flavorful, herbed alternative with a crisp exterior that grills nicely. You will need to cut it in half vertically rather than use two slices to avoid the bread overwhelming the sandwich.

Alternatively, a crusty French or Italian loaf can also serve as a good substitute. Regardless, when selecting a bread, look for one that has a substantial crust and a firm crumb to ensure that it can hold up to heat and the weight of the smoked turkey and cherry chutney.

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