On Copycat Panera Pick Two: Frontega Chicken // Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Hi all,

Hoping you’re doing well and staying safe out there.

In all the chaos of quarantine and COVID, have I mentioned that my mother-in-law got a new toy for the house? AN INSTANT POT! Now, in my opinion, I found this device to be incredibly intimidating, and my first experience was….not great. I tried to do barbacoa tacos with thinner cuts of beef, and the recipe said 2 minutes, but because I was doubling the amount of meat, I thought I would double the time as well. DON’T. DO. THAT. I learned that the hard way…rock. hard. meat. And not in the sexy way. It was AWFUL!

So I became DETERMINED to get it right and not let a piece of equipment get the better of me! So, with fresh chicken and leftover rotisserie chicken, I decided we would do a copycat of Panera’s famous “Pick Two” and do their chicken with wild rice soup, and our favorite sandwich, the Frontega chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I was also very nervous about doing this recipe—while I’m not in a doomsday mentality about COVID-19, I do get doomsday mentality about the food I make—but it was INCREDIBLY easy to pile everything in and then set it, forget it. And it turned out AWESOME – like I’m going to make this again for lunch next week!!!

I hope you’re all doing well, staying safe, and keeping good health!

— Cooking Maggie

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of chipotle mayo (whatever your grocery store has pre-bottled)
  • 4 focaccia buns (or whatever small loafs your grocer has – I know everyone is different)
  • Rotisserie chicken (pulled/shredded)
  • 8oz mozzarella ball, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin half moon slices
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into ribbons)
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bake your mini loaves according to the packaging directions. Cut in half and spread on the chipotle mayo.
  2. Warm up your chicken with a little olive oil in a pan.
  3. Layer on the shredded chicken, tomato, red onion, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Put in a panini press until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.
    • OR if you don’t have a panini press, take two pans, one larger than the other. Heat the largest pan over low heat, and the smaller pan over medium heat to get it hot. Put your sandwich into the larger pan and then USING OVEN MITTS & a dry dish rag, press the smaller pan on top of the sandwich and press down (PROTECT YOURSELF, OBVIOUSLY). Wait until cheese is melty.
  5. Remove your sandwich, cut in half, and enjoy!!!

Copycat Panera Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
  • 32 oz of chicken bone broth (1 carton)
  • 1 or 2 boxes of Rice-A-Roni (or Uncle Ben’s) Wild Rice* – depending on how much rice you like in your soup – KEEP THE SEASONING POUCH
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream**
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Turn your instant pot to saute and add in oil, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in chicken, broth, rice (and seasoning pouch if including), basil and oregano.
  3. Set the pot to soup and make sure it’s on 30 minutes, high pressure.
  4. Do a quick release, remove the chicken, and shred it. Return to the pot.
  5. Put your pot on saute again, mix in your cream, salt, and pepper to taste.***
  6. EAT!

Notes
* DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use a bagged “Rice Medley” variety – that is what I used the first time and it was mushy, and not ideal…
** While, yes, cream is a lot richer, it’s heavier, which I think lends itself better to the soup than milk.
*** The soup will thicken as it stands, but if you want your soup to be thicker, just whisk a little of the broth with flour to create a slurry. Add to your soup and mix in well. Repeat till you get desired consistency.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.