Chicken sandwiches have been on the rise in the last few years. I think people believe that chicken at fast food restaurants is somehow healthier than beef which can be the case but definitely isn’t a rule. Normally, chicken at restaurants is fried (which immediately negates the health factor) or cooked into a bland rubbery cube.
Except for a few exceptions, this usually ends up to be a tasteless. In my experience, it’s rarely worth the calories or the dollars they’ll charge you.
We can do SO much better at home.
I had a few chicken breasts left over from my chicken and waffles party so I worked out a delicious chicken sandwich recipe that’s juicy and flavorful.
1) For marinade, mix chopped chipotles, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl.
2) Cut chicken breasts in half and lightly pound them to an even thickness between plastic wrap.
3) Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes, but you could do them the night before.
4) Grill chicken over high heat for 5 minutes per side.
5) If you're using cheese, add it to chicken in the last 2 minutes of cooking and cover grill.
6) Grill buns and serve sandwich with mayo, lettuce, and avocado.
The Mayo Business
As you might know if you’re a regular Macheesmo reader (and you should be a regular Macheesmo reader), I’ve been on a huge homemade mayo kick lately. If you want a full walk-through on how to make your own, check out my homemade mayonnaise post.
For this version, I stuck with the spicy theme and whisked in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Making a good chicken sandwich is pretty straightforward, but there is one step that I really recommend: pounding the chicken.
The problem with chicken breasts is that they tend to be way uneven in the thickness department. One end is really skinny and one end is two inches thick. It’s pretty inevitable that if you cook it as-is, it’s going to be either over-cooked on one end or raw on the other end.
Also, chicken breasts are typically way larger than any one sandwich needs. So I recommend chopping them in half and pounding them to an even thickness with a mallet. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap to avoid chicken splatter all over your kitchen.
Next, you’re going to need a marinade.
I whipped one together with these things. Those chipotles pack a punch. I recommend two, but if you’re feeling adventurous then shoot for three or four!
Add the marinade to the chicken patties and let this marinade for at least 30 minutes, but overnight would be just fine also.
Cooking the Patties
Once you’re ready to make some delicious chicken sandwiches, take your patties and toss them on a hot grill for about 5 minutes per side.
You should get some really nice grill marks and some of the chipotles will kind of cook on to the chicken which is oh-so-delicious.
For the last two minutes of cooking, add a nice slice of cheese if you want. The sandwich is honestly pretty flavorful without the cheese, but it’s a rare day where you’ll see me pass up an opportunity to melt cheese on something.
Cover the grill and the cheese will melt perfectly in a minute or two.
Dress up the burger with some mayo, lettuce, and avocado and you’re all set.
As an added touch, don’t forget to grill the bun for a few seconds.
Now, you 100% do not have to have a grill for this recipe.
If you don’t have a grill, just add a drizzle of oil to a skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side. You might want to cut into one to see if they are cooked through.
If you want to add cheese to it, you can grate the cheese or add a cover to the pan to make it melt easily.
I’m not entirely sure what the calorie count is on this sucker, but I am entirely sure that it’s one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had.
If you make a bunch of these, they are fine re-heated for lunch also.
Mark this down as yet another reason that fast food restaurants have nothing on the home cook!