World's Best Chicken Sandwich

Well, that might be stretching it a bit, but it is the best in MY world, and hopefully it will be in yours too! These are a great change to burgers at a backyard cook out, and I can almost guarantee you that people will be begging you for the recipe, whether you share it or not is up to you :slight_smile:

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
8 large onion rolls or kaiser rolls (the fresher and softer the better)
2 cups Franks Red Hot Sauce (this recipe WILL NOT work with other hot sauces, trust me. You can ask my wife about the tabasco incident)
1 cup, packed, light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 stick butter
1 TBS spice mix (I make my own, which is one secret I still keep, but I have used Emeril’s Southwestern in a pinch and it works equally well)
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced tomato
1/4 lb Boar’s Head Monterey Jack with Jalapeno Peppers
1/4 lb Boar’s Head Yellow Cheddar Cheese
Blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or mayonaisse

This is one of the few times I will say that Boar’s Head isn’t a neccessity. The chicken is the major player here, so any sliced pepperjack and cheddar cheeses will work, just try to get a good quality.

Place the butter, brown sugar, vinegar, and franks in a saucepot over medium low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar has dissolved. Add the 1 tablespoon of spice, and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place the chicken in a large sealable container and cover with enough of the sauce to marinate, about half. Reserve the rest for basting. Marinate the chicken for about 2 hours, or overnight.

I use a gas grill for these, as a charcoal one is a pain in the butt due to how the breasts are cooked. Preheat your gas grill to medium, ideal, or whatever setting you’d use to cook steaks or a hamburger. The long cooking period over indirect heat keeps the chicken extremely moist, and allows for maximum flavor from the sauce from the extended and repeated basting. (Please note that most gas grills nowadays have two shelves, one directly on the heat, and one above. If you don’t have the second shelf, you need to reduce the heat of your grill to low for the first part of this).

Place the chicken breasts on the TOP shelf of your grill, and close. Now comes the monotonous part. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes, open the grill, marinate them, flip them, and close it again. This is a good time to get a beer (if you didn’t have one already). On a hot day you repeat this for about 2 beers (or about 40 minutes). It is a slow and painstaking process, but the end result is well worth it. After about 40 minutes the chicken will start to show some color, and you can tell by giving it a slight squeeze with the tongs that it is pretty well cooked through. Open up the grill and grill the the bun halves slightly to make them a little crisp. Place all of the chicken breasts onto the direct heat surface. (This will finish cooking them, and give them the grill marks and extra flavor). Cook and baste, with the top open, for about 5 minutes. After the last flip, place a slice of cheddar and a slice of pepperjack onto each, and close the grill. Leave it closed just until the cheese melts, then quickly remove the chicken from the heat.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread both sides of each bun with either blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or mayonaisse. (I have a top notch blue cheese dressing that is a big hit at my restaurant that I use with great results, and I will be posting it after this.)

Next, place some sliced red onion on the bottom half of the bun, then a chicken breast, some tomato, some lettuce, and then cover with the top bun half. This is not a “hot” sandwich, rather it is slightly sweet and spicy. I have friends who don’t like spicy food at all, and they all love it. As an extra addition, I sometimes add some bacon to the sandwich, which is also great. When I do this, I put the cooked bacon on top of the breast and then melt the cheese over it, to keep it in place on the sandwich. Let me know what you think, and if you’re friends like it, make sure to tell them it’s an old family recipe :slight_smile:

Please let me know if you think this recipe can be adapted to a oven/broiler method. We don’t use our gas grill very often but the ingredients sound wonderful and too good to devote JUST to a gas grill. :lol: [/i]

It is possible to make this in the oven. You would have to cook them in a 300 degree oven on a roasting pan (or a cookie sheet with a rack on it) and keep it tented underneath aluminum foil. It would just be a bit more difficult having to open up the oven every few minutes to baste them, but it should work fine. Keeping them tented in foil though is a must, as the dry heat of the oven would make the chicken too tough if cooked uncovered. Also, make sure to flip the breasts every other time that you baste them, as you don’t have the heat circulating underneath them due to the pan. (Please note that it is possible to cook them without the continued turning and basting, but the glaze that develops on them as a result is well worth opening the oven 15 or 20 times.) After they’ve cooked through, you can simply place the cheeses (and bacon if you’re using it) on the breasts and remove the foil to quickly melt the cheese. You can also toast the buns on the stovetop using some cooking spray. Let me know what you think of the sandwich if you try it. Enjoy!

Joe Slate