Monday, June 13, 2011

Mexican Chicken Sandwiches with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Halfway into June it's about time I post some grill-friendly recipes. We got a gas grill a couple of years ago and use it all the time. It's especially nice to not have to heat up our oven or stove during the summer. This meal was Chris's idea but the recipe is all mine. There's apparently a Mexican hamburger place near his office where he gets a great version of this and he was hoping I could recreate it. Sometimes I think he just looks for excuses for me to make homemade salsa but that's alright - I liked this meal too. Plus, this is a great meal for leftovers. Look for a post on that to come soon.

Time: 45 minutes, plus a couple of hours for marinating
Serves: 2, with leftovers

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large onion or 2 small ones
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 slices monterey jack cheese (pepper jack would be good here too)
  • hamburger buns (I like to get the ones from the bakery)
  • 2 TBSP mayo
  • 2 tsp Sriacha (rooster sauce) or other hot sauce of your choice
  • guacamole and salsa for topping
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP tequila
  1. Trim the fat off your chicken breasts and slice in half horizontally to butterfly them.
  2. If the chicken pieces have uneven thickness, cover them with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until flat. I did this with the ones you see in the pic.
  3. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a large, ziploc bag.
  4. Marinate the chicken in the large ziploc, in the fridge, for at least an hour. I think I left mine in for 2-3 hours and it was great.
  5. Mix together your Mayo and Sriacha or hot sauce in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge.
  6. Preheat your grill to medium high about 20 minutes before you're ready to cook and about 40 minutes before you're ready to eat. We have a gas grill with three burners and and I turned on 2 of the burners to high and one to medium. Remember to open your grill while you ignite it, then keep the lid closed as much as possible while pre-heating and while cooking to retain the heat. You could also use a charcoal grill here, or even a grill pan.
  7. Cut the tops of your poblanos and pull out any seeds. You may need to turn them upside down and shake them out. Then, slice your poblanos into about 3/4 inch thick slices. These cook faster than the bell peppers so if you slice them a bit bigger, they'll all cook evenly.
  8. Cut the sides off your bell peppers, pull off any of the white ribs and seeds, and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  9. Peel your onion(s) and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  10. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and put all of the veggies (include the jalapenos here if you're using them) on the sheet.
  11. Coat veggies with 3-4 TBSP olive oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper and mix together with your hands.

  1. When all your veggies are chopped and seasoned and your grill is nice and hot, add your veggies to the hot side of the grill and close the lid while they cook, checking them and tossing with a spatula every 5-7 minutes. If you have a mesh grill pan or basket, use it for the veggies. If not, I'd probably use a cast-iron skillet on the hot side of the grill. You can cook the whole jalapenos directly on the grill.
  2. Once your veggies start to caramelize a bit, add your chicken to the side of the grill with the lower heat and close your lid again. You probably should oil your grill grates before you add the chicken. You can see mine stuck a little but it wasn't too bad. I almost always forget to oil the grill.
  3. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. You know it's ready when the chicken springs back when you poke it. If you're not sure, pull off one of the thickest pieces and cut through it to be sure. Raw chicken is never a good thing.
  4. Add your cheese to the chicken and throw your buns on the grill to warm through for a minute or so.
  5. Turn off your grill and leave the chicken on until the cheese melts.
  6. To serve, spread some of your spicy mayo on the bun. Top the chicken with some veggies and salsa and guacamole if you're using.

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