Serious Eats: Recipes

Grilling: Blackened Chicken Sandwich

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

It didn't take me long to realize that boneless, skinless chicken breasts were not designed for grilling—they dry out too easily and more often than not, end up pretty tasteless. A staple in my college cooking days, the chicken breast slowly started fading out of my life as I took to the grill more often. These days, it's nearly non-existent, save my Friday night schnitzel feasts.

So is there a time and place for grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts? I say yes, and this blackened chicken sandwich is proof.

Blackened chicken tends to have an awesome spicy exterior with a disappointingly dry inside. I didn't want mine to suffer from that, so I chose to split the breasts horizontally and give them a brine. The flat breast slices allowed for very fast, even cooking over a heat high enough to quickly form the blackened crust, while the brine gave the chicken just enough extra moisture to avoid the dryness plague. The addition of pepper jack cheese, lettuce, spicy mayo, grilled onions, and grilled red peppers add extra moisture and crunch.

Sound like a good sandwich? Well it was! The spicy, blackened crunch with creamy cheese, sweet onions, and fresh lettuce created a combination that worked incredibly well together, proving that there's at least one thing a skinless, boneless chicken breast can do well on the grill.

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears here on Serious Eats each Friday with a recipe for weekend grilling.

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