In the world of sandwiches, burgers are booming. While a juicy burger is pretty spectacular, chicken can be every bit as good when allowed to shine. The problem is many eateries don’t even give it a chance, resorting to the same formula of a grilled breast, sliced tomato, a few lettuce leaves, and maybe a smear of mayo. That’s hardly an inspiring meal. With a bit of imagination, though, the bird can be a perfect canvas for different flavors and cooking methods.
Try one of these six sandwiches, and you’ll convert to team chicken.
1. Pulled-Chicken Sandwiches
You don’t have to order takeout to enjoy a meal packed with the taste of India. This delicious sandwich from Food & Wine uses rotisserie chicken, curry powder, and jarred chutney to make a seriously flavorful sandwich in record time. The method is pretty similar to making a standard chicken salad. Blend the yogurt dressing in the food processor, then toss it with shredded chicken, cilantro, and scallions. A few leaves of arugula add a peppery bite that goes perfectly with the sweet and spicy salad.
¾ cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
¾ cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 small rotisserie chicken, shredded, skin and bones discarded
2 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup baby arugula
4 sandwich rolls, split
In a food processor, pulse yogurt, chutney, lime juice, and curry until blended, but not entirely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, add chicken, scallions, and cilantro. Toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Lay arugula over rolls, top with chicken mixture, and serve.
2. Chicken Caesar Ciabatta Sandwiches
8 anchovies, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup romaine lettuce leaves
1 pound boneless, skinless, thinly sliced chicken breasts
Kosher salt an freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ciabatta rolls, toasted
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Whisk anchovies, garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce to blend. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add water to thin, if desired. In a small bowl, combine romaine with ½ tablespoon dressing, and toss to coat. Set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook, flipping once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice across the grain into strips. Serve sandwiches on ciabatta with lettuce, chicken, Parmesan, and more dressing.
3. Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini
The combination of ranch dressing, chicken, and bacon nearly guarantees whatever meal you’re making will be tasty. This toasty sandwich from The Pioneer Woman boosts the flavor even more by adding some cheddar cheese. It’s every bit as good as a panini from your local coffee shop, but without the snobby baristas.
8 slices crusty French bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more
2 whole chicken breasts, cut in half from top to bottom
4 thick slices sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked, and cut in half
4. Fried chicken Sandwich with Slaw and Spicy Mayo
Making fried chicken can be quite a lengthy process that requires marinating the meat, dredging, and cooking in several batches. This recipe from Son of a Gun, featured in Bon Appétit, is much speedier thanks to boneless chicken that doesn’t call for an overnight buttermilk bath. The slaw makes a perfect topper, because it’s crunchy, cool, sweet, and spicy. Make sure your chicken is completely coated in the flour mixture so you get the best crunch. To do this, dredge the chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk, and one final dunk in the flour. Starting with the dry ingredients gives the buttermilk something to stick to, so you won’t have any naked spots.
Mayo and slaw
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
½ cup bread-and-butter pickle slices, plus ¼ cup pickle juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
1 cup buttermilk
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
Peanut or vegetable oil
4 white sandwich rolls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
5. Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich
Most of us think of a thick, glossy sauce when we hear the word teriyaki. But it actually refers to the cooking method rather than the condiment. Typically, it’s made with just soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. Most American versions thicken the mixture with cornstarch to add body, and add other ingredients to boost the flavor. While this sweet and savory sandwich from Jamie Cooks It Up definitely isn’t a traditional use, it’s a delicious way to get your teriyaki fix. Pineapple rings give this sandwich the prettiest presentation. You can purchase canned ones, or look for cored pineapple at the grocery store. If you prefer to buy the whole fruit and don’t have a corer, you can slice the pineapple into planks instead. It might not look as fancy, but it will taste exactly the same.
4 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
4 pineapple rings
1 red onion, sliced
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns
6. Tequila-Lime Chicken Sandwiches with Guacamole and Chipotle Mayo
Guacamole is a great dip for chips, but it also makes a fine sandwich spread. Try this zesty chicken recipe from Host The Toast to give it a try. With marinated chicken, creamy guacamole, melty cheese, and crisp bacon, this meal tastes like a combination of fajitas and a club sandwich. If you have trouble finding ripe avocados at your store, you can always purchase pre-made guacamole.
¼ cup tequila
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of 1 orange
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 jalapeño, seeded, and minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Monterey Jack cheese
8 strips bacon
2 ripe avocados
1 small red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tomato, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
¼ cup chipotle sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
Combine tequila, juice from three limes, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeño, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and chicken in a large zip-top bag. Marinate at least one hour or overnight. Make guacamole by mashing avocado in a medium bowl, then adding red onion, garlic, tomato, and remaining lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In another bowl, combine chipotle sauce and mayonnaise. Cover guacamole and mayo, and refrigerate until ready to use.
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