Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich Recipe
- 3 Tbps olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves mashed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (less or more depending on how much heat you want)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 4 small slices of Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 sets of whole grain or crusty sandwich rolls
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
- Iceberg or lettuce of preference
- Lite mayonnaise
- In a shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder, spices and garlic.
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper. Use a meat pounder to pound the breasts to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut off excess fat. If you are starting with 2 half-pound chicken breast halves, cut each one in half so that you have 4 pieces (to better fit the buns). Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.
- Heat your grill on high heat if you are using a gas grill, or prepare coals for direct heat if you are using charcoal. You can also use a cast-iron grill pan on your stove if you do not have a grill. Grill the chicken pieces a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. Once you have cooked the chicken pieces on one side and flipped them, add a slice of cheese to the chicken. Cover the grill for half a minute to melt the cheese. Toast the buns on the grill as well.
- Assemble the sandwiches – bun bottom, chicken with melted cheese, avocado and lettuce, mayonnaise, and fresh cilantro or parsley, place on bun.
A burning question – which is better “natural wood or charcoal briquette”?
WHICH coals: hardwood or briquette? That’s a question that can inspire hours of debate.
The truth: It doesn’t make all that much difference. Hardwood charcoal is better for most grilling, because it burns somewhat hotter and cleaner (there’s very little ash left after the fire dies).
But for meats such as pork shoulder or spareribs, you’re going to need the fire to cook low and slow for a few hours, so using longer-lasting briquettes will spare you the need to refuel.
Marinades are another area of controversy. They’re a point of pride for some cooks, who think that there’s nothing like a long soak in an herb-scented tub to improve a piece of meat.
In most cases, that’s the wrong way to go. You’re better off with a short dip.
The fact is that most marinades never penetrate much beyond the surface of the meat. And really, that’s enough. Most of the meat we grill is fairly thin anyway, so you’re very likely to have a bit of the flavored surface in every bite.
The problem with long soaks is that if the marinade contains any acidity — lemon juice, vinegar, even the lactic acid in yogurt — it will break down the protein structure of the meat, resulting in a mealy texture.
When I cooked the leg of lamb in yogurt and spices the traditional Indian way, marinating the meat overnight, the outside of the lamb seemed somewhat pasty in texture. When I cooked it a second time, amping up the seasoning a little, but marinating for only about an hour, the flavor was just as good and the texture was firm and meaty.
One exception to this marinade rule is brining. Brines (basically salt-water solutions) keep meats such as chicken and pork moist during cooking, and because they contain either very little acidity or none at all, they don’t break down the meat.