This is my favorite sandwich. Hands down. My favorite.
I’ve been meaning to share this chicken recipe for a while now– as in, oh, a year and a half. We make some variation of it rather frequently, though it’s usually in the form of a whole roasted chicken, and I never seem to take photographs of it as we go along. At the last second yesterday, though, I decided to grab my camera. Memorial Day is on its way and I thought you might want another recipe for the grill in addition to the hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs you are bound to be making.
These chicken tenderloins are tasty on their own served with your traditional sides (we ate ours with potatoes cooked over the grill in a cast iron pan), or you can do what we did and turn them into this sandwich (an idea that came to me in a dream before Mother’s Day– yes, I dream about food combinations. Is that weird? Nevermind. Don’t tell me.) The marinade is also excellent with whole or butterflied or cut up, roasted or grilled chickens. Just adapt it as you see fit.
Grilled Orange-Rosemary Chicken Sandwiches
1 lb. chicken tenderloins
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 orange, zested and juiced
fresh ground pepper
kosher salt (you can use table if you want)
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
ciabatta loaf or sandwich rolls
4 leaves green leaf lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
pint of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
Remove tendons from tenderloins. This is so easy and one of the best things that I took away from the chicken deboning Daring Cooks’ Challenge in April. It’s as easy as can be. This photo is from that challenge, which is why you see the whole chicken here, but it works with pre-cut tenderloins.
You use a paper towel to hold down the white tendon, and then hold a knife perpendicular to the cutting board over the tendon, the slide the knife down its length, continuing to hold the knife in the same perpendicular position. It’s amazing how easy this is to do, and it makes the tenderloins infinitely easier to eat.
Marinate the tenderloins in the chopped rosemary, orange juice and zest, pepper, salt, and oil for a minimum of 20 minutes. I don’t have a picture of this part, sorry. I ended up with about 1/4 cup of fresh juice and about a half of a tablespoon of zest.
If you’d like to marinate yours for longer, you can place them in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours or so in advance. I don’t like to do it for longer because the acid in the orange juice affects the texture of the chicken. If you’ve marinated your chicken in the refrigerator, remove it at least twenty minutes prior to grilling.
Grill tenderloins over medium coals
until approximately 160 degrees, turning halfway through cooking. I didn’t time it, and it all depends on how hot your coals are.
Allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes after removing them. You can tent them with foil if you’d like. We didn’t because…well, just because.
You can see all of the delicious orange zest, rosemary, and pepper.
If you’re using ciabatta rolls, spread butter over each interior side of the rolls and grill them on buttered side until lightly charred. If you have a loaf, which is what we had last night, wrap it in aluminum foil and heat it on the grill either alone or
while you grill the chicken or the other sides.
Remove the bread from the foil– it will char somewhat,
and cut it vertically into sandwich sized pieces that you then split horizontally.
Spread mayonnaise on interior of bottom slice. Lay 2-3 chicken tenderloins on top of the mayonnaise. Spread the desired amount of brie on the interior of the top ciabatta slice, or you can use more mayonnaise. The barbecue sauce you see is because the B didn’t want strawberries, mayo or brie. He likes barbecue sauce and ranch dressing on his sandwich. Lay a leaf or two of lettuce on top of brie (or mayo), then layer on the strawberries.
Drizzle strawberries with a desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette (I didn’t have a picture of that part), and then carefully put slices together—bottom bread slice, mayo, chicken, balsamic vinaigrette, strawberries, lettuce, brie (or mayo), top slice of bread.
You can wrap in foil and keep warm on the grill until serving time, if needed, but they’re best eaten as soon as you can. And, really, why would you want to wait?
Yield: 4 sandwiches