We were, until recently, a family of non-grillers.
While other Americans are happily firing away during the hot summer, filling up their neighborhoods with juicy aromas, we would tend to stay inside and think of what we could make for dinner that didn't use the stove or oven.
The problem is that Sacramento summers start early and go on forever, and cold food just gets tiring after a month or two.
Which is why I brought home a grill a few weeks ago.
Today's grill experiment was this chipotle grilled chicken with Monterey Jack cheese and avocados on hamburger buns. I loved it! As did my guinea pig recipe testers Molly and David.
By the way, I know there are probably some mayo haters out there. I tried it without mayo, and it was too dry. If you don't like mayo, then mash up the avocados into a guacamole.
You need the creaminess of either the avocado or the mayo to balance the spiciness of the chile and the roughness of the grilled bun.
Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 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)
- 4 small slices of Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 sets of hamburger buns
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
- Iceberg or lettuce of preference
Make the marinade:
In a shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder.
Pound chicken breasts to even thickness:
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).
Marinate the chicken:
Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.
Grill the chicken breasts and buns:
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 on the top bun.