how was your Labor Day weekend? i had three days off, which ruled. if you had to work: i thank you for laboring. i had some friends visiting from out of town — one a brand-new mama, the other soon to be a mama, and it warmed my heart to see them and meet baby D. my husband and i went to a great cookout where i consumed no less than three plates of potluck gold over the course of the evening, and more Jim Beam than i should admit, and i jumped on the giant trampoline for hours. that Flip the Bacon game gave me terrible whiplash. WORTH IT. super fun to wear glow-stick earrings in the dark, and the kids tried to teach me how to do flips! last night was spent playing dominoes on our friends’ deck… one of my favorite summer things. the evenings are perfect outdoors this time of year!
there was so much good food and good fun, but after a busy 10 hours at the office today, i was looking for a super-quick dinner. this is one of my favorite quick sandwiches… grilled chicken from the barbeque, creamy ailoi and melted cheese, layered with fire-roasted chiles. i love their smokiness. jalapenos make me chuckle because seriously, you just don’t know how spicy one is going to be from the next. hot or not? it’s a little Russian Roulette every time i eat one. i love spicy foods, but sometimes those suckers sear off my taste buds. other times, they seem quite mild.
this burger is so good and the aioli and melty cheese really help combat the spiciest of jalapenos. though you are welcome to use any kind of chile you like — a milder one will do fine. everything gets cooked on the grill, so if it’s still hot where you are, don’t worry about heating up the house from the kitchen. cook outside! i have a marinade option of yogurt and garlic, which brings wonderful punch and tenderizing juiciness to the chicken, but if you don’t work ahead and just grill some chicken breasts, these burgers still light up your plate. and your taste buds. get ready, y’all.
grilled chicken and chile burgersserves 4
- 2 large chicken breasts or 4 chicken breast tenders
- optional marinade (1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 cloves minced garlic)
- salt and pepper
- 2 jalapeno chiles (or poblanos, a mild chile)
- aioli (or in this case, mayonnaise mixed with a well-minced clove of garlic)
- 4 thick slices of a delicious melty cheese — such as havarti, fontina — i used gruyere
- 4 burger buns
optional marinade — combine yogurt and garlic and toss chicken to coat. refrigerate a couple hours, or before you go to work for the day. squeegee the yogurt mixture from the chicken with your fingers before proceeding.
between two layers of plastic wrap, pound chicken to an even thickness. when doing this, use a sliding pounding motion, to spread the chicken out, rather than just pounding straight down. if you have two large chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise to make four pieces — they may be thin enough already.
meanwhile, grill the chiles until charred all over. place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and let them sweat it out for a short while. when cool enough to handle, remove stems, charred skins and seeds. slice into strips.
season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through. top with cheese for the last 60 seconds or so. assemble your burgers with aioli, chile strips and grilled chicken.