When someone says grilling we think of hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, BBQ chicken, and many of our other favorite grilled meats. But our grills can be used for more than just meats, and while this week’s recipe is for Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, the other sandwich ingredients are not meat and I used the grill to cook them. Try using your grill for baked potatoes, corn on the cob, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, shrimp, salmon, and I even have a recipe for BBQ pizza. Who knows, you might even come up with one of your own favorite recipes.
ChefElla’s Grilled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwiches (3-4 Servings)
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a knife, measuring spoons, a small mixing bowl, a large mixing bowl, a cookie sheet, a cutting board, a kitchen mallet (a rolling pin will work if you do not have one), a spatula, tongs, and a grill.
If you are not allowed to use a knife or the grill by yourself you can ask an adult for help.
14-18 oz Chicken Breast, Pounded Flat
1 Med. Onion, Red or White, Cut into ¼ inch Rings
-Slice off root and stem ends. Peel off paper and damaged skin. Slice onion into rings. Try to keep the whole ring together as one piece.
1 Med. Bell Pepper, Red, Yellow, or Green, Cut into ¼ inch Rings
-Slice off root and stem ends. Pull out core and seeds. Carefully trim any excess white ribs. Slice pepper into rings.
½ Cup Green Salsa, Mild
¼ Cup Black Beans
¼ Cup Corn Kernels
8 Slices Cheese Sliced, Cheddar, Pepper Jack (If you like spicy), or your favorite kind
1 Large Soft French Bread Loaf, or Two Small Loaves
Santa Fe Spice Marinade
1 tsp Cumin Ground
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Granulated Garlic
½ tsp Salt, Kosher or Sea
¼ tsp Cayenne Powder, you can leave this out if you do not like spicy food
1 tsp Ground White Pepper
3 Tbl Vegetable Oil, you can use olive oil but it will change the taste of the marinade
Tomatoes, Guacamole, Salsa (other kinds), Chilis in Adobo, Lettuce, or any other topping you like.
3. Add all of your marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Wrap your cutting board with plastic wrap. Lay one chicken breast on the cutting board and cover chicken with another piece of plastic wrap. Starting at the thickest part of the chicken breast, using your kitchen mallet, firmly pound the chicken breast. Continue to pound the chicken, moving your way out from the thickest part, to the edge. Do not pound too hard or you will split the chicken breast. Pound lighter as you move from the thick part to the thin edges. Continue to work your way around the breast until it is an even thickness about ½ inch. Put your chicken into the marinade. Pound out the rest of your chicken breasts in the same manner, and add to the marinade.
4. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with pan spray. Cut your onion and pepper into rings. Place the pieces flat on the cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil or spray liberally with pan spray. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the onion and pepper rings.
5. Cut French bread open. Brush the inside with olive oil or spray liberally with pan spray. In a small bowl mix green salsa with black beans and corn kernels.
6. Pre-heat your grill to medium high heat. If you are able keep the flame or heat source to the outside of the grill.
7. When the grill is hot, put your chicken breasts on the grill. Do not put them over the direct heat or flame. If you do the oil on the chicken will flame up and blacken your chicken breasts. Add onions, with a spatula, and pepper rings to the grill. Try to keep the onions in one piece. Do not put the vegetables over direct heat unless it is a low flame.
8. After 2 -3 minutes turn chicken breasts 90 degrees. After 2-3 more minutes turn the chicken breasts over. Your chicken should take another 3-4 minutes to finish. Using your spatula, turn your onions over, they should have some nice grill marks on them. Flip over your peppers rings. As the peppers and onions finish cooking, either place them on a warm part of the grill with no flame, or take them off of the grill.
9. As your chicken finishes cooking, place bread on the grill flat side down. Again keep the bread off of the direct flame. If you need to wait until your chicken or vegetables are done that is ok. Cook bread for 1-2 minutes or until it is warm and there are some grill marks on the bread. Take bread off the grill. Top the bottom piece of bread with 4 slices of cheese.
10. Remove the chicken breast from the grill when it is at 165F internal temperature or is firm to the touch. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice of cheese, and put them on the bottom piece of bread.
11. Top chicken breasts with onions, peppers, and green salsa mixture. Add the top piece of bread and cut into 3 or 4 sandwiches.
If you picked any of the optional ingredients add them to your sandwich.