Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Latin Chicken Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

Fun. Easy.  Hot. 

For the sandwiches
1 small to medium roaster chicken, pre-cooked rotisserie
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. canola oil
1 large naval orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
½ tsp. freshly ground mixed peppercorns
3 chipotle peppers, chopped
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, for extra heat)
4 hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls

1 small chipotle, finely chopped
2-4 Tbsp. adobo sauce

1/3 c. good quality mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

The Method
After separating chicken from bones, shred into medium to small pieces, cover and set aside. Add canola oil to small pan over medium heat, add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast buns over direct medium heat on grill or broil in oven until golden brown. Reduce heat on sauté pan to medium-low and add juice, chipotles, chicken and salt and pepper. Fold ingredients together and allow flavors to come together for five to six minutes.  Place slice of pepper jack cheese each bottom bun and top with chicken mixture, chipotle mayo and top bun.  Place sandwich back on grill or in medium skillet over medium heat. Place heated foil wrapped brick or cast iron skillet on top of sandwich and leave for 2-3 minutes to allow sandwich to warm through and compress. Serve immediately with large amounts of cold beverage and your side dish(es) of choice.

Recommended sides: Homemade French Fries – with mixture of equal parts sea salt, kosher salt and table salt and garnished with fresh cilantro.  That's right - cilantro on your fries!  Great with the chipotle mayo!  

Food for Thought  
I couldn't call this a Cuban chicken sandwich given the inclusion and strong presence of the chipotles.  Similarly, it is not strictly Southwestern or Tex-Mex, given the addition of all of the citrus and the compression toasting technique.  In lieu of chicken, this sandwich is also great with leftover pork. 

If the heat of the chipotles gets too intense for you, remember that water only cools your mouth while it is in your mouth.  For real threapeusis of capsaicin overdose, you need something with fat, since the capsaicin is fat-soluble.  I recommend ice cream!