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Blackened chicken

It’s sad to admit, but the reason I went out and finally bought a grill pan was because I was making this dish. I wanted to grill my chicken instead of cooking it in the skillet. My last chicken breasts tasted great, but the harsh heat of the skillet dried out some of the chicken. So, yay, now I have a grill pan. I cut the chicken breasts in half and brined them. I used a blackening seasoning I got from central market after tossing the chicken in a tiny bit of melted butter. Everything I did paid off, because the taste, texture, and moistness of the chicken was perfect. My chicken breasts took maybe 6 minutes total. Not really sure. It’s ok to take them off of the heat in the 150s because their temp will rise when resting. I didn’t make the entire sandwich in the recipe, but I followed most of the directions.

There is another blackening seasoning recipe on All Recipes that looks awesome.

Blackened Chicken Sandwich (Serious Eats)

Serves 4 for sandwiches, 2 if it’s just the chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • For the brine:
  • 1 quart ice cold water
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • For the rub:
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch disks and skewered horizontally
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Sriracha mayonnaise
  • 4 club rolls
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: high

Directions:

  1. For the Brine: in a small, shallow bowl whisk together the the water, salt, and sugar until the solids are dissolved. Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. Place the chicken breast slices in the brine and refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the rub. In small bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Brush the chicken slices lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture. Flip the chicken over and repeat. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to grill.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grate. Brush onion slices lightly with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Grill onions and pepper, turning occasionally, until peppers are completely charred all over and onions until charred on both side and slightly softened, 5-8 minutes total. Remove from grill and place pepper in a paper or Ziploc bag and seal. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes, remove skin and slice into 1/8-inch strips. Remove skewer from onion and separate into individual rings.
  4. Place chicken slices on grill and cook over high heat until first side is blackened, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and place slice of cheese over chicken and grill until second side is blackened and chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3 minutes. While the chicken is resting, place rolls on the grill, cut side down, and grill until lightly browned. Remove from grill, spread top side of bread with Sriracha mayonnaise and assemble sandwich with the chicken, onion rings, pepper slices, and lettuce. Serve immediately.
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