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~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich ~

IMG_5650 3Over the past four decades, the Caesar salad has become America's favorite salad.  It altered the lettuce industry, as the demand for romaine has skyrocketed, and, it turned the chicken-topped Caesar salad into the most ordered chicken item on restaurant menus -- even more than chicken wings and chicken fingers.  If you are a lover of Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, you are gonna fall in love with my sandwiches.

IMG_5577A bit about the chicken:   Experience has taught that chicken sandwiches made with boneless, skinless breast are usually a "miss", meaning they are typically overcooked, dry, and tough -- not even close to the juicy, tender protein we were expecting. While the boneless, skinless chicken tenderloin is indeed a step up in terms of tenderness, for me no matter how you cook it, the more flavorful dark-meat boneless, skinless chicken thigh is the ticket -- even if you manage to overcook it a bit, it's still naturally tender and juicy.

Hail to the grilled, juicy & tender chicken Caesar sandwich:

IMG_5572For 6 sandwiches:

6  boneless, skinless chicken-thigh paillards  (Note:  If grilled chicken tenderloins are more to your liking, feel free to make that substitution using the directions contained in this link.)

IMG_56011/2 - 3/4  cup homemade creamy Caesar dressing, or, your favorite store-bought brand (Note:  There is no compromise in using a store-bought bottle of your favorite creamy-Caesar dressing to make these sandwiches. Mine is made by Wish-Bone.   It's bold and tangy, and, it's got aged Parmesan cheese in it.  You'd be wise to give it a try!)

2  cups, torn into bite-sized pieces, romaine lettuce leaves

6  small Campari tomatoes, thinly-sliced 

1/2  of 1 red onion, thinly-sliced, slices cut into half-moons

additional creamy Caesar dressing, for for slathering and drizzling on each sandwich

finely-shredded Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on each sandwich

6  brioche hamburger/sandwich rolls, lightly-toasted or not, your choice

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing grill pan

IMG_5579 IMG_5579 IMG_5585 IMG_5585~Step 1.  Cover a large cutting board with plastic wrap.  Unravel/unroll the chicken thighs and place them, flat and slightly apart, atop the plastic. Cover with a second sheet of plastic.  Using a flat-sided meat mallet, pound to a thickness of 1/4"-1/2" -- do not pound them to smithereens. Remove and discard top layer of plastic.  Slice the red onion as directed and set aside.

IMG_5601 IMG_5601 IMG_5601 IMG_5601~Step 2.  Using a pastry brush, paint the top surface of each chicken-thigh paillard with a scant tablespoon of the creamy Caesar dressing.  FYI:  Since marination works as a favorizor, NOT, a tenderizer, there is no need to marinate the chicken thighs in dressing for any length of time.

IMG_5591 IMG_5591 IMG_5591 IMG_5591 IMG_5611 IMG_5611 IMG_5611~Step 3.  Spray the surface of a grill pan with no-stick cooking spray. Working in batches of 2-3 chicken thigh paillards at a time, so as not to overcrowd the grill pan, place the paillards, dressing-coated side down, in the grill pan.  Paint the new top-side surfaces (the second sides) of the paillards with a scant tablespoon of the creamy Caesar dressing.  Adjust heat to medium- medium-high.  Cook until paillards are deep golden on the first side, about 8-10 minutes.  Flip the paillards over and cook until deep golden on the second side and cooked through, 8-10 additional minutes.  Repeat this process with remaining paillards.  Don't have a grill pan?  Worry not, use a large nonstick skillet.

IMG_5620 IMG_5620 IMG_5620 IMG_5620 IMG_5627 IMG_5627 IMG_5627 IMG_5627~Step 4.  To assemble each sandwich, slather the bottom of a (toasted or untoasted) brioche hamburger-type roll with some creamy Caesar dressing.  Sprinkle a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese over the dressing, followed by a scattering of red onion.  Cover the onion pieces with a generous layer of romaine, then, place one grilled chicken-thigh pillared atop the lettuce.  Top with 2-3 slices of tomato and serve with additional dressing for drizzling on sandwiches at table side.

Serve perfectly grill-panned chicken Caesar sandwiches ASAP:

IMG_5640w/addition creamy Caesar dressing for drizzling on top:

IMG_5648Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad too:

IMG_5749Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich:  Recipe yields 6 sandwiches/6 servings.

Special Equipment List:  large cutting board; plastic wrap; flat-sided meat mallet; cutting board; chef's knife; pastry brush nonstick grill pan or skillet

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4c333c2200bCook's Note: Whether you're sending kids off to school, looking for something different to lunch on at the office, or yeah baby, a sandwich that will be the hit of your next tailgate party -- this sub has got your back.  It's on my short-list of most-popular house-made deli-style  submarine-type sandwiches.  It's easy-to-make and user-friendly too.  Chop and toss the ingredients together in a bowl, stuff 'em into a sub roll then go to town. It's akin to feasting on a tuna sub, only full of classic Caesar salad flavors and textures.  Try my ~ Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Subs ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


Great to hear from you again Rose Marie -- I've made these a few times now, cooking just 3-4 thighs at once -- the thighs have made equally as good sandwiches served cold (on the same freshly-assembled sandwich) a day or two after cooking them! ~ Mel.

These sandwiches will definitely be on my table very soon.
Thank you for the recipe Melanie. ❤️

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