Saturday, January 13, 2018

"Mandy Chicken" Sandwiches

A local restaurant we like had these on their menu and I LOVED it so I decided to try my hand at a home version.

Jalapeño-Cheddar Focaccia Buns
Crispy Chicken
Honey Mustard Sauce
Bacon, cooked crisp
Pepper Jack Cheese
Jalapeño rings, pickled or fresh
baby spinach

*of course you can leave the Jalapeños out of both the buns and the toppings if you don't want the spiciness, my kids opted for no peppers, one opted for no cheese on his bun either.

Here we go:

Jalapeño-Cheddar Focaccia Buns:
1 cup very warm water
1 tsp sugar
4 tsp yeast
2 TB olive oil
1 egg

3 1⁄4 cups flour, divided
1 tsp salt

olive oil
sliced jalapeno pepper, I prefer fresh but you can use pickled if you like
sharp cheddar cheese

In a large bowl mix water, sugar and yeast, allow to sit until the yeast is nice and foamy.

Add in olive oil and egg. Mix well.

Add in 1 cup flour and salt and beat on medium  for 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and slowly work in about 2 more cups of the flour until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.
Place dough on a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour, until the dough is smooth.

Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Divide into 6 pieces and shape into buns, place on a greased baking sheet.

Lightly spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place over the buns. Cover with a clean dish towel.

Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400

With a chopstick, or similar tool, poke holes in the buns at even intervals ( about 1/4 inch deep, about 5-6 holes).

Drizzle about 1 tsp olive oil over each bun. 
Top with a few TB of shredded cheese and some slices of jalapeño.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

While they are baking you can make the Sauce:

Honey Mustard Sauce:
1/4 cup real mayo
1/4 cup honey
3 TB  dijon mustard
1 TB yellow mustard
2 tsp white vinegar

Mix all and allow to mingle for at least 15 minutes

You can get the chicken going while the buns are cooling:

Crispy Chicken:
6 pieces of chicken breast pounded to 1/2 inch thickness(I use about 3-4 oz chicken per burger)

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup water
2 tsp pepper sauce(more if you like them spicier!)

Mix all your dry ingredients in a shallow dish

Place water and pepper sauce in a separate dish.

Dip chicken in flour mixture, then into water mixture and back into flour mixture to coat well. Repeat will all pieces and set aside

Heat 1 cup oil in a pan and add chicken frying for 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown. I usually do 3 at a time. (you want a target of 165 degrees in the center)

I drain mine on a wire rack over paper towels, but you can do them directly on paper towels if you like.

Alternatively you could bake or broil these in place of frying for a reduced fat content!

When all the components are done slice the focaccia, spread with a generous amount of honey mustard sauce and some baby spinach. Place on a slice of chicken, some bacon, some extra jalapeño rings, top with pepper jack and broil a minute or two to melt the cheese, spread some more honey mustard on the top bun and place it on top!

Slice and enjoy!

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