Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Smoky Grilled Chicken and Bacon Sandwich

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The Smoky Grilled Chicken and Bacon Sandwich is a fantastic blend of smoky chicken, salty bacon, and a rich beer cheese sauce. Topped with a fresh tomato and crisp lettuce, these flavors are incredible together.

When I saw my friend Chris share on his blog, Nibble Me This, a few years ago, I immediately put the ingredients on my grocery list. I made this for the first time just a few days later and we've been very happily making this Smoky Grilled Chicken and Bacon Sandwich for the past 5 years.

This sandwich tastes every bit as delicious as it looks. I know this recipe looks like a whole lot of steps, but it is worth it. It is so completely worth it. I have never enjoyed a warm sandwich (can I call it a burger?) more and the beer cheese sauce takes it right over the top.

COOK'S NOTE: I make this sandwich both with and without the cheese sauce, depending on my mood and what I have on hand. If we're skipping the cheese sauce, I will usually melt a slice of cheese over the chicken in the last minute or two of grilling. However, that isn't required. The sandwich is delicious without any cheese at all.

Grilled Smokey Chicken and Bacon Sandwich
Yield: 4 servings
(printable recipe)

Chicken Marinade
recipe from Real Grilling

1 cup dark Mexican beer, I used Negro Modelo
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic, this was approximately 3 large cloves
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 large or 6 small boneless skinless chicken thighs

Beer Cheese Sauce
recipe from Chris with Nibble Me This

2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
2 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 cup pale ale craft brew, I used Sierra Nevada
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon roasted jalapeno, diced (this added great flavor, with very little heat)
1/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon worcestershire

Sandwich Ingredients:
8 strips of hickory smoked bacon, buy the good stuff, this is worth it.
4 thick slices of tomato (optional)
Lettuce (optional)
4 rolls (onion rolls would be great), I used some of the artisan dough I had in the fridge to make rolls and they were far too chewy. I'll make softer hamburger rolls next time.

Mix the marinade and add the chicken. Let this marinate in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours. Allow this to rest on the counter-top for at least an hour to warm slightly before grilling.

Cook the bacon, drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

Sear the jalapeƱo on the grill until blackened. I cut the pepper in half, so that it would lay flat on the grill. Place the blackened pepper in a zip close bag and close tightly. After 5 minutes, you should be able to run off the blackened portions and discard that and the seeds. Finely dice the rest of the pepper.

In a small saute pan over medium heat, warm the bacon grease and saute the onion with it until it just starts to turn tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens. This should only take a few minutes.

Add the smoked paprika, white pepper and salt. Whisk in the beer. For a moment it will look like your sauce fell apart, but keep stirring constantly for another minute or so and it will smooth out again. Add the chicken stock and keep stirring.

Bring to a very low simmer and slowly add the cheese in small amounts at a time. Add the jalapeno, half and half and worcestershire sauce. Cover and keep warm over low heat. Stirring occasionally to maintain consistency.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill directly over medium high heat (400 degrees) for 6 minutes a side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Remove chicken from the grill. Butter and toast the insides of your rolls.

Build each sandwich with a thigh, two pieces of bacon, cheese sauce, lettuce, and tomato if desired. Enjoy!

Here are some more chicken sandwiches you might like:
Key West Grilled Chicken Sandwiches by Iowa Girl Eats
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches by Foodie with Family
Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Baja Chicken Sandwiches by Dinners Dishes and Desserts
Chicken Carbonara Sandwich by A Dash of Sanity


  1. Oh this looks incredible and so satisfying! Love the smokiness and bacon

  2. This looks amazing! My mouth is watering.

  3. Wow!! Now this is making me go to a Subway to grab a footlong Sandwich!!Looks Delish!!

  4. I feel like grabbing this delicious cheeseburger thru the monitor. Looks so delicious!

  5. You're really making this hard! I love chicken, and beer and cheese - pretty cool combination!

  6. This blog is so beautiful. I love that it is not cluttered with ads (I will still love it if you decide to go there) and the photos are so lovely and the header is FABULOUS. I just wish I could bring you through the monitor to come cook for me or jump through the monitor to hang out and eat at your casa. Either way, your little corner of the interwebs makes me want to be a better cook!

  7. This is soooo one of my most favorite blogs.
    I'm telling Mom what you
    Surgery is tomorrow at 10:00
    I will be so glad for it to be over with.
    Then I'll have more time to read...cook..and comment.

  8. I've never described a burger as decadent before but that's how this one looks to me! Yum!! ~ Courtney

  9. Holy cow. This looks amazing. I need to make this like soon!

  10. This is my kind of burger!!! Oh I love it! Your picture looks like I could just pick it right up out of my computer screen and take a bite!

  11. Beer Cheese sauce! That's an interesting sauce!

  12. This picture is making me hungry. Wow. Yum.

  13. Wow...this looks delish! Actually both separate recipes sound wonderful by themselves..when you put everything together - I can' even imagine. Yum!

  14. Wow! An incredible meal - sounds and looks delicious - well worth the steps it takes. I'm going to print this out now!
    Mary x

  15. such a sophisticated sauce, I really like all the smoky elements of this "burger"--just right for summer eats!

  16. Nicely done! Love how the cheese looks on this.. YUM!

  17. Would it be wrong to just lap up the beer cheese sauce with the crispy bacon? Because that is exactly what I want to do with this recipe. WOW!

  18. that looks amazing! i've never really craved a burger before but that's making me think twice. the beer cheese sauce just sounds too good to be true.

  19. Wow, you rocked this! Now I want to make it all over again:)

  20. but those buns look so promising. Truth be told that is what drew me in.

  21. the beer/cheese sauce is so delicious! I think even my non cheese eating guys will enjoy it with tonight's dinner

  22. I've been adding lots of grilled recipes to the meal plan now that the weather is heating up. This is perfect!

  23. I've pinned! It's so amazing! Thanks!