Have you had enough of my chicken recipes? Hopefully not! I am constantly on the hunt for interesting chicken recipes. Chicken is lean, has relatively low phosphorus and fills me up. But…let’s be honest. Chicken is super boring. I know I’m not alone in that thought because apparently, “chicken” is the #1 searched term on foodnetwork.com. People like me struggle to find recipes that make chicken more appealing and to keep it fresh. I mean really, how many baked chicken dishes can one person eat?
So this is a recipe that I found while trying to discover new ways to cook chicken. I love a good sandwich or burger, but substituting chicken for beef or even turkey usually makes it dry and uninteresting…but not this recipe! Why? Because it’s got a load of delicious toppings! When you pile amazing ingredients like pineapple and grilled red onion, the chicken suddenly takes a backseat and you’re left with just a really super tasty sandwich, which happens to be made with chicken. It’s genius.
A couple of notes about this recipe:
I like to make my own BBQ sauce. That way, I can control what goes into it and eliminate the salt/additives that most bottled sauces have. I’ll include a separate note below with that recipe.
This recipe is great if you have an outdoor grill, but if you don’t, I highly recommend purchasing an indoor grill pan. This is what I use and it comes out great (I live in NYC, so it’s basically impossible to grill outdoors unless you want to get arrested). You can cook everything on this handy pan so it’s only one thing to clean.
I like my chicken really thin, so I generally pound the chicken breasts so they’re all the same size and thinner than they come in the package. Then I cut them in sandwich-side pieces (usually in half). This also significantly reduces the cook time.
PREP TIME: 30 MIN COOK TIME: 15 MIN TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (see note #3 above, you may want to pound them thinner and cut them in half)
1/3 cup barbecue sauce** Recipe to follow
1 can pineapple rings + juice
5 tbsp soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp Sriracha/hot sauce (optional, more to taste)
4 English Muffins or King’s Hawaiian Rolls
1 red onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 cups greens
Jackie’s BBQ Sauce
1 Cup Salt-Free Heinz Ketchup
1 8 oz Can Salt-Free Tomato Sauce
½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Agave Syrup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp ground mustard
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Optional: Pinch of McCormick’s Salt-Free BBQ Seasoning (or other brand)
¼ cup water
Directions for BBQ Sauce: Really easy, just mix all of these things together. If it’s too thick, feel free to add a little extra water.
Directions for Burgers:
If you have time and plan in advance: mix together the barbeque sauce, pineapple juice, soy sauce/coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and sriracha. Marinate the chicken (that was pounded thinner) between 30 minutes to overnight.
If you don’t have time (as I usually don’t), mix this same list of ingredients and set aside.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade letting excess drip off. Spray the pineapple slices with cooking spray. Grill the chicken and pineapple for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. For thinner chicken, cook less time on each side.
If the chicken wasn’t marinading, spread the barbeque sauce/pineapple juice mixture on top of the chicken while it’s cooking. Make sure to coat both sides.
Serve layered on the hamburger roll with sliced red onion, fresh jalapeno, greens, grilled pineapple, and a drizzle of the homemade barbecue sauce.
Confession: I grew up as a red meat vegetarian, and while I’ve started to eat meat over the last 10 years, I really do not like to cook it. I’m scared of it for some reason. I like to eat meat medium rare, even slightly rare, but I’m always afraid that I’m going to poison myself, so I overcook it. And then it turns out rubbery. I’m more comfortable with chicken and I know when it’s done. It feels like red meat is open to interpretation…you can call it done whenever you want. As a side note, if anyone has any tips on how to get over this completely irrational fear and cook meat properly, please let me know.
As such, I have fewer red meat recipes than chicken, turkey or fish. However, I discovered this one when I was eating a version of a steak sandwich at a restaurant and realized it might be do-able. There are 4 reasons why this is an incredible recipe:
I can successfully cook it, as the meat gets cooked all the way through (I can handle that).
It reminds me of home. I’m from Philly where, traditionally, we eat cheesesteaks. A cheesesteak is similar to a steak sandwich, except it has grilled onions and either provolone or ‘whiz (see HERE). They are AMAZING. They’re cooked to perfection and the cheese gets all melty and the bread is crispy…ok, this is making me hungry. No one does it better than Philly. After I was diagnosed with CKD, I found this restaurant that had a steak sandwich, which is similar to a cheesesteak but doesn’t have the cheese. It had the perfectly toasted bread, steak, grilled onions and this amazing horseradish sauce. It wasn’t a cheesesteak but it was close enough and I was hooked.
This is good for lunch or for dinner. Right now, I’m eating it with a cup of soup and calling it dinner.
The sauce: This uses a version of my all-time favorite sauce from My Redheaded Burger Fantasy recipe. Just like the original, I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this sauce is.
All in all, this recipe creates the most fantastic sandwich, whether you’re from Philly or not.
Original Recipe: Courtesy of Westville Restaurant (although there are recipes for this…see HERE for The Barefoot Contessa version)
Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie
Servings: 2-4, depending on how large your rolls are
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
NOTE: I’ve also done this recipe with a ribeye, hanger or flank steak – they all work, as long as they’re around 1 inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt-Free Steak Seasoning
Olive oil & canola oil
2 yellow onions, sliced very thin (if you have a mandolin, use it)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
4 Hawaiian rolls (I like King’s Hawaiian. If you can’t find these, any white rolls will do)
Optional: 1/2 cup baby arugula
Optional: 1/2 cup button mushrooms
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/3 cup sour cream
NOTE/TIP FOR THE STEAK:
The key to this recipe is slicing the steak paper thin. I do this by first freezing the steak for an hour before I’m ready to use it. Take it out of the freezer and make really thin slices. Set aside those pieces and allow them to come back to room temperature and then proceed below.
Season the steak with salt-free steak seasoning and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add the steak. Cook all the way through and remove from the pan.
Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally. If using mushrooms, add these in at the same time as the onions.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.
Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.
I have a slight obsession with redheaded men. Not really because I’m attracted to them, but more because I think they’re going extinct. I mean seriously, how many natural red-haired men are there (besides Price Harry, Ed Sheeran, Ron Howard, Seth Green, and maybe an odd TV star like Damian Lewis)? I am on the hunt to find more and as a side note, please feel free to comment if you can think of more! I need to add to my list.
That aside, I also love Bobby Flay. Not just because he’s a redheaded man but because I think he’s charismatic, funny (have you heard him on Z100?) and I love all of his restaurants. Living in New York, Bobby Flay is a staple here and since I have an affinity of all things spicy, his restaurants are always on my list. I also watch all of his shows on the Food Network to get inspiration.
Here he is making my favorite burger:
Ahh, my favorite burger…it’s called the Crunchburger, which he sells at Bobby’s Burger Palace. Upon eating this burger for the first time, I had an epiphany – a little crunch makes any dish, particularly burgers, so much better. When I began with my CKD diet, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to eat this burger, since A.) it had cheese on it and B.) the best part of the burger was the chips. But alas, after much experimentation, I’ve found a perfect substitute that makes it CKD friendly. At that, I give you my favorite redheaded burger with a CKD spin.
Original Recipe Found HERE (courtesy of the incomparable Bobby Flay)
4 handfuls of salt-free corn tortilla chips (Note: I am obsessed with Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips, which you can find here. It’s just corn and oil.)
Optional for CKD Diets: If you want cheese on your burgers, you can buy rice cheese or Daiya cheese slices; however, please make sure you read the labels. These cheeses do have additives (including phosphates) and salt, so use in moderation.)
Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of agave syrup or honey (optional – only if you want to tone down the spice of the horseradish)
Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with pepper.
Heat the oil in the pan or griddle over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Cook the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey. Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.
If using cheese, add to the tops of the burgers during the last minute of cooking and top with a basting cover, close the grill cover, or tent the burgers with aluminum foil to melt the cheese.
Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and, if desired, top with tomato, lettuce, onion, and a dollop of horseradish mustard mayonnaise. Pile on the corn chips, top with the bun tops, and serve immediately.
Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise:
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and horseradish (and agave syrup or honey if desired) in a small bowl and season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce can be prepared 1 day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.
*One note on this sauce: I absolutely LOVE this sauce and use it all the time. I put it on sandwiches, fish, and sometimes I make it into a dressing by adding oil. If you are not a horseradish fan, you probably won’t use this, but I’ve found the addition of something sweet like the honey or agave syrup helps to balance out that strong flavor nicely.