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.
- 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 jalapeño 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!
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.
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