Yucatan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Source: Photo and recipe courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board
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Main Ingredient: Poultry
Menu Part: Sandwich/Wrap
Cuisine Type: Mexican
Serves: 12

Chicken is the top protein choice for sandwiches in fast-casual restaurants, according to Technomic data. Both chefs and consumers enjoy chicken for its versatility, healthy halo and price point. It also adapts very well to global flavors, as evidenced in this tasty take on a Mexican torta from Chop Bar. The chicken is marinated in a mix of assorted chilies and garlic and the marinade also enhances the mayonnaise spread on the rolls. Traditional queso fresco adds authenticity.

Ingredients

Marinade:
4 Serrano chilies, stem removed
4 small shallots, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup achiote paste
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground ancho chile
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground chipotle chile
1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup rice bran oil or other neutral oil
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Sandwich:
12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
24 torpedo or other long rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
Unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tomatoes, sliced
6 avocados, sliced
3 cups crumbled queso fresco

Steps

1.      Prepare marinade: Finely chop Serranos, shallots, and garlic in food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process to combine.

2.      Stir 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of  mixture into mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3.      Coat chicken breasts with remaining marinade; let sit at room temperature for at least 30 min., or refrigerate up to 4 hr.

4.      Let chicken come to room temperature before grilling. Wipe away any excess marinade and season with salt. Grill chicken over direct medium heat for 8 to 12 minutes, turning and rotating chicken a few times.

5.      Spread butter on cut sides of rolls. Grill, cut-side down, for 1 to 2 min., or until well marked.

6.      Spread mayonnaise on both sides of grilled rolls. Assemble the sandwich, layering chicken, tomato, and avocado slices. Sprinkle with queso fresco.