OPEN FACED GRILLED CHICKEN with MANCHAPENO SAUCE

Chris is right, these sandwiches are deceptively BIG so I ALWAYS cut them in half.  I’d never heard of Manchapeno sauce before. That is until Chris made it up inspired by the Kentucky Hot Brown. Manchapeno sauce is a white sauce powered by a fire roasted jalapeno pepper and the salty nutty taste of manchego cheese. Chris was also right that this sauce is DECADENT!

OPEN FACED GRILLED CHICKEN with MANCHAPENO SAUCE ala NIBBLE ME THIS
3 large chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
Chicken Rub (see below)
3 slices Italian bread (I usually omit)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/4” pieces
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
Manchapeno Sauce (see below)

CHICKEN RUB
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon turbinado sugar

MANCHAPENO SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Manchego cheese
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 red jalapeno (green if that’s all your can find), fire roasted, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons parsley, finely diced

  • Make the “manchapeno sauce”. Melt the butter and saute garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and stir until well blended in (2-3 minutes), starting to form a roux.
  • Add in the milk and lightly simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cheese in small batches until all blended.
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, jalapeno, and parsley.
  • Keep warm on low, stirring occasionally.
  • Season chicken with the chicken rub.
  • Grill chicken over direct heat at 400f for 4 minutes.
  • Flip can cook another 4 minutes. Boneless thighs are thin and cook quick, keep an eye on them.
  • Flip again and cook 1-2 minutes. Flip last time and cook 1-2 minutes until chicken is an internal temp of 160f.
  • Toast both sides of the bread over the flames.
  • Top each piece of bread with a piece of chicken, slices of tomato, and 2 slices of bacon.
  • Ladle the sauce over the sandwich and serve immediately.

NOTE: Fire roasting the pepper gives it a smokiness like a “quickie chipotle”.  If you don’t like heat, you could use a roasted red bell pepper instead.

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