Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile, grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.
It’s amazing what a great marinade can do to plain ol’ chicken.
For instance, this chicken sandwich would be ho-hum without the flavor-packed marinade the chicken sat in for a few hours. However, now it is restaurant quality. Seriously. It was SO good.
Everyone in my family liked it and I even used the leftover grilled chicken to put on some pasta for lunch the next day. Don’t box yourself in to just using this delicious, gourmet chicken for sandwiches. It is very versatile!
Also, in case you didn’t know, marinated chicken makes a GREAT freezer meal. Just double the marinade, throw half of it in a zip-top bag along with the uncooked chicken and freeze it that way. You can also throw the bun and toppings in a separate freezer bag. When you thaw the chicken in the fridge, the meat will soak up the flavor from the marinade. Result: a super easy and delicious chicken dinner.Print
Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and broken in half
- 6 hamburger buns (preferably whole wheat)
- Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, mayonnaise, dijon mustard
- In a gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the oil, the vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger and paprika. Gently shake the bag to mix. Then set aside.
- Carefully cut the chicken breasts lengthwise through the center to create two thin halves out of each breast. If needed, pound down the thicker parts to create cutlets that are the same thickness (for even cooking).
- Place the six chicken cutlets in the bag with the marinade, seal the bag, and shake to ensure the meat is coated. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- Set in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours to marinate.
- Preheat a grill pan or grill over medium-high heat.
- Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray (if cooking on the stovetop), and then add the chicken to the pan or grill. Discard the marinade.
- Grill until there are prominent marks on the bottoms, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan or grill and grill for another 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. (Chicken is done when juices run clear or the internal temperature is 165° F.)
- To assemble the sandwiches, place 1 piece of chicken, 1 slice cheese, 1 piece of bacon (broken into three pieces), and optional toppings of choice on the buns.
Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze: Place chicken in the marinade, seal bag, and freeze immediately. Wrap cheese and cooked bacon separately in foil or plastic wrap and place in another gallon-sized freezer bag, along with the buns. Freeze all sandwich components together in the freezer.
To Prepare: Thaw all sandwich components in the refrigerator overnight. Or for a faster method (about 2-3 hours), submerge the sealed marinated chicken freezer bag in cool water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until cutlets are thawed. Cook according to directions, starting with Step 3.