Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese: This is not your mama’s sandwich

photo by: Richard Gwin

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

No one in my house is a big fan of sandwiches. Traditional sandwiches are boring, cold, sometimes slimy, and reminiscent of grade school lunch boxes. So when I say we’re having sandwiches for dinner, you better believe it’s not gonna be two slices of white bread with cheap cold cuts and American cheese slapped in the middle. When I do sandwiches I mean serious business, and they’re every bit as exciting and mouthwatering as a full-fledged dinner party meal.

Usually, I let my cravings guide me. I love a good grilled cheese sandwich and am prone to doctor even those up with fancier cheeses, roasted peppers, spinach, bacon, you name it. Recently, I had a craving for spicy chicken — namely, Buffalo chicken. But I didn’t want to fry anything, and baked chicken sounded boring, so I endeavored to gussy up a grilled cheese with a bit of spicy chicken and some other choice ingredients. The result is the stuff of really good dreams.

I used good bread, bacon, avocado, good cheese and a smear of Buffalo cream cheese to create a spicy chicken grilled cheese you’ll want to write home about.

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

2 boneless chicken breasts
8 slices good bread (I used a garlic ciabatta, sliced vertically)
4 oz. cream cheese
3 teaspoons Frank’s RedHot Buffalo wing sauce, divided
4 strips of bacon
1 avocado
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices Colby cheese

1. Soften the cream cheese and mix with 1 teaspoon Frank’s RedHot sauce. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the chicken breasts on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and drizzle the remaining Frank’s RedHot over them before putting them in the oven for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

3. When the chicken is cooked, dice it up into small pieces.

4. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a skillet (I use cast iron) and begin assembly of the sandwiches.

5. On one piece of bread, lay one piece of cheese. Layer on a few pieces of chicken, some diced avocado, a piece of bacon (break it in half to make it fit nicely) and another piece of cheese. Smear the top piece of bread with the Buffalo cream cheese.

6. Grill over medium-low heat (so as to melt the cheese but not burn the bread) on each side for about two minutes, until golden brown. I used the back of a spatula to “smash” the sandwich, sort of panini-style.

7. This is not health food, but it’s full of richness, texture and flavor. Spicy, creamy, bacon-y, what more could you want in a sandwich? It hardly qualifies for that title. I’d say it’s more of a “toasted dream.”