BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese

I have to tell ya…I’m not a big fan of saucy stuff.

I don’t like pasta drowning in marinara. Fettucini with Alfredo sauce almost always makes me feel sick to my stomach. A piece of chicken smothered in BBQ sauce makes me want to cry. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that it makes me want to cry.

I can be a total drama queen when I want to. There was a particular time that I remember where I threw a pretty big fuss over a sandwich I got at a restaurant. This was a couple years ago…I’m actually kind of embarrassed to even think about this, but what the heck. I’ll tell you anyways.

So my parents and I went down to U of I to visit my sister for the day and we had a nice time as we always do. I love going down to the campus and feeling like I’m some big bad college kid. Anyways, we decided on going to the Barbecue joint that was in the area that was supposedly pretty good. The place had a very southern atmosphere and I really liked how it felt in there! It took me a bit to decide what I wanted to order and I finally picked the shredded BBQ chicken sandwich. We got to see them on the other side of the counter as they assembled our meals and I watched the girl pick out a nice fluffy bun, plop some chicken on top, and then it happened. I wanted to scream. My eyes literally started to water. I know, I’m weird. She took a big ‘ol ladle and poured barbecue sauce all over. Everywhere. I decided that I would just suck it up and take the sauce sandwich. I didn’t want to throw a fit. I’m a high schooler, I should be able to handle these things right?

Wrong.

I took a couple bites out of the sandwich when we sat down, but I just couldn’t do it. The bun was totally ruined (to me it was). It felt and tasted soggy from the monstrous amount of sauce. It felt like I was eating a sandwich of bread soaked in sauce with a teeny bit of chicken. Now, I told you I am definitely capable of being a drama queen. So my mom noticed I was having troubles getting myself to eat the sandwich. So we went up there, got another sandwich and this time I was SURE I ordered it with sauce on the side.

I don’t even know how I became like this. I mean when I was really little, I would take the bottle of Ranch dressing and just pour and pour and pour that stuff on my salads at dinner. It was usually Ranch soup with some lettuce. Thinking about it totally gives me the gags now, but back then it was just the norm for me. Funny how people’s palates change.

Anyways, I made this version of a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s kind of a hybrid of a grilled cheese and a panini. What’s going in here is some chicken that has been drizzled, yes just barely covered, with BBQ sauce. I still totally embrace BBQ sauce, but I’m more of a dipper than a smotherer. Then there’s some parmesan and mozzarella cheese, with a little bit of sautéed onion. It’s almost like my BBQ chicken pizza in sandwich form! This is probably my absolute favorite sandwich I have ever made. I can totally see myself making this on a weekly basis. It takes hardly any time to prepare and most of the ingredients are usually hanging around the house.

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese

2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat)

about 1/4 cup chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces*

about 3 Tablespoons barbecue sauce

about 1/4 of an onion, sautéed*

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

about 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons butter or oil

1 Tablespoon of bacon bits, optional

  1. Place cooked, cut up chicken in a small bowl and combine with barbecue sauce and sautéed onion. Set aside.
  2. Heat up skillet (if you have a panini press I recommend using that because it will save you a little mess because the chicken pieces can make flipping the sandwich a bit of a challenge) on stove on about medium heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place one piece of bread, buttered side down, on hot skillet. Turn heat down to low-medium. Place parmesan cheese on bread. Spoon chicken mixture on top of parmesan cheese. If you’re in a meaty kind of mood, throw in your bacon bits. Add mozzarella cheese. Top with final piece of bread, buttered side facing up and away from chicken and cheese. Turn the heat back up to about medium.
  3. About 2 minutes after the first piece of bread was laid down, or until the cheese starts melting a little bit, flip the sandwich over. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until desired doneness (<– apparently that IS a word). Keep flipping if you are not yet at your desired doneness. Enjoy!
* I cooked my chicken and sautéed the onions a day ahead to make preparation fast and easy.

Random Fact of the Day: Every cigarette smoked cuts at least five minutes of life on average, which is roughly the time it takes to smoke one cigarette.