Break out the poncho and don’t worry about wiping your mouth until you are finished because this sandwich is unbelievably delicious AND messy. Gruyère is an interesting cheese that I can’t seem to describe without using my 5 year old’s term for it, “funky”…in the most loving way possible. He has a point, it does smell funky when melted, but it melts up really gooey and delicious and works really well with the sweet onions and garlic of the aioli. I recommend recruiting an assistant for this one too because there is a lot of work to be done. Not really, I just hate caramelizing the stupid onions, so I make it seem like I am really busy at the grill so my wife takes responsibility for not burning the onions.
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Gruyère and Caramelized Onions
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- fresh, soft sandwich buns
- Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
Simple garlic aioli:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Did you see that part about grating the Gruyère? Just wanted to make sure, otherwise, you will still be trying to melt it while the chicken breasts turn to jerky.
- If present, trim all of that nasty fat off of the chicken breasts and then pound the fat part of the breasts down a little to make the entire chicken breast (almost) a uniform thickness.
- Preheat the grill to medium high.
- Get someone else to slice the onions and put them in charge of caramelizing them without burning (did I mention I hate this step?).
- Brush the chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil and season with a little Kosher salt and black pepper, then place on the grill.
- Combine all of the aioli ingredients and whip it. Whip it good. Seriously. You must whip it.
- Grill the chicken breasts over medium-high heat until cooked halfway through. Side note. Ever wonder why your chicken breasts stick to the grill? Because you mess with them too much! Let them cook through and they will “release” from the grill naturally. Here is what they will look like when it is time for the tongs:
- Flip the chicken breasts and pile the grated Gruyère on the already grilled side (now the “up” side). The cheese should now have just enough time to get all melty and delicious while the chicken finishes cooking.
- Once the cheese is melty (and funky) and an instant thermometer reads 165 in the middle of the chicken breast, you are done.
- Toast your buns while the breasts cool slightly and then build your sandwiches with a healthy amount of the caramelized onions and aioli.
- Serve with a roll of paper towels.