Hot Enough For Ya?

My fiancé likes spicy food. Now, when I say spicy, I'm not talking about a little tangy BBQ sauce or spicy snack mix at a cocktail party. I'm talking about set your mouth on fire hot food. This is a man that takes joy in snacking on a chipotle pepper plucked from a can of its brethren soaked in adobo sauce. And while I'm not anywhere near as dedicated (insane?) as he is, I'm happy with spicy food and even happier to cater to his cravings now and then.

That's how this sandwich came into our lives. It began with a story of his from his bachelor days about how he would sometimes cook a chicken breast and toss about half a cup of hot sauce on it and make that the filling for a sandwich. It is a story that's shared often and it got me wondering how I might take the same basic idea and tweak it a bit for my tastes. The result is a spicy chicken sandwich with a slightly more complex sauce that's cooked into the chicken and things like cheese, greens and dressing added to the mix. I'm also a fan of a roll with sesame seeds on it, since it adds a little nutty flavor to the sandwich and a fun texture.

The verdict? It's a keeper! How do I enjoy mine? With a generous helping of creamy dressing on it and cooling sides to help put out the fire. How does he enjoy his? With extra hot sauce instead of dressing! What can I say? Some like it hot!

Tongue-On-Fire Chicken Sandwiches

  • 1 T. chili oil
  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, as desired
  • 1/4 c. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 T. finely minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 seeded sausage rolls, split
  • 1 small bunch of fresh greens
  • 4-6 slices cheddar cheese
  • Ranch or bleu cheese dressing, as needed or desired

Heat the chili oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the hot pan. Sear each side for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown. Season each side with salt and pepper, as desired.

While the chicken is searing, combine the Sriracha sauce, minced chipotle chiles, mayonnaise and brown sugar. If the resulting mixture is too thick to pour, add a little rice wine vinegar (if you don't want even more heat) or chili oil (if you want it hotter still) to give it a more pourable consistency.

When the chicken is seared on both sides, pour the sauce evenly over the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked through. If the sauce doesn't have a sticky glaze appearance on the chicken, broil the tops of the breasts for a few minutes or until the sauce on the chicken begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and slice into pieces well-suited to the sausage rolls you have on hand.

Arrange the chicken, greens (I used fresh radish greens, but there are many great options) and cheese in the sausage rolls and add dressing as desired before serving. These sandwiches are very spicy, so I highly recommend mild side dishes to help offset the heat. Enjoy!

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes