Juicy chicken thighs, topped with the most delicious sandwich fillings all stuffed between crisp Brioche buns!
This grilled chicken sandwich proves you don’t need to fry chicken in order to make a delicious sandwich. Plus it couldn’t be easier to make! Follow me…
Chicken Thigh Sandwich
For this sandwich we’re going with chicken thigh. Generally speaking thighs tend to be slightly juicier than breasts, but in reality it doesn’t make a huge difference if you use breast. What’s most important is you use boneless/skinless meat.
Pounding the Chicken
If you chuck chicken thighs straight in the pan you’ll find certain parts of it will dry out before the thicker parts are cooked through. I find pounding the chicken evens the meat out more efficiently, which in turn helps it cook through evenly. Pounding the chicken also helps tenderize the meat, meaning it comes out nice and soft once cooked!
To pound the chicken all you need is cling film and a rolling pin, mallet or even a heavy pan!
Process shots: lay chicken on chopping board (photo 1), rest over cling film (photo 2), pound until even thickness (photo 3), remove cling film (photo 4).
Chicken Sandwich Marinade
The chicken is the star of the show here, so it’s really important to prep it in the most delicious way possible. Whipping up a marinade is a really simple way to inject some flavour into the chicken. Here I’ve just used some really simple spices (smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, onion & garlic powder, salt & black pepper) to create a smoky & slightly spicy flavour coating.
To help bind the spices you’ll need some olive oil and lime juice. The oil will help prevent chicken from sticking as you fry it, whilst the lime juice helps tenderize the chicken and as it marinates.
How long to marinate the chicken for?
I find 4 hours+ works best (up to overnight). If you’re pushed for time even 15mins will do the trick, or just as you prep the other ingredients.
Process shots: add marinade ingredients to bowl (photo 1), whisk (photo 2), add chicken (photo 3), fully coat then cover and marinate (photo 4).
Grilled Chicken Thigh
I recommend using a griddle pan if you’ve got one, just so you can add some smoky grill marks without drying out the chicken. A heavy bottom pan or cast iron skillet will also work well. The main thing is getting a nice bit of char on both sides. This helps inject some smoky flavour into the chicken and enhance the flavour of the smoked paprika.
Room Temp Chicken
In all cases makes sure you take the chicken out of the fridge around 15mins before needed. Frying chicken straight from the fridge will cause it to seize up and go chewy. Allowing the chicken to come close to room temp will relax the meat and ensure it stays nice and juicy as it fries.
Process shots: lay chicken on hot griddle pan (photo 1), fry both sides until lightly charred and cooked through the centre (photo 2).
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
When it comes to sandwich you’re looking to pick fillings that compliment the chicken. Key ingredients here are bacon to help enhance those smoky tones in the chicken, some crispy onions to counteract the soft/juicy chicken, and some brioche buns to add sweetness and balance out the spice.
You can switch things up as you please, just keep in mind ‘does this add to the sandwich and present the chicken in its best form?’
Process shots: toast bun (photo 1), spread with chipotle mayo (photo 2), add lettuce (photo 3), add tomato (photo 4), add bacon (photo 5), add chicken (photo 6), add crispy onions (photo 7), add top bun (photo 8).
Serving a Grilled Chicken Sandwich
I usually serve these for dinner because they’re so hearty. They’re pretty filling by themselves but you could add a side if you fancy!
- Crisp/Chip Recommendation: Cheese and Onion flavour works nicely here as there’s no cheese in the sandwich.
- Side Recommendation: Here I’ve served with some Spicy Potato Wedges.
After another Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe? Check out my Cajun Chicken Sandwich!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this grilled chicken sandwich sandwich shall we?!
How to make the best Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Full Recipe & Video)
The ULTIMATE Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Rolling Pin/Mallet & Cling Film (for pounding chicken)
- Griddle Pan & Tongs (or cast iron skillet/regular frying pan)
- Large Shallow Bowl or Zip Lock Bag (for marinating)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- 4x 5oz / 150g boneless/skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- 1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper
- Pound Chicken: Lay a chicken thigh on your chopping board and cover with cling film (pinch around edges so no moisture escapes). Use a rolling pin or mallet to pound until even thickness, but not so thin it starts breaking apart. Repeat with remaining thighs.
- Marinade: In a shallow bowl or the base of a zip lock bag, use a fork to whisk together smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lime juice and olive oil. Add in chicken thighs and combine until they're all completely covered with the marinade. Marinate for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). If you're in a rush just rest at room temp as you prep the other ingredients.
- Grill Chicken: Bring chicken to room temp if marinated in the fridge, then add to a griddle pan over medium high heat. Fry until it begins to char (4-5mins), then flip and continue frying until charred on the second side and piping hot through the centre. Place to one side to rest.
- Sandwich: Stack the sandwich in the following order - bottom bun, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, chicken, crispy onions, top bun with more chipotle mayo spread on it. Enjoy!
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