Have you noticed that Zach and I totally splurged this past weekend!? By splurge, I mean eating an incredible amount of sandwiches. You should all know by now how obsessive I can get. I was feeling extra spunky in the kitchen and was whipping up all sorts of different kinds of recipes. We literally had sandwiches two nights in a row. Saturday we had these adorable little sliders loaded with cheesy, roast beefy goodness. Sunday I served these oven-fried chicken sandwiches with beer-pickled jalapeños and spicy honey mustard. It was a close contest between the two. Both were equally delish…both I will most DEFINITELY be making again. Those would be Zach’s orders. Not mine. ;)
This sandwich is all about the layers. A crusty pretzel roll is topped with a homemade spicy honey mustard, beer-pickled jalapenos, oven-fried chicken and ooey gooey melty havarti cheese. It’s kind of like your classic Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, but homemade and elevated just a few notches. The chicken is baked not fried, and you can’t even tell. I swear to you, the crust is just to…die…for. Literally…the best part. It also makes you feel a little bit better about eating it. Am I right?
The beer-pickled jalapeños are by far my favorite part about this sandwich. The pickling takes a bit of the heat away, but increases the sweetness. They are incredibly addicting.
You have been warned.
You may notice below that there are more IMPERIAL red ales than your standard red ales. Red ales are not a style of beer that I gravitate towards. It has to be really, really amazing for me to love it. I tend to enjoy the imperial versions just a little bit more. Although bold in flavor, this sandwich honestly tastes a little bit lighter than expected. I would normally go with an IPA for spicy dishes, but I think a red ale really compliments the acidity from the beer-pickled jalapeños.
Here are some examples of red ales / amber ales that I’m obsessed with for these sandwiches:
3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (breasts cut in half lengthwise)
4 cups corn flake crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
6 slices havarti cheese
6 pretzel rolls
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup beer (I used a red ale)
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
5-6 large jalapeños, sliced
Spicy Honey Mustard
1/2 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
salt and black pepper (to taste)
In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk and beer together. Add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 12 hours.
In a medium saucepan, add the vinegar, beer, honey, salt and garlic. Heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the honey and salt are dissolved and the alcohol from the beer has cooked out. Remove from heat and add the jalapeños. Set aside to pickle for 30-35 minutes. The jalapeños will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, honey, worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, foil or silicone baking mats. Spray the baking sheets with a non-stick. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
In a shallow bowl, combine the corn flake crumbs, flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne. Taking each piece of chicken, dredge in the corn flake mixture. Pressing the mixture down so that it adheres. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheets.
Spray the chicken with a non-stick canola oil and drizzle with the melted butter. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and spray with non-stick canola oil once again. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through and the crust is crisp and crunchy.
Remove from heat and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Preheat your broiler to high heat. Place the bottoms of your rolls on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread a tablespoon of the mustard on the bottom rolls. Top with a piece of chicken and a slice of havarti. Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Top the chicken with beer-pickled jalapeños and serve immediately! Enjoy!