I can’t get enough of grill time this summer. Grilling means Dan and I are cooking together, catching up on the news of our days while we wait for our food to develop perfect grill marks. We put some Willy Porter or Ben Folds on the boom box, pour some wine or strawberry vodka limeade and toss a ball for Max. We spread out on the new picnic table and fill our plates. There is no TV or internet or other distractions while we eat.
Our picnic table is bar-height, and fits perfectly in the corner of our deck. Dan helped build it as part of a baseball fundraiser last summer. We need benches (or bar stools?), but it is still nice to stand at the table for dinner. I’m also thinking it is the perfect standing desk height for days I want to work outside!
These chicken sandwiches are our favorite thing that we've grilled yet. If chives aren't in season, you could also use shallots or garlic in the aioli.
The grilling paste and aioli are slightly adapted from The Gardener and the Grill.
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, sliced thinly so it melts quickly
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or storebought
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Sea salt, to taste
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 4 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns
- 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 handful arugula
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Spread the onions on a piece of aluminum foil and evenly distribute the butter over them. Crimp up the foil to make a packet, and pour in the wine. Pinch so that the packet is open just at the top.
- Heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Put the onion packet on the grill and cook until the wine has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.
- Whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
- Brush both sides of the chicken breasts with the Italian Parmesan grilling paste. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side, brushing with the grilling paste again when you flip the chicken. If you want to check the temperature to make sure the chicken is done, the thermometer should read between 160 and 165F. Remove to a plate and allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Near the end of the chicken grilling time, slice the buns in half and brush the cut sides with melted butter. Grill for 1-3 minutes, until grill marks begin to form. Remove from the heat.
- Place one chicken breast on each bun bottom. Spread some aioli on top of the chicken. Top with a few leaves of arugula and some grilled onions. Spread a little more aioli on the top half of the bun and sandwich it all together.