Fire Day Friday: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Manchalapeno sauce

Never heard of Manchapeno sauce before?

Me either until I made it up the other day when I made up this summery grilled chicken sandwich inspired by the Kentucky Hot Brown. Manchapeno sauce is a white sauce powered by a fire roasted jalapeno pepper and the salty nutty taste of manchego cheese.

The result was decadent. If it wasn’t for the sound of the crispy bacon as I bit into this, I think I would have been able to hear my taste buds sing.
Open Faced Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Manchapeno Sauce
source: www.nibblemethis.com
3 large chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
Chicken Rub (see recipe)
3 sliced Italian bread
2 ea roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/4” pieces
6 slices bacon, cooked
Manchapeno Sauce (see recipe)
NMT Basic Chicken Rub
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp turbinado sugar
Manchapeno Sauce
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour, all purpose
1 cup milk
1 cup manchego cheese
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 jalapeno (red if possible), fire roasted, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp parsley, finely diced
Season chicken with the chicken rub. Feel free to substitute a purchased chicken rub if you have it on hand.
Make the “manchapeno sauce”. Melt the butter and saute garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and stir until well blended in (2-3 minutes), starting to form a roux.
Add in the milk and lightly simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cheese in small batches until all blended. Stir in the salt, pepper, jalapeno, and parsley. Keep warm on low, stirring occasionally.
Grill chicken over direct heat at 400f for 4 minutes. Flip can cook another 4 minutes.
Boneless thighs are thin and cook quick, keep an eye on them.
Flip again and cook 1-2 minutes. Flip last time and cook 1-2 minutes until chicken is an internal temp of 160f.
Toast both sides of the bread over the flames.
Top each piece of bread with a piece of chicken, slices of tomato, and 2 slices of bacon. Then ladle the sauce over the sandwich and serve immediately.
Note: I used a red jalapeno from our front yard. Fire roasting the pepper gives it a smokiness like a “quickie chipotle”. Feel free to use a regular jalapeno or any other fire roasted chili. If you don’t like heat, you could use a roasted red bell pepper instead.