11 April, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pineapple Sandwich: How A Pizza Inspired a Sandwich

Someone in my family loves "Hawaiian pizza" and honestly it just bores me to tears with its processed little bits of ham and canned pineapple...until I met a pizza in Lubbock, Texas. I was fully expecting and had come to terms with having a mediocre meal at some chain restaurant and then West Crust Pizza happened. They had a veggie pizza on their menu but were serving a special this night with portabello mushrooms, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh pineapple. I think that we must have been the first to order this dish because I heard the cashier reading the ingredients off the special's board to the chef as he prepared our pizza. And when the waiter put this delightful pizza in front of us he said "this is a special we are trying so if you don't like it please let us know and we will make you something else". We did not ask him to make us something else. I loved the taste of the sweet pineapple with the heat of the jalapenos together and that is a the long story on how a pizza inspired a sandwich.

I haven't done the "food dance" in awhile. This sandwich made me do the "food dance". Yeah, you know that little jig of the head or swing of the hips you do while proclaiming "oooweee" after you take a bite of something that you really like. Right, like you've never done it.

Serves 4
4-5 cups of cabbage slaw mix
1 or 2 jalapenos, finely diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 chicken breasts (I used thinly sliced breasts)
BBQ sauce* (recipe to make your own)
grapeseed oil
salt and pepper
one fresh pineapple cut into rings, Click here for instructions
whole grain ciabatta buns (or bread of your choice)

Mix cabbage slaw, diced jalapeno, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator. Rub chicken breast with grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and BBQ sauce. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side (will vary by chicken breast) and remove from heat when cooked. While chicken is grilling throw on the pineapple slices for about 3 minutes on each side and toast bread on the grill. Assemble sandwich with one or two pineapple rings, chicken breast and top with lots of coleslaw.

*If you don't want to take the time to make your own BBQ sauce but don't want all the sugar, look for Kraft Original Light. It has 3 grams of sugar compared to 12-15 grams in most BBQ sauces.