I don’t know about anyone else who has kids, but I have come to learn at least one or two good places to eat near pretty much every park and museum we go to in the city that isn’t in walking distance from home. Sure, I sometimes make lunch to take with us and at least snacks for the kids. But it’s often nice to get something freshly made when we’re out. This “Jammin Jamaican” chicken grilled cheese is inspired by a sandwich at one of those go-to places. It’s the sandwich my husband and I nearly always have when we are there, it’s that good. However I have to say, I think this version is even better.
I think one of the reasons we go for the sandwich this is based on is that it has chilis in it. With my kids at least, that means I am actually going to get to eat it rather than have someone prefer mine to theirs. Plus, I often make mild curries (like this fragrant chicken curry) at home to accommodate them so it’s a nice excuse to eat something spicier when we are out and I can get them something else. Then for me, mango is always a winner. As is a creative grilled cheese, of course (such as my ‘green Greek’ grilled cheese or romesco and bacon grilled cheese).
The main changes I made were using chicken tenders, marinated and grilled, rather than sliced smoked turkey. While I was grilling, I decided to add to the Caribbean flavors with some grilled pineapple as well. I’ve made a kind of mango ginger jam to go inside as well, but don’t be put off, it’s really quick and easy to make. And the flavors are so, so good. Then there’s some pepperjack cheese and jalepenos to top it all off.
This chicken grilled cheese is an incredibly delicious mixture of sweet and spicy. There’s plenty of grilled flavor and just enough ooey gooey cheese to make it comforting as well. It might be all a bit yellow to look at, but believe me, this sandwich has layers of tastiness. It’s such a tasty twist on the grilled cheese theme, that I knew I had to share it for today’s grilled cheese share in honor of grilled cheese month. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
- Mango jam -
- ½ cup fresh mango, or frozen, defrosted - chopped small
- 2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 tbsp water
- Chicken -
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1tsp honey
- ¼tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 3 chicken breast tenders (approx 0.75lb/340g)
- Remaining ingredients -
- 2 slices fresh pineapple
- 6 slices of pickled jalapenos (or more/less to taste)
- 4 slices pepperjack cheese
- 4 slices bread- I used honey wheat sourdough
- First make the quick mango jam. Place the mango, crystalized ginger and water in a small pan over a medium-low heat. Warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, for around 5min until soft, well combined and slightly dried then remove from the heat. This can be made ahead of time.
- Mix together the allspice, thyme, ginger, garlic, honey, cayenne and lime juice into a paste in a dish. Add the chicken breast fillets and smear all over with the paste. Allow to marinate a couple minutes as you grill pineapple.
- Heat a grill or griddle pan and grill the pineapple slices on both sides for around 3min a side until they have good grill marks but not burnt.
- Grill the chicken for around the same amount of time until cooked through. Set aside a minute then slice across the grain.
- Make up sandwiches by drizzling the outside of the sandwiches with a little olive oil and rub in. On the opposite side of two slices, spread on some mango-ginger jam. Top with the sliced chicken, a pineapple slice on each then a few slices of jalepeno, followed by two slices of the pepperjack cheese on each. Top with remaining slices of bread.
- Grill the sandwiches on both sides, either on grill/griddle pan or in a skillet, turning carefully mid-way for around 3min a side until gently grilled and cheese melted. If using a griddle or skillet, it's often best to cover with a lid to keep in heat and weigh down while grilling. If on an outside grill, you may want to wrap in foil to grill.
It’s the start of Grilled Cheese Month, so we thought we’d give you lots of inspiration! Hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking – see all the delicious grilled cheese ideas being shared today:
- Apple Cheddar Bacon Grilled Cheese by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Apple Gouda Grilled Cheese by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Down the Grilled Cheese Rabbit Hole by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Grilled Cheddar, Onion and Tomato Sandwich by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Italian Inside-Out Grilled Cheese by Palatable Pastime
- Polish Reuben Grilled Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Quadruple Grilled Cheese by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Roast Beef, Brie and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese by Family Around the Table
- Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich by All that’s Jas
- “The Jammin’ Jamaican” Chicken Grilled Cheese by Caroline’s Cooking
- Tish’s Tasty Turkey Grilled Cheese Sliders by Cooking With Carlee