SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FRIED CHICKEN

These are boneless skinless chicken thighs!

So, how can I be sold bold as to call it Southern California Fried Chicken? Well, first…I was raised in Southern California. And, it’s my name for boneless skinless chicken thighs fried crisp and moist with a crunchy coating of seasoned flour and buttermilk. And here’s how I do it.

To start, the method is important…but not as important as the seasoning. The flour must be seasoned enough. See below.

After trimming some of the excess fat from boneless skinless thighs, I marinate them for at least 2 hours in buttermilk. Then, I season the flour with…wait for it…some Ranch Seasoning. Not the dressing mix, but the seasoning mix in the plastic jar. It is an incredibly versatile seasoning that works well with a lot of recipes. Is it cheating? Who cares. It produces a wonderfully seasoned coating for the chicken. No egg in this recipe. Just the buttermilk, then heavily flour…the back into the buttermilk…then into the flour again. Then, let them sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge. A classic southern fried chicken method that is the most basic. One of the keys: properly seasoning the flour. Besides the Ranch seasoning, I add my salt-free Southwest seasoning (recipe below) and some lemon pepper. No salt added! The Ranch takes care of that. I do sprinkle on a bit of coarse Kosher salt right out of the fryer. And, yes…they are deep fried!!!

Ingredients:

For the southwest seasoning:

  • In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp garlic powder (not garlic salt), 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chile powder, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Mix well and put aside. You will have more than you need.

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4), excess fat trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Ranch seasoning mix
  • 2 tsp southwest seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

  • Place the chicken thighs in a small baking dish and cover with 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Turn the thighs to make sure they are completely coated. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Place the flour, cornstarch, and the seasonings in a large mixing bow and mix welll. Remove the thighs from the buttermilk and dredge the chicken in the flour…then back into the buttermilk. Then back into the flour. Make sure the pieces are completely coated in the flour. Place them on a parchment lined plate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat about 2 inches or canola oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Use an oil or candy thermometer.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the thighs for about 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from the oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Place the cooked thighs on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven while you fry the remainder. DO NOT OVER-CROWD THE POT or they will stick together and not cook properly.

PAN ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST

A Pan Roasted Bone in Skin on Chicken Breast with a white wine shallot and garlic reduction pan sauce…one of our favorites. It’s easy…it’s relatively light…and comes together quickly. I served it tonight with Orzo Rice Pilaf (recipe below).

Where I live, it’s getting harder and harder to fine bone in skin on breasts. Bug your grocer about it if they don’t have them, they just might respond…ours did. You can muddle through with bone in skin on thighs (lol), but boneless breasts are just too dry. Ideally, I would use an “airline breast” (bone in skin on with the wing attached. Again, cant find them. I have had to just carve up a whole chicken for them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone in skin on chicken breasts or airline breasts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Avocado, canola, or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon

For the pilaf:

  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup Orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Make sure the chicken breasts are dry (use a paper towel). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place an oven proof skillet over medium high high and add 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is shimmering, place the breasts skin side down in the skillet. Use a saucepan or press to weigh down the breast and let them cook for 4-5 minutes until the skin is deep golden brown. Turn the breasts over and place the skillet in the oven. Let the breasts roast for about 18-25 minutes until the internal temperature is 160 degrees (time depend on the size of your breasts).
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and place the breasts on a plate loosely covered with foil. Set aside.
  • Place the skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp of butter. Add the shallots and the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and let it simmer while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer another 3 minutes to reduce a little.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of cold butter and whisk into the sauce. Add 2 tbsp of chopped parsley. Turn off the heat and continue to whisk for about 1 minute. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • To serve, place some pilaf on a plate and lean one of the breasts on it. Spoon over the pan sauce and garnish with parsley.

For the pilaf:

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium low heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the rice and the orzo and saute, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the orzo begins to brown slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the stock and the soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer gently for about 15 minute, stirring occasionally with a fork.
  • Add 2 tbsp of chopped parsley and stir with a fork. Cover loosely until ready to use.

PROPER CLASSIC BUFFALO WINGS

One of the stories behind Buffalo Wings is pretty simple. A late night, post-drinking college crowd came into the Ancho Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964 and wanted something to eat…you know, they had the munchies. Chicken wings were cheap and used only for stocks back then. So the owner of the bar (also mother of one of the drinking crowd) fried up some wings and dredged them in a vinegar based hot sauce…added some Blue cheese dressing…and, the rest is history.

There a cajillion different Buffalo/Hot wing recipes out there, most of them trying to embellish on this original recipe, mainly with seasoning, breading, or something else that strays from the more historically accepted original recipe. One of the things these other recipes do is season the wings before frying. Truth be told…this is pretty much useless as any seasoning on the wings is cooked off during the deep frying. The seasoning should happen right out of the fryer. Hence, here is my take on how Buffalo Wings were made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Full disclosure, one of my favorite ways to make these wings is coating them with a little flour, cornstarch, and baking powder….let them sit over night on a wire rack in the fridge uncovered…then bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning once…then toss in the same sauce. They come out almost as crispy as these deep fried ones.

Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken wing segments, (6 drumettes, 6 flats)
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup Franks’s Louisiana Hot sauce, or Crystal Hot sauce.
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s style seasoning salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Blue cheese dressing for serving (recipe below)
  • Celery sticks for serving

Directions:

  • Completely dry the wings with a paper towel.
  • To a small saucepan over low heat, add the hot sauce, butter, and seasoning salt. Let the butter melt then stir everything together. Keep warm until ready to use.
  • Place enough canola oil in a pan for frying have 2 inch of oil. Heat to 375 degrees.
  • When the oil is hot, add the wings without crowing and fry for 7-10 minutes depending on how big the wings are. You are still shooting for 165 degree internal temperature like any chicken. Remove from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon and place on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven while you fry the remainder of the wings.
  • Place the cooked wings in a large stainless steel bowl and pours the hot sauce over the wings. Toss or stir with tongs until completely coated with the sauce.
  • Serve 4-6 segments on a small plate with a ramekin of blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

CREAMY GARLIC MUSHROOM CHICKEN

This recipe uses bone in skin on chicken thighs, but you can use boneless thighs or boneless breasts. I just think you get more flavor with the bone in thighs.

I served it over what is called Hainanese Chicken Rice. I will include the recipe below. Brown rice or steamed white rice work just as well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skin on bone in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 3 ounces white mushrooms 1/4 inch slice
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • Hainanese Chicken rice (recipe below)

Directions:

  • Trim any excess fat from the thighs. Pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat with olive oil Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Use this to season with thighs on both sides. Place on a wire rack over a 1/4 sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Immediately place the thighs in the skillet skin side down. Let the thighs cook for about 3 minutes, until golden brown on the first side. Turn them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the thighs back to the wire rack. Place in the oven and roast about 35 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 165 degrees.
  • While the thighs are cooking, drain most of the old oil from the skillet and add 2 tsp olive oil. Turn the heat to medium low and add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sherry, turn up the heat, add the thyme sprigs, and bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes to reduce the sherry by half. Add the stock and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the cream. Let it all simmer for another 4-5 minutes as the cream reduces by half. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard.
  • Place cooked rice on a platter then top with the cooked thighs. Spoon over some of garlic mushroom sauce and place the remainder of the sauce in a bowl at the table.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

  • Place 1 minced garlic clove and a 1 inch cube of peeled fresh ginger and 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 1 tsp sesame oil (optional) in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
  • Add 1 cup of jasmine or basmati rice, stir, and bring back to a simmer. Lower the heat as far down as you can, cover, and cook about 12 minutes, stirring half way through. When the rice is done, turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, a place the lid ajar until ready to serve. Season with salt and white pepper.
  • There are dozens of Hainanese rice recipes, this is just the way I make it.

GROUND CHICKEN BURGER

I am not a fan of turkey burgers! I like turkey, but it just doesn’t float my boat. I love chicken…so, I decided to grind my own chicken.

Whether it’s ground chicken or ground turkey, it will be much leaner than a standard 80/20. Ground beef patty. I used boneless chicken thighs. And, it does require some marinating to add flavor. Plus, I ground it in a food processor with a little bread crumbs and an egg. The recipe is below. Also, no medium rare burger here…165 degrees to properly and safely cook it.

It was surprisingly flavorful and tender! Certainly a different profile than GB, but really good…and not as fatty for sure.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, 3-4 small thighs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 brioche hamburger buns
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1 thin sliced tomato
  • Sliced onion (opt.)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pan spray

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, add the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and spice mix.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a large sealable freezer bag then pour over the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag, and massage the marinade all over the chicken so it all gets coated. Place on a plate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade and place in a food processor. Pulse until the chicken is completely ground. Remove the blade then using gloved hands, scoop out 1/3 lb patties. Using patty paper or parchment paper on a plate, press into 1/2 thick patties the size of your buns with a small divot in the center. Season lightly with Kosher salt and pepper. Note: they will not shrink like ground beef patties.
  • Mix together the mayonnaise and the Dijon in a small bowl.
  • Heat a flat griddle over medum high heat. Spray generously with pan spray. When the griddle is very hot, add the chicken patties and cook about 3 minutes then flip over and cook another 3 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Lightly coat the buns with butter and griddle to golden brown on another flat griddle or large skillet.
  • Spread the mayo/Dijon mix on the top of the bun. Place a cooked patty on the bottom bun. Add some shredded lettuce to the patty then the sliced tomatoes. Add the top bun and serve.

CALIFORNIA CHICKEN CLUB

I guess the avocado makes this a “California Chicken Club”. No matter why. Just take sliced roasted chicken breast, toasted sourdough bread, shredded iceberg, crispy bacon, ripe tomato, and a ripe Haas avocado…oh, and lots of mayonnaise…that’s it. Yo certainly can muddle it up with cheese and onions and other junk. But we don’t! The only question is should you have it open-faced or not? I prefer open-faced with a knife and fork as this is one messy thing to pick ip and stuff in your mouth?

Ingredients:

  • Roasted chicken breast, sliced (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 4 slices thin sliced sourdough bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole mayonnaise like Best Foods or Hellmann’s
  • 2 slices bacon cut in half, cooked crispy
  • 1 large vine ripe tomato, thin sliced
  • 1 large ripe Haas avocado, peeled, sliced
  • Iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Cut the bacon slices in half and cook until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  • Slice the chicken breast against the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Leave the skin on if you have it. Season with salt and pepper
  • Peel and cut the avocado in half. Slice 1/4 inch. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly butter both sides of the bread and grill on a flat griddle until golden.
  • Slather mayonnaise on all 4 slices of bread.
  • Thinly shred the iceberg lettuce.
  • Slice the tomatoes into 6 thin slices. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Build the sandwich in this order from the bottom up:
  • Bread
  • Mayo
  • Chicken
  • Lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Mayo
  • Bread

SWEDISH MEATBALLS

Sure, it’s all about the meatballs…but, it’s also about the gravy.

I’m Danish and my Danish grandparents made Frikadeller (Danish meatballs) quite often when they came to visit. This recipe is similar, but closer to classic Swedish meatballs in Sweden. You’ll find many different recipes, but I settled on this one a long time ago.

I used ground pork, ground beef, and ground veal. Substitute ground chicken for the ground veal as ground veal can be hard to find.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup yellow onions, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 ounces leans ground beef
  • 4 ounces ground prok
  • 8 ounces ground veal or ground chicken
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

For the gravy:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For serving:

  • Chopped parsley
  • Lingonberry preserves

Directions:

  • To the stand mixer bowl, add the bread crumbs and 1 cup cream. Mix with paddle for 30 seconds. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the minced onion and saute for 4-5 minuets until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool.
  • To the mixer bowl, add the rest of the meatball ingredients including the onions and garlic. Using the paddle on low speed, mix for about 2-3 minutes until totally combined. Cover the bowl with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for all the flavors to combine.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a small scoop or melon baller, portion out the meatballs the size of a ping pong ball and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. When all the meatballs are portioned, using your hand dipped in water, mold them into smooth ovals and return to the parchment paper. Do not smash them together, leave them a little loose so they remain tender. Bake for about 15 minutes, longer if you made the meatballs bigger. Remove from there sheet pan to a bowl and keep warm in a large bowl.
  • For the gravy, heat the butter in a small saucepan. Then add the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring. Whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer, letting it thicken. Add the Worcestershire and stir in. Add the cream and heat through. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Add most of the gravy to the meatballs in the bowl and gently fold in. Save a little bit of the gravy for plating.
  • Plate with more gravy and chopped parsley. Serve with buttered egg noodles or butter parsley potatoes…and lingonberry preserves.

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN STOCK AND SOUP

O.K., so you did the rotisserie chicken thing last night. Please tell me you didn’t throw away all those incredible roasted bones! Assuming, you did not, let’s make a quick, easy chicken stock. Also, I suggest you try to reserve all the other bones as well after all the meat has been dispensed with.

You also will need about 1 cup of the cooked chicken meat, preferably breast meat, for the soup. I also used some leftover cooked white rice, but you can add egg noodles or other pasta like orzo, or nothing.

What you put in your stock is open to interpretation. I used onions, celery, a carrot, and, since I had one in the fridge I needed to use for something. Also, turnips and turnips work well for stock. Keep in mind this is a very small batch of stock, you’ll get about 4 cups, you adjust the amount of ingredients for more than one chicken.

What’s so great about making your own stock? You control everything, especially the sodium content. It will need seasoning when it’s done.

Ingredients:

For the stock:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken carcass and bones
  • 1 medium carrot, rough chop
  • 1 celery rib, rough chop
  • 1/2 onion, peeled, rough chop
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, rough chop
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 2-3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole pepper corns

For the chicken soup:

  • 3-4 cups of stock
  • 1/2 cup onions, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 inch piece off fresh ginger, sliced into 3 pieces
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • Kosher salt and white or black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast meat, diced
  • 1 cup cooked white rice or cooked pasta of choice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tbsp sliced green onions

Directions:

  • Place all the bones in a large pot. Add the rough chop carrot, onion, celery, leek, garlic, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover with cold water by about 1 inch, about 8 cups. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Do not add salt at this point. Using a ladle, skim some of the foam if desired, it just makes for a more refined stock.
  • When done cooking, strain the stock through a fine metal sieve. You should get about 4 cups. Transfer the stock to a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, thyme, ginger, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the ginger and the thyme. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white or black pepper.
  • Add the cooked chicken and cooked rice and heat through for about 2 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary. Serve with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions. I added a few drop of sesame oil and cholula or Tabasco.

INSTANTPOT HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN THIGHS

These flavorful, Asian-inspired chicken thighs cook in about 30 minutes in the Instantpot. You can braise them on the stove or in the oven in about 1 1/2 hours.

Also, use boneless thighs if you want…I think the skin on bone in thighs give out much more flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 bone in skin on bone in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil + more for sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 6 ounce can of pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sliced green onions

Directions:

  • Dry the thighs with paper towels. Season with Kosher salt and white pepper. Heat your Instantpot on Saute and add canola oil. When the oil is hot, brown the thighs about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and stir for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey and bring to a simmer. Return the thighs back to the pot. Cancel Saute and press Pressure for 30 minutes. Let it release naturally.
  • Remove the thighs to a plate and keep warm.
  • Strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and stir into the simmering liquid. Let it simmer and start to thicken. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp of sesame oil and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Serve the thighs over steamed white rice and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, and chopped parsley.

CALIFORNIA CHICKEN SANDWICH

Back in the 70’s, sometimes this was called a Monterey Chicken Sandwich (with Monterey Jack cheese). This has Swiss cheese and is just as good. We used a marinated and grilled boneless breast with some great grill pan marks. The marinade hack? A good bottled Italian dressing..works great! Besides a grilled chicken breast, bacon, and sliced Swiss or Jack cheese…the condiments are up to you. Today, we had some chopped Romaine, sliced avocado, and a garlic mayonnaise. If you can’t grill the chicken on a BBQ, use a hot grill pan on the stove like we did. Just get some good char marks on it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless chicken breast, butterflied in half
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Italian dressing
  • Canola oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 slices of Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Shredded iceberg
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • 2 brioche buns

For the garlic mayo:

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Kosher and black pepper

Directions:

  • Place your butterflied breast halves between some plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick. Place in a sealable freezer bag and add 1/4 cup of Italian dressing. Massage it around to coat all the chicken. Seal, place on a plate and in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • For the garlic mayonnaise, place all the mayo ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • When ready to cook, remove the breasts from the marinade (discard the marinade), remove most of the marinade from the chicken, place on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium high heat. Coat lightly with canola oil. When the pan is screaming hot, place the breasts on the pan, top with a press, and let cook about 2 minutes without moving. Turn over, and cook another 1 minutes. Lay a slice of cheese on the chicken and let cook another 1 minute or so, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  • Lightly butter the bun halves and place on a flat griddle until golden brown.
  • Spread some garlic mayo on all the bun sides.
  • Lay some shredded lettuce on the bottom bun. Place a chicken breast on the lettuce. Lay a couple tomato slices on the cheese then the top bun. You can place the avocado slices on the sandwich or serve on the side.