This honey chipotle chicken sandwich is the perfect combination of smokey, a little spicy, and sweet. Great for any barbecue cookout or weeknight meal, they're so easy to prepare. Your family will definitely want seconds!
Chipotle Powder vs Chili Powder
They may sound and look the same, but these two spices are quite different. Chili powder is typically a mix or combination of spices. If you're following a migraine diet, this can occasionally get you into trouble. I've found a few brands of chili powder that actually contain triggers like onion and cocoa. With chipotle powder, you're only getting dried, smoked jalapeño peppers.
In my opinion, this makes this type of chili powder much more spicy as it's not combined with any other ingredients. Because of this, chipotle powder shares the same heat profile as jalapeño peppers. It's also different in flavor because it contains that extra smokiness. I like to use Morton & Bassett but there are many brands that are good, like Frontier.
There's no smoke flavor added to chipotle powder. The process begins with jalapeños that are grilled over an enclosed wood fire for a few hours and then dried. I love a super smoky flavor to my chipotle chicken sandwiches and like to add a little smoked paprika to the mix as well.
A Versatile Recipe
These honey chipotle chicken breasts aren't just good for serving as a sandwich. There are many other ways you can serve them!
- For a paleo meal, add chicken to a lettuce wrap. Top with radishes, green onion, and a spicy mayo sauce.
- On a gluten free bun like Against the Grain's Original Rolls
- Sliced and used on a salad topped with Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing. Use corn, black beans, shallots, and crushed tortilla chips to keep with a southwestern-inspired dish.
- In tortillas as tacos. Top with shredded iceburg lettuce, corn, and radishes for an extra crunch. Serve with a side of Salsa Verde.
Grilled Chicken Tips
I favor air chilled chicken for the flavor and how well it grills. Regular chickens are passed through a water bath, which means they can absorb a lot of the water they pass through. Kinda gross, right? Air chilled passes through different cooling chambers instead.
If you can find thin cut chicken breasts, I prefer to use those. You could also slice a thick chicken breast in half to about ½"-¾" thickness OR pound it between two sheets of wax paper or in a plastic bag so that it's even thickness. I find they cook faster, and also get a nice char on them, which I love.
While you may like a nice char in spots, you still don't want them to completely burn. It's best to cook chicken breasts over indirect heat, about medium temperature. For a charcoal grill, this means you would only have coals cover half your grill.
Marinating time can vary, but should be for at least 30 minutes for a decent flavor. Do not marinate your chicken breasts for more than 24 hours. I find between 6 to 8 hours is a nice sweet spot if you can remember to do it before work.
Honey Chipotle Chicken Sandwich
Honey Chipotle Chicken Breasts
- 1 ¼-1/2 pounds thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or chicken breasts pounded to ½-3/4" thickness
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large buns, lightly toasted if desired *See post for gluten free recommendation
- fresh cucumber, sliced into coins
- fresh red radish, sliced into coins
- Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise *For migraine-friendly mayo, see my Pantry Staples post
- sriracha sauce to taste *For migraine-friendly srirachas, see my Pantry Staples post
- In a large dish or ziploc bag, combine the chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Add honey and olive oil and mix till combined. Add chicken and thoroughly coat both sides in the spice mixture. Cover (if using a large dish) and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Prep your grill to medium heat. If using coals, place them on one side of the grill. Cook chicken off the indirect heat for about 8-10 minutes (flip over at about the 5 minute mark or until grill marks form) until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and cover with tin foil to rest.
- Prepare the sandwiches. Lightly toast the buns, if you'd like. Coat both sides with spicy mayo, slices of radish, cucumber, and shallots. Top with grilled chicken breasts and lettuce. Serve warm.
- I prefer to use air-chilled chicken for better flavor
- Make sure your chicken is grilled off direct heat unless you're using a grill pan. Chicken should register a temperature of 165 degrees to be cooked thoroughly.
- If you're not following a low tyramine migraine diet, feel free to add avocado slices.
- See my Pantry Staples post for migraine-friendly recommendations for mayo and sriracha sauce.
- If gluten free or paleo, try this in lettuce wraps or on top of a salad with corn, black beans, and radish.