May 22 2014
Chicken breasts aren’t the best part of the bird in my opinion – especially the boneless, skinless variety. They are pretty tasteless, can dry out super quick, and just aren’t all that exciting. But sometimes, only chicken breasts will do. And sometimes, you even need them to be boneless and skinless, such as when you’re making this sandwich. Because you’ll be using the most finicky part of the chicken, you’ll need to brine the breasts for a little bit first – but not too long, or else you’ll only contribute to the drying out of the chicken. About a half hour or so is all you need.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $11.60
4 strips of bacon $1.20
1/2 cup ranch-style dressing $0.99
4 slices Cheddar cheese $1.25
1/2 tomato, thinly sliced $0.14
12 cups of water (for the brine) Free!
1 cup salt, plus a couple pinches $0.19
1/2 cup sugar $0.09
2 bay leaves $0.32
4 hamburger buns $0.99
Total cost $16.78
Cost per serving $4.19
1.) Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a large resealable bag. Using a meat mallet, pound them out slightly, just until each one is of even width. Place water, salt, sugar, and bay leaves in a very large bowl or pot. Add chicken breasts and brine for about 30 minutes. When finished brining, remove chicken breasts, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.
2.) While chicken is brining, place bacon strips in a skillet set over medium heat and cook, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes, just until bacon is very crispy and cooked through. Cut each piece of bacon in two, place on paper towels to drain and set aside.
3.) When chicken breasts are ready to be cooked, heat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Season chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper and place them on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5 minutes on the other side. The pounding of the meat and the fact that it’s done on a grill (which is much faster than stovetop,) this is really all the chicken should need but be sure that it’s fully cooked through before taking it off the grill. Turn the grill off and allow chicken to rest for just a few minutes.
4.) While the chicken is resting, prepare and assemble the sandwiches. Spread a bit of the ranch dressing on both sides of the bun, and then to just the top of the bun add tomato (I like to season the tomato slices with a bit of salt and pepper,) the cheddar cheese slices, and two pieces of bacon (so that each sandwich has one whole slice of bacon.) Place the chicken breast on the other side of the bun, close up the sandwich, and cut each in half if desired.
5.) Serve and enjoy!