Ever since I made this sandwich, I have been thinking about it constantly. I realize that sounds pretty pathetic, but there you have it. I was literally laying in bed last night before I went to sleep, thinking about all of the things I love about this sandwich. The smoky-sweet-spicy BBQ sauce, the gooey cheese, the crisp corn relish and the soft avocado...ah. It's just an amazing sandwich, with the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
These sandwiches are endlessly adaptable, and they can take as much or as little time as fits your lifestyle. Use a rotisserie chicken and they're ready in minutes. Or cook the chicken and BBQ sauce in a Crock pot and shred the chicken before serving. Either way, these sandwiches are absolutely delicious. For me, it's the incredible corn relish that just takes them over the top. The relish is even good on tortilla chips, as I can personally attest. I could eat it every single day!
Southwestern BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
corn relish adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking
For the chicken:
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
For the corn relish:
2 cups corn kernels (I used canned, and it was fine)
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sandwiches:
4 slices jalapeno havarti or pepperjack cheese
1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
4 sandwich buns
1. Preheat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until nearly crisp. Add onion and continue to cook until onion is softened. Add BBQ sauce, brown sugar, chipotle in adobo, and cumin. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Once the mixture is bubbling, stir in the chicken and reduce the heat and let simmer while you prepare the corn relish.
2. To make the relish, combine corn, jalapeno, roasted red pepper, and cilantro in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the honey and lime juice. Pour the lime juice mixture over the other ingredients and toss together. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
3. To make the sandwiches, top the bottom half of each bun with some of the BBQ chicken mixture. Top with a slice of cheese, a spoonful of the corn relish, and sliced avocado. Spread the top of the buns with mayonnaise and serve.