Chicken Philly Melts (on pretzel buns!)

Chicken. Philly. Melt. On. A. Pretzel. Bun.  If you don't know what a pretzel bun is, just imagine the delicious love child that would result if a hamburger bun and a soft pretzel were to get it on.  And for this sandwich, then imagine juicy grilled chicken with sauteed peppers and onions, all held together by cheesy goodness.  Yes please!

If it just happens to be November, and it just happens to get dark at about 5:00pm, and you just happen to have to grill your chicken by lantern on the back deck, I will not judge you.  Sometimes we must go to great lengths to realize aforementioned cheesy goodness on a pretzel bun.

I was lucky enough to find pretzel buns on sale at my local grocery store, but these sandwiches would be just as good (okay maybe not just as good - but still good) on any kind of roll.

I served them with simple Old Bay Red Skinned potatoes that don't even require a recipe.  Cut up some red potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and salt, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until fork tender, turning once during cooking.


Chicken Philly Melts

Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients
1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breast cut into strips
1 Tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp (divided)
1 red bell pepper
1 small white onion
2 slices American cheese
4 pretzel buns or rolls of choice
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 Tbsp mayonnaise
Lettuce, tomato, or toppings of choice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Instructions

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  While you wait for it to heat up, season your chicken tenders.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Once the grill is heated, grill the tenders for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Chop your pepper and onion into strips.  Over medium-high heat, saute pepper and onion with about 2 tsp olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Roughly chop your chicken, and once the peppers and onions have started to lose their crunch (crisp tender - should take only a few minutes), add the chicken to the pan.

If you plan to broil your sandwiches to melt the pepper jack (highly recommended), preheat your oven or toaster oven to "broil" and lay your buns out on a cookie sheet while you do the next step.

Listen very carefully to this next part. Tear up two slices of American cheese and add it to the skillet.  Yes, I am referring to pasteurized prepared cheese product.  Yes, I understand that this does not meet the definition of actual cheese.  And we all need to be okay with that.  Because it makes these sandwiches really melty and good.

Once the American Cheese has melted, divide the chicken mixture across the four "bottoms," top each with a piece of pepper jack cheese, and leave the tops off, bottoms up (so they get toasty).  Place sandwiches under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, being careful not to burn them.

Top with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, or any toppings of your choice.  Join in my love for the pretzel bun.