A marinated, grilled chicken breast on a soft whole wheat bunwith spicy mayonnaise, American cheese, lettuce and a pepper. Fast food rarely gets better. And the homemade version of this Copycat Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich is PERFECTION.
Pound chicken breasts to ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a shallow marinating dish and cover with hot sauce. Let marinate at least 1 hour.
Cook marinated chicken on grill over medium heat. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and add a slice of American cheese to melt while you prepare other ingredients.
Mix together all ingredients for adobo mayonnaise and set aside.
Lightly coat inside of burger buns with plain mayonnaise. Place mayo side down in a skillet heated to medium heat. Cook until inside of buns is toasted golden brown.
Assemble the sandwiches. On bottom bun, stack a single piece of iceberg lettuce, a green chili (cut open for more surface area), a cooked chicken breast, and a tablespoon of adobo mayonnaise, then top with other half of bun. Enjoy!
For a more traditional Carl's Jr. flavor, you can substitute Teriyaki Sauce for the Garlic Hot Sauce.
Pound to even thickness. Chicken breasts are notoriously finicky for getting dry on the grill. Give yourself the best odds of a juicy chicken dinner by pounding it out to equal thickness; this will ensure the chicken cooks evenly.
Toast the buns. Yes, you'll have to dirty a pan to do it properly, but the minimal effort is 100% worth it.
Marinate chicken for at least an hour and up to overnight for optimal flavor.
But, don't over-marinate. Marination is great for adding a tasty surface for caramelization, but the acidity can cause proteins to unravel, which results in mushiness. Nobody wants that.