Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.
Kaitlyn: I found this recipe online and immediately knew everyone would love it.
These grilled chicken bacon melt sandwiches are something we have never tried, but I’m so glad we did.
It combines our three favorite ingredients together to create something legendary.
We could come up with any excuse to add bacon to any of our recipes.
We chose to add corn on the cob for the side, but any side would be delicious with this.
Along with being delectable, it was also quite easy to make, and you probably already have all the ingredients to make it.
We added Colby Jack cheese, but cheddar would taste just as good.
The recipe didn’t note what to season the chicken with, so we decided to stick with the classic salt and pepper. You could add a pop of flavor by using jalapeno, but everyone thought the salt and pepper tasted fantastic on top.
Vanessa: This meal was a hands-down winner all around.
It reminds me of something we would order at a restaurant, but for a fraction of the price.
To make your money go further, purchase a value pack of chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally. I recommend freezing the extra pieces for a future use.
They will freeze faster, thaw faster and cook quicker and more evenly when they are thinner. I also recommend purchasing cheese by the block. Not only will it exclude some of the preservatives that bagged, pre-shredded cheese includes, but it is normally cheaper.
If you love bacon, feel free to add more pieces to each chicken breast.
We microwaved the bacon, so it shriveled smaller than we had anticipated.
To ensure that the pieces don’t shrink, consider baking them, but this adds time to the cooking process.
I recently read that a typical American eats about 18 pounds of bacon annually. To put that into perspective, that weight is slightly less than your average car tire.
If you’ve only ever heard of the bad health aspects of bacon, consider this: there are fewer calories in three slices of bacon than a can of soda. Additionally, coholine, a micronutrient in bacon, is key to healthy brain development in unborn babies.
We roasted the corn on the cob in the air fryer.
I don’t enjoy boiling anything. It takes forever, and I always end up making a mess. I was elated to find a way to quickly cook the cobs with very little mess, very little ingredients, but a lot of flavor and a bit of crispness. You could easily add other seasonings in addition to the salt and pepper. We kept it simple this time, but I may add garlic and peppercorn seasoning, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese the next time we try this.
Grilled chicken bacon melt sandwiches
2 chicken breasts (sliced in half for 4 total breasts)
Oil for spritzing
Salt and pepper
8 pieces of bacon, cooked
8 slices of cheddar or colby jack cheese
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 ciabatta rolls
Preheat a grill pan (or grill) and grill presses to medium heat.
Slice the chicken breasts in half to get four thinner chicken breasts. Spritz with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place chicken breasts on heated pan, cover with presses, and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
Slice a block of cheese into 8 slices (or more as desired).
When chicken breasts are cooked through, top each piece of chicken with two pieces of bacon and place two pieces of cheese on top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil until the cheese has melted.
Serve on a ciabatta roll with slices of red onion and your choice of sauce. (BBQ sauce tastes amazing on this.)
Roasted Corn on the Cob in an air fryer
Corn on the cob
Oil for spritzing
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the husk and silk from each ear of corn.
Spritz with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Air fry at 400 degrees for 14 minutes, then top with butter.