Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches


Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

Summer may be coming to a close, but thankfully, grilling season lingers on. This Labor Day weekend, reward your tastebuds with the tantalizing tropical flavors of Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches. The sweet and savory teriyaki glaze is a cinch to pull together, and a perfect complement to the freshly grilled pineapple on top.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches

Yield: 8 servings

For the teriyaki sauce:
1½ cups pineapple juice
1 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup sugar
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

For the sandwiches:
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise (for a total of eight pieces)
8 hamburger buns
mayonnaise to taste
lettuce leaves
red onion slices
8 pineapple rings

To make the teriyaki sauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger and mirin. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water and whisk it into the boiling mixture. Simmer until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool.

To make the sandwiches:
Pour half of the cooled teriyaki sauce over the chicken breasts. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Reserve the other half of the sauce.

Heat a grill over medium heat. Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with the remaining teriyaki sauce. Continue to grill until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. In addition, grill the pineapple slices for about 3 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with the sauce. Optional: Warm the buns on the grill for 3-5 minutes over indirect heat.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread mayonnaise onto the bottom half of the buns. Top with the lettuce, teriyaki chicken, red onion and pineapple slices. Top with the other half of the buns. Serve immediately.

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