This is the story of the:
Last Friday night I went to Chili’s with a friend for dinner. I was flipping through the menu and landed on something I really wanted. A Bacon Avocado Chicken Sandwich served on a pretzel roll. In case you didn’t know I have a serious love affair with all things soft and pretzel-like. I looked up the nutrition and the sandwich is listed as 1,600 calories! I don’t know if that includes fries (it didn’t specify) but even if it does, the sandwich alone is still 1,200-1,300 calories. YIKES!
The massive calorie count plus the fact that it is Lent and I am not eating meat on Fridays meant I did not order that sandwich. I got the mango-chile tilapia with rice and steamed broccoli that was delicious and filling and much better for me. I kept thinking about that sandwich though and decided I could make it home for a lot fewer calories. As Barney from HIMYM says “Challenge Accepted!”
I wrote down everything listed on the Chili’s menu, went shopping, and tackled the sandwich this past Sunday night. It was a HUGE success.
The sandwich is pretty simple: grilled chicken breast, provolone cheese, bacon, cooked onion, tomato, avocado slices, and pesto mayo on a pretzel roll.
I cooked the chicken in my brand new grill pan which I totally love now. Look at the pretty grill marks starting to show! It cooked the chicken perfectly. When it was done I put the cheese on top and turned the burner off, letting the residual heat keep it warm and melt the cheese.
I cooked the bacon strips in a skillet and then cooked the onions in some of the bacon fat and let them caramelize a little and get some really good flavor.
I sliced up the tomato and avocado.
I toasted the pretzel rolls in my toaster oven (at 250 degrees for 5-10 minutes to get them warm and just a little toasted).
I mixed up some light mayo and some high quality pesto.
Then came building the sandwich. The pesto mayo on the top and bottom. Then layered from bottom to top: tomato, chicken, cheese, bacon, onions, and avocado.
I’m pretty sure this is the best sandwich I’ve had IN. MY. LIFE. It tasted like it came from a restaurant. It was big and creamy and decadent-tasting and messy (always the sign of a good meal!).
I counted it all up and my sandwich came out at about 800-850 calories. Still a lot but way less than 1,200 or 1,600 hundred! Plus my calorie count is for the big, decadent sandwich. You could easily cut the calorie count down even more by using half the provolone (I used a big slice), a smaller chicken breast (mine was 7 oz), and a smaller pretzel roll or a pretzel bun.
I highly recommend you go make this sandwich right now. I promise you won’t regret it!
Have you ever made a recipe you saw on a restaurant menu?