The Hearthstone (a smoky chicken and grilled cheese sandwich) [project #265]



The Hearthstone is the name chosen to submit this sandwich into a contest. The Hearthstone is a smoked tea marinaded then grilled chicken breast sandwich with homemade tomato bacon jam, basil, bacon, butterkäse and gouda cheeses. I created the recipe in dreaming up what to submit to a competition and stumbled upon on of my favourite sandwiches ever. I was amazed with the food, and I made it. It was a weird feeling to make up a concept and then be surprised with how much I liked it.


For the marinade:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. smoked spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 clove garlic, mined
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lapsang souchong (pine smoked black tea), chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

For the tomato-bacon jam:

p.265.2 hearthstone

  • 1 lb. yellow tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb. red tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/3 lb. bacon, diced

For the sandwich:

  • 2 oz. butterkäse, sliced
  • 2 oz. gouda, sliced
  • sour dough bread
  • basil leaf, picked off the stem
  • 2 pieces crispy fried bacon,


To make the Jam:

1. In large pot heat the tomatoes with a pinch of kosher salt at medium and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.

2. Towards the end of the tomato cook time fry the diced bacon over medium to medium-high heat until crisp.

3. Add the Bacon and lime juice to the tomatoes and stir, lightly mashing together until well combined. From here you may can this or store in a spring close jar refrigerated and use it as a condiment on anything/everything. Fresh bread, bruschetta, in salad; you’ll find it quite a pleasant addition to any condiment collection.


To make the marinade:

Combine the oil, tea, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, vinegars, liquid smoke and whisk. Add chicken and marinade covered and refrigerated overnight (6-8 hours) or, if you have the technology, vacuum marinate.


To make the sandwich:

1. Grill the chicken on medium-high heat until cooked through. If you have one large chicken breast, once it is cooked, slice it lengthwise into two pieces.

2. Pre toast the bread slices in over or toaster to ensure that you don’t loose all of your cheese by the time the bread is nice and toasty.

3. On one side of bread spread a generous tablespoon of the tomato-bacon jam. On top of this layer a couple of slices of gouda, place the basil on top of this, 3 big leaves or 5-6 smaller leaves. Place the cooked bacon on top of the basil, and then the butterkäse and finally the chicken. Top with another pre-toasted slice of bread and panini press until cheese is gooey and tempts you to reach your hand into the hot grill just to snag a bite.


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