BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

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Makes 4 big sandwiches
Adapted from: Rachel Ray
Originally from July 2013 on my old blog

I was looking for a great summer recipe, and came across this one. It seemed simple enough, and who doesn’t love barbecue? I wasn’t disappointed: the barbecue sauce was tangy and sweet and had a lot of bite to it all at the same time, the chicken was tender and together, they made a delicious sandwich. Also, you can save the extra chicken, refrigerate it, and eat it the next day.

I made this with a green apple coleslaw, which I put on the sandwich, and it was really delicious! The coleslaw uses no mayonnaise, and has a lot of tartness to it, which offsets the sweetness and heaviness of the chicken. If you want the recipe for the coleslaw, you can find it on my blog.


For the chicken:

  • 2 small, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • ½ orange, sliced (I didn’t have one so I just skipped it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt

For the BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 shots burbon (optional… I didn’t use it)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

To serve:

  • 4 rolls, split (I used Kaiser rolls, but you could also use brioche buns or whatever else you want).
  • a few cups of coleslaw, to top the chicken (I suggest my green apple coleslaw recipe, which is posted on my blog, because it is much lighter than coleslaw made with mayonnaise, and its tartness makes for good contrast). If you don’t like coleslaw on your sandwiches, you could either serve it on the side, or just skip it.
  • pickle slices (optional)

Make the chicken: Place the chicken in a medium pot and add all the other chicken ingredients to the pot. Pour enough water into the pot to cover all the ingredients. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, and cook at a low rolling boil for 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board (do not drain the chicken cooking liquid!). Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat, using two forks.

Strain the chicken cooking liquid, discarding all the vegetables and bay leaf. Return the broth to the pot, bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce: in a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup of the reducing poaching liquid to the BBQ sauce and let the sauce simmer lightly for 2 or 3 minutes.

If you want, now would be a good time to toast your rolls. I toasted mine in a 375 F degree oven, but you could grill yours, or just stick them in a toaster.

Add the shredded chicken to the BBQ sauce and stir well, until all the chicken is coated in the sauce. If the chicken isn’t hot yet, stir it around in the pot until it is at serving temperature.

Pile the BBQ chicken on the roll bottoms, top with some coleslaw (if using) and finish off with a few slices of pickles. Set roll tops in place and serve.

Happy dining!!


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