Pulled Chicken. It’s summer and that means one thing in terms of dinner.
It’s just American, right? Sweet Corn. Chicken. Steak. Ribs. Pulled Pork. Hot Dogs. Brats. Veggie Burgers (sorry this is the wrong post for you if you are vegetarian, but feel free to substitute the chicken with jack fruit and use the the same techniques!).
Barbeque is as American as the star spangled banner. Like ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles. Or, the Olson twins in their movies that take place around the world. Barbecue is as American as Country Music and white picket fences (okay, maybe those aren’t restricted to only America… but you get what I’m saying).
So it only makes sense that this post comes out on Father’s Day, which is also a very American holiday. P.S. in case you forgot it’s father’s day and need a really quick fix – use this recipe. He will never know it slipped your mind and if you have all the ingredients (which you likely will, minus the meat, or burger buns) it can be ready in as little as 30 minutes.
First – start with your chicken. You’ve got options here!
If you want to grill
Get the grill going first thing, season the chicken breasts or thighs with salt, pepper and oil, and grill them off. Once done, set aside to rest and let them cool slightly so that you can pull them without burning your finger tips off.
If you want to roast
If you don’t want to grill and you prefer oven roasting. Take two large chicken breasts and coat in a neutral oil (like Avocado) top with a touch of salt and pepper and bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes or until done.
You can speed up either cooking process slightly by butterflying the chicken breasts prior to cooking, to make them thinner.
If you don’t want to cook chicken at all (I told ya, you had options)
Get a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket. Try and get a classic one (forget the crazy herbs or extra spices… you’re going to make it full of flavor yourself). Hide the box – know one ever has to know you didn’t make the chicken.
Second – get the sauce going!
The sauce will take you about 20 minutes total to make and it’s mostly hands off. First you’ll make the spice mix and then you’ll add the liquid and reduce by half. Second, finish cooking your chicken and letting it cool, and prep your burger buns.
Third – the sides!
If you’re already grilling or roasting for this pulled chicken sandwich, corn is a great addition to this dinner. Butter it, grill it and top with leftover BBQ sauce.
If you don’t want to touch something hot, other than a sauté pan, go for blistered beans or peas. Simply get your skillet really hot (really hot) and add in just enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of your pan. Add in the beans in a single layer. Shake them every three-four minutes until well browned on most sides. Once done remove from the pan immediately. Do this step as your sauce is reducing.
Burger Buns. You can toast them on the grill, in a toaster or in your oven.
For toasting in the oven, put an empty sheet pan in the oven at 400 F. After that, lightly butter the buns and once the pan is hot, place them buttered side down in the over for 5 minutes. Then, check to see if golden brown on bottom and if not, flip over so buttered side is exposed and bake for another 3 minutes.
Finally – assemble it all together
Finally, when you’re ready to serve, take a bit of chicken stock with enough sauce to coat the chicken and saute on medium low until hot all the way through. If you are using straight after cooking, you can skip that step. Using tongs, pile up that gorgeous chicken on your toasted bun and top with coleslaw or more sauce!
So that’s it! Get creative and make it your own. If you’re looking for a more classic BBQ sauce, check out this one.
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
BBQ Sauce (Recipe below)
2 Chicken Breasts (or 1 whole rotisserie chicken) cooked and shredded.
4 Brioche Hamburger Buns
Coleslaw (if desired – I used fresh sliced radishes and thinly slices peas for a lighter take)
Here’s the BBQ Sauce recipe (more details found on this blog post):
2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1.5 teaspoons Oregano or Marjoram
1 teaspoon Dried Ancho Chili Powder (optional)
1 teaspoon Dried Guajillo Powder (optional)
combine all ingredients together and set aside.
1.5 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock)
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Spice Rub (from above)
3/4 Cup Ketchup
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Combine all ingredients together and turn on medium high heat.
- Reduce by half.
- Once ready, if not using right away let cool and pour into airtight container. Can reserve for up to 7 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Once you are ready to serve, heat shredded chicken and sauce up in a sauté pan with a splash of chicken stock or water if needed. Toast buns during this time. Once buns and chicken are warm, top the bottom bun with the shredded chicken, adding any residual sauce in the pan to the top of each sandwich. Top with coleslaw if desired, and top bun.