Monday, January 2, 2012

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

So for New Year's Eve this year, Brett and I had about 15 people over before heading out to an 80s cover band concert.  But the concert started at 8:00, leaving us to try to figure out what to do for dinner.  I decided to make one of my favorite dishes, a pulled BBQ chicken to make sandwiches.  Unlike most recipes for BBQ, this one is pretty quick.  And being that I woke up very late in the morning, I didn't exactly have time to put anything in the slow cooker.  Plus...my slow cooker is super tiny and no chance that anything made in there would feed 15 people.

I'm posting the recipe for 4 sandwiches, but I had to actually make about 10 times the recipe.  And as a disclosure, this recipe is from cookinglight.com, but I double the sauce.  Because who doesn't like lots of BBQ sauce?  Anyway, it was a hit, everyone loved it.  Also with the pictures in this post, remember I made 15 times the recipe, so if you're wondering when you make this why it looks like I have SO MUCH MORE....it's because I do.  I had to cook the chicken in not only my huge All-Clad pan, but also in my Le Cresuet.  Hungry people.


Ingredients:

6 T ketchup
2 T cider vinegar
2 T prepared mustard
2 T molasses (note: if you can't find molasses, you can use dark corn syrup)
1.5 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t freshly grated ginger
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 (2-ounce) sandwich rolls, cut in half horizontally
12 dill pickle chips

For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients from the ketchup to the ginger.  I really recommend grating the ginger from a root, it makes all the difference.  If you're in a grocer store, and you don't know what ginger looks like here's a fun picture of it:

To grate the ginger, use a peeler (or a knife if you don't have one, but be careful) and peel off the brown layer on a portion of the ginger.  You don't need to peel the whole thing at once.  I usually store my leftover ginger in the freezer for later use.  Then using a grater, I use a cheese grater, grate off the ginger. 
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and combine well.  Then you can set the sauce aside while you cut up the chicken thighs.  

Personally, I also trim off most of the fat on the boneless skinless chicken thighs, but that's just a personal thing.  Once you cut up all the chicken, combine it with the sauce, and add to a pan.  Heat up the chicken, stirring the mix, until the sauce boils, and then reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for about 25 minutes and stir occasionally.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the heat.  then, using two forks, pull the chicken apart, shredding the chicken.  This step is really a pain, I'm not going to lie.  Then once the chicken is shredded, return the chicken to low heat and keep warm until you want to serve it.  Let it at least sit on low for 5 minutes so that the chicken absorbs more of the sauce.  

To serve the sandwiches, use rolls and I top mine with pickles.  But that's a personal preference.  Enjoy!

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