Mariel here. Always a fan of Sloppy Joes as a kid, I’ve since graduated to Pulled Chicken sandwiches. They’re messy, they’re sweet and savory, they’re totally delicious. While Pulled Pork – aka the other white meat – is a steady favorite at traditional BBQ joints, I prefer Pulled Chicken. It just makes me feel healthier even if it’s still slathered in sauce and my mom’s coleslaw (tho she does use low-fat mayo). In any event, this rendition makes an easy summer lunch or dinner and will please just about any crowd – other than the vegetarian crew, natch.
PS: If you’d prefer to pickle your own Bread & Butters instead of using the store-bought variety, we’ve got a recipe for that.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Homemade Barbeque Sauce and Coleslaw
Makes 6-7 Sandwiches
Ingredients for My Mom’s Traditional Coleslaw:
1 cup Lo-fat Mayonnaise - stock
2/3 cup Buttermilk (freeze the leftover) – $0.49
1/3 cup sugar - stock
4 Tablespoons white vinegar (I sometimes use cider vinegar instead) - stock
1 teaspoon salt – stock
Freshly ground black pepper – stock
2 teaspoons celery seeds - stock
2- 16 oz. packages cole slaw mix* – $3.98
1 bunch Scallions, chopped, using white and green parts – $0.69
*Tip: Alternatively, to cut the cost if time isn’t a factor, shred 2 lbs. white or green cabbage and 4 carrots
Total Assuming Stocked Pantry: $5.16
Total Per Serving (makes 10): $0.51
1. Whisk together the first 7 ingredients.
2. Add the shredded cabbage and carrots or cole slaw mix with the scallions, tossing well to combine.
3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to mellow.
4. Stir well before serving.
Ingredients for the Barbeque Sauce:
1 8-oz can tomato sauce – $0.89
1 6-oz can tomato paste – $0.99
2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar – stock
2 Tablespoons honey – stock
4 teaspoons cider vinegar – stock
2 Tablespoons olive oil- stock
3 teaspoons minced garlic – stock
4 Tablespoons minced onion – stock
1 teaspoon chili powder – stock
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce – stock
1 teaspoon dry mustard – stock
1 teaspoon cayenne – stock
fresh ground pepper – stock
Total assuming “stocked” kitchen: $1.88 (yields about 1.5 cups)
Directions for BBQ Sauce:
1. In a very large saute pan, saute minced onion and garlic in olive oil over high heat until the onion turns opaque. Stir consistently to keep the onion from burning.
2. Add remaining ingredients over medium-high heat and bring to a quick boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning.
3. After sauce has thickened (it will be more of a deep red than a traditional bottled brown color) remove from heat and set aside.
Ingredients for Pulled Chicken Sandwiches:
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $6.02
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices – $2.49
1 Vidalia onion cut into 1/4-inch slices – $0.89
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
1 cup chicken broth – stock
1/4 cup packed brown sugar – stock
1 Tablespoon chili powder – stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin – stock
1/2 teaspoon paprika – stock
Salt and pepper to taste – stock
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar) – stock
1 Tablespoon of the homemade BBQ sauce – (above)
6 light multigrain English Muffins – $3.89
24 Bread & Butter pickle “chips” (homemade or store-bought) – $2.99
Total assuming “stocked” kitchen: $16.28
Cost per serving: $2.71
Directions for Pulled Chicken Sandwiches:
1. Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. On a plate, arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer. Press the brown sugar mixture onto both sides of the chicken.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook both sides until just browned. Do not cook the chicken through. Transfer the chicken back to the plate and set aside.
4. Add the bell pepper and onion slices to the skillet and cook over high heat constantly stirring to avoid burning. Cook until pepper and onion are just tender.
5. Add the chicken to the peppers/onions and add the chicken broth over high heat bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the skillet with tin foil (or its lid) and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred it using two forks (instead of your hands to avoid burning yourself).
7. Once shredded, return the chicken to the skillet with the pepper/onion mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated/been absorbed.
8. Then, stir in the Balsamic vinegar and a Tablespoon of the homemade BBQ sauce.
9. Toast or broil the English Muffins, then spread about a Tablespoon of the homemade BBQ sauce on the bottom of each muffin. Next, add about four Bread & Butter pickle chips on top of the BBQ sauce. Layer on a heaping scoop of pulled chicken followed by homemade coleslaw. Add the top muffin and enjoy! Don’t forget napkins. This can get seriously sloppy, but that’s the point…