Can you tell that I am DYING for summer to get here with this recipe? Maybe if we all start cooking summer dishes, we can will it to come. Like stretching our united kitchen power. We can all sit outside in our patio furniture with coats and scarves, warming ourselves next to the barbecue while passing the potato salad and snapping at anyone that dares mention going back inside.
There's been a few hints of sunny summer days here in San Diego and I feel like one of those wide-eyed cats with my face squished up against the window watching each cloud pass by, barbecue tongs in one hand and a tray of carne asada in the other. But this wonderful dish of pulled chicken sandwiches slathered in homemade BBQ sauce with sweet pickles and a kaiser bun doesn't require the outdoor grill and it will transmit you from winter gloom into the sunshine of late summer within seconds.
The best part of this recipe is that it starts with one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store, so whipping up this dinner is as easy as a quick trip to the store for the essentials, some staples from your pantry, and a few minutes at the stove.
The homemade BBQ sauce uses a can of tomato sauce, cider vinegar, molasses, thyme, and a serrano chile pepper for a touch of bite.
You'll also need an onion to go along with your roast chicken and the fresh kaiser rolls.
Sooooooo when it comes to finely chopping, I need some improvement. As in, my minced herbs and veggies look more like gravel instead of fine sand. So I use this wonderful chopper that I got from Pampered Chef a few years back, and it comes to my rescue when I have those items that I just can't chop fine enough, such as the serrano chile. Love it!
So after chopping your chile, pull apart the roast chicken with your fingers into bite-sized pieces for the sandwiches.
Then slice the onions into quarter-inch rings.
Saute the onions in a large skillet until they're soft and tender, then add the vinegar and cook for another minute more.
Once the onions are cooked, add the tomato sauce, serrano chile, thyme, molasses, water and salt. Bring it to a boil and let the lovely aroma bring a smile to your soul.
Add the chicken and stir it up to coat everything.
Heat the chicken through and then you're ready to serve!
Next time, I want to try toasting the buns on the grill just a little bit with butter - yum!
My favorite part is the sweet pickles - I'm a SUCKER for sliced sweet pickles on sandwiches!
Funny story about this image. I was setting the table outside for the final presentation shot and placing all of the garnishes while Jeff loaded up the sandwich. It took him a few minutes, and he noticed the table when he walked out...
Jeff: "Sweetie, where did the sweet pickle garnish go?"
Me: "I ate it..."
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
- 1 2 - 2 1/4 pound deli-roasted chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 3 - 4 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped fresh red and/or green hot chili peppers
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 sandwich buns, split
- Bread-and-butter pickle slices
1. Remove meat from chicken (discard skin and bones). Use two forks or your fingers to pull meat into shreds.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally to separate into rings. Add vinegar; cook and stir 1 minute more.
3. Stir in tomato sauce, chile peppers, thyme, molasses, water, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add the chicken; tossing gently to coat. Heat through. Serve on rolls with pickle slices. Makes 6 sandwiches.