Nothing says summer like BBQ. I’m admittedly jealous of family and friends who have a smoker at their disposal, because the BBQ meat that comes out of those things is just amazing. So here is a recipe which makes pulled BBQ sandwiches a breeze–no smoker required.
I have to brag a bit and say that several of the items from this meal have come from our prospering garden. From left to right there are two chicken breasts, onion buns, fresh arugula, fresh thyme, four medium sized carrots, fresh mint, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and brown sugar.
Here’s the arugula being harvested. Lemme tell you it tastes perfect.
Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet, meanwhile seasoning your chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. You can use whatever you like, but I chose to use smoked paprika to emulate the smoker. Pop those bad boys in the oil and brown on both side until they look a like this:
To get these breasts to the juicy tender doneness that is required to pull them a part I add about a cup and a half of water to the hot skillet and cover. Covering the skillet is imperative! One of my breasts is smaller than the other (insert audience laughter) so it cooks a bit faster- about 15 minutes. The larger breast was done in about 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to cut into the meat to check for a white center with clear juices!
While the chicken is cooking I get to work on the slaw which will also be on the sandwich. I’m not a huge fan of cabbage in my coleslaw, so I opt for another green I have readily available- arugula! I used about two cups of arugula and cut it up into bite sized pieces. I also want to use these carrots I have laying around, and figure I can just use a peeler to get nice thin slices.
Put the arugula, carrots, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and sugar into a bowl and mix until incorporated. This slaw isn’t like regular coleslaw, it’s much lighter and very refreshing! Feel free to use whatever leafy vegetation you have on hand for this, I’ve used romaine before with great success.
Now that it’s cooked through transfer the chicken to a bowl and let cool a little before goin at ’em with two forks. I insert both forks into the meat and literally just tear!
Once both breasts are effectively pulled add about a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Add slowly to make sure your chicken isn’t swimming in sauce, though. I was halfway into documenting this blog post when I found out I was out of my Sweet Baby Ray’s that I usually have on hand, so I decided to whip up some of my own. Whatever you use, I highly recommend adding sriracha, the heat makes a nice contrast to the coolness of the mayonnaise in our slaw. At this point add the fresh thyme and chop your mint to add to the meat as well. Stir to combine.
Toast your onion buns, and load them up with a healthy portion of pulled chicken topped with the awesome slaw. I gotta say that the onion buns really make a huge a difference in taste with these sandwiches, but try whatever your preference is.
Ty’s Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
2 Chicken Breasts
Salt, Pepper, and Paprika (optional)
1 1/2 cup of Water
2 cups Arugula
3-4 medium sized Carrots
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 cup BBQ Sauce (optional: add sriracha for some extra heat)
A few sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Mint
Season chicken breasts while a few tablespoons of oil heat up in a skillet. Add chicken and brown on both sides ( 3-4 minutes per side). Once browned add water to skillet and steam chicken for 10 to 20 minutes, cutting into the meat to check for doneness. While the chicken cooks cut up arugula, peel carrots down to slivers, and add both ingredients to a bowl with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix until incorporated. When the chicken is done transfer to a bowl and pull into shreds with two forks. Add your favorite BBQ sauce and fresh herbs. Toast onion buns. Add chicken and coleslaw between the buns and serve.