Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches...

Last Tuesday, I thought about stashing the few unused chicken thighs that we were left after making that Chipotle Chicken and Rice in the freezer. I asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind another chicken dish that evening and he agreed, especially after hearing the title of what we would be making last - Black Pepper and Molasses Pulled Chicken Sandwiches!

If you've never made your own barbecue sauce, you'll soon see how quick and effortless it can be. Getting us started were a few squirts from our handy bottle of ketchup, followed up with tangy cider vinegar, mustard, a drizzle of robust molasses, chili powder, cumin and a touch of ginger for zing. Don't be a slave to the type of mustard we used - your favorite prepared mustard is fine, but since we always keep a jar of grainy Dijon in the refrigerator, that's what went into our mix.

Stirred to combine, we dropped the chicken thighs right in, sliced into cubes first, then brought the dark sauce to a rapid bubble. Because of the sugar in the sauce, you don't want to keep the heat too high - once it boils, step down the heat, cover the pot to trap in the moisture and let the chicken gently cook in the sauce until it is fork-tender. When it gets to that point, all you'll need to do is take a couple forks and pull the chicken cubes apart right in the sauce, shredding the meat. If you worry about using forks in your pan, pull the chicken out first - add the shreds back into the sauce and reheat gently.

The recipe suggested a serving of four, but we barely nudged out three decent saucy servings (well not even that anymore as *someone* went back and had a few nibbles). You may want to think about doubling the recipe for fuller portions or if you would like leftovers. Since I didn't get a chance to refill our bun supply with those homemade burger buns we like so much, Jeff picked up these fiber-rich sandwich thins at the market. They were actually quite good, but didn't hold up the best to the sweet sauce... I don't think they'll be replacing those delicious buns anytime soon!