While the temperature and humidity around here have eased a bit today, it is typical for July around these parts of New York to be very sticky and humid, making it uncomfortable all day long and making you feel like you really do not want to put much effort into dinner. Nights like that for use are usually good for really simple meals that involve little or no cooking at all, which means making things like sandwiches, salads, hot dogs and the like for dinner. Sure you can always get take out or go out if you like, but that gets expensive to do too much and you don’t have control over the ingredients you are eating. You can always compromise somewhere in the middle and buy some pre-cooked items, such as a rotisserie chicken, and make good use of that in a meal for you and your family in a bunch of ways. One thing I recently did was use a rotisserie chicken to make some pulled chicken sandwiches for a meal. You can do this just as easily with leftover chicken and simply shred it yourself and even use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce if you like, but I decided to make my own sauce to get the flavor we really like. The basis of this recipe comes from Ellie Krieger on the Food Network site.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
6 hamburger rolls
Lettuce leaves, for garnish
Pickle slices, for garnish
Coleslaw, store-bough or homemade, for garnish
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, cider vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chopped chicken, return the mixture to a simmer, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Split the hamburger rolls. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll, then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll and top with pickle slices, coleslaw and additional sauce, if desired.
That’s all there is to it and it tastes great. You get a nice barbecue sauce to simmer the chicken in without a lot of work and the liquid smoke adds great aroma and flavor to the sauce. I used the pickleback slaw recipe I have made before as the coleslaw for a topping and we just had the sandwiches with some chips on the side to keep things simple, though they would go well with some potato salad, macaroni salad or even just a simple side salad. You could even make these as sliders if you wanted to use them for a buffet or party and have them done in minutes.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of you day and enjoy your meal!