It looks like we’re all getting our recipes from the same place this week, because I also found this recipe on Everybody Likes Sandwiches (ELS). There’s a great Southern-style barbeque and smoke house near our place called Holy Smoke. Lately, we’ve found ourselves there about once a week for a smoky pulled pork sandwich or a stack of spicy, smoky ribs. Really, I can’t get enough of it. I wanted to make something at home that would satisfy my craving for a messy, smoky, sticky, barbeque-y sandwich without the hassle of setting up a smoker in the back yard and trecking through the snow to operate it. This sandwich, slightly adapted from ELS, was everything I wanted for flavour with the bonus of using chicken thighs to change things up.
Hold onto your socks: this is a spicy one!
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
salt & pepper
3 t cumin
1/2 – 3/4 t chipotle powder
3/4 t dried thyme
3 t olive oil
1 2/3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 t kosher salt
3 t ground white pepper
1 t dried chili flakes
1 1/2 T white sugar
3 T packed brown sugar (or just short of 1/4 cup)
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 medium green cabbage head, shredded or finely chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
1/3 medium red onion, grated
2-4 ciabatta buns
Mix together salt & pepper through thyme, then rub well into chicken thighs. Combine vinegar through ketchup and set aside. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear chicken a couple minutes on each side until nicely browned. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the chicken and pop into a 450F oven for about 40 minutes until the meat falls nicely from the bone.
Meanwhile, toss the vegetables with the remaining dressing. When the chicken is done, remove the bones and use 2 forks to shred up the chicken and mix with the sauce. Slice the buns in half and fill with chicken, then some of the slaw. Serve the remaining coleslaw on the side.
For us, this made 3 good-sized sandwiches, but I think you could stretch it to 4 if needed or just go for 2 giant ones.