Shredded chicken slow cooked in a rich marinade of balsamic, berry preserves and chipotle piled high on a wheat bun and toasted to perfection. A total hassle-free meal that is light on the calories and loaded with flavor.
Pulled barbecue chicken got a makeover this weekend and you’re looking at the new and improved hand-held delight. It’s football food. Family food. Weekend or weeknight food. Just the BEST KIND OF FOOD.Can you guys believe it’s already November?! I personally cannot considering the temperature peaked at 90 degrees this afternoon in stubborn ol’ Florida. My friend and I were browsing around the farmers market surrounded by pumpkins, squash varieties and other delectable fall produce items while literally sweating our faces off. The sandals, shorts and tank top I was wearing didn’t even cut it. Thanks for a re-run of August in November, Florida.
Sunshine state = sweatbox state.
But at least this stifling hot day ended on a delicious note. Devouring one of these sandwiches in the AC was almost medicinal.
This meal requires VERY little prep work. We’re talking 5 minutes, if that. It’s ideal for busy weekdays or on weekends when you have 10,000 other things going on and you just don’t want to be bothered with meal prep. Or if you get carried away at brunch and your Bloody Mary buzz impedes you from doing anything too productive. You’re not alone, my friends..Piled high on a toasty wheat bun with melted smoked mozzarella is my preferred route of sandwich domination. You could also top them with a delicious slaw, arugula, roasted peppers or baked onion rings. They really don’t need any additional condiments except maybe a little extra sauce.
The sauce is a delicious flavor combination of briny and slightly sweet with a mild underlying heat. It’s even better the next day once it gets a chance to slightly thicken and be further absorbed by the chicken. IF it makes it to the next day….
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp fruit preserves - I used apricot-raspberry, though blackberry or fig would also be great
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced -- for extra heat, add a tsp of adobe sauce
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 buns
- Optional toppings: melted cheese, slaw, arugula, etc.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.
- In a bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients - balsamic, preserves, ketchup, Dijon mustard, garlic, chipotle pepper and thyme. Pour over chicken and toss to fully coat.
- Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the slow cooker and toss with sauce.
- Pile high on a bun and top with a slice a cheese (optional). Place open-faced sandwich under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Serve!