quick bbq pulled chicken

quick bbq pulled chicken sandwich

Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite dinners.  If you’ve been around here long, you know my family is very into its BBQ, particularly pulled pork, ribs, and smoked chicken.  And growing up as a picky eater, it took me awhile to come around to the pulled pork and ribs part of it.  There was this BBQ restaurant we used to go to out in the country when I was growing up.  It sat on the edge of a field and had a screened in porch, and I always always always got a plain pulled chicken sandwich.  I have no idea what the rest of their food was like, because this is what I always ordered (#pickyeaterproblems).

I’m not doing a very good intro to this, because truth be told, this is not that chicken.  That chicken was smoked, so it had a completely different flavor profile and completely different texture.  I’m just telling you though, I loved pulled chicken sandwiches, but because I now love pulled pork sandwiches, the chicken has largely gone forgotten.

And while it seems like such an easy thing to make at home, it always just seems like something that needs to cook all day in the crock pot, which is good and all but to be honest is just not something I do all that often.  This chicken, however, cooks on the stove in about 25 minutes.  Which, considering it takes about 5 minutes to prep the ingredients, means this is something you can come home after a busy day and still make.  Throw some frozen sweet potato fries in the oven while the chicken cooks, and you have yourself a meal.

quick bbq pulled chicken sandwich

quick bbq pulled chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

A couple of things about this recipe--first of all, use whatever barbecue sauce you want to. You can be fancy and use some homemade barbecue sauce {this is a great one}, or you can use store bought sauce, which is what I most often do. Also, make your sandwich your own with the toppings here. If you like pickles, which I do not, I'm sure they would be great here. We also put some cheese on our sandwiches one night, and while unconventional for a barbecue sandwich, we thought it was great.


  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (just the pepper, not the adobo)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Buns for serving


  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil, and when the oil is hot, add the shallot and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, until tender and just beginning to brown.
  2. Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar, bay leaf, and chipotle pepper and whisk together. Then add the chicken and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the sauce back to a boil and allow to cook and reduce until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
  5. Shred the chicken using two forks. Serve on buns with the sauce on the side so that everyone can top it as they wish.


adapted from Dinner the Playbook


Leave a Reply