Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13: Saucy BBQ Chicken Sammies with Pepper and Scallion Potato Salad

6 baking potatoes and your choice of toppings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup Mexican beer
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large sour pickle, chopped
6 to 8 sweet bread-and-butter pickle slices, chopped
6 soft sammy buns, such as soft burger rolls

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the potatoes and put them in the oven.

While the potatoes work, bring the stock and beer to a simmer in a small or medium skillet. Slide in the chicken breasts and gently poach them for 10 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes.

While the chicken poaches, heat a second medium skillet over medium-low heat. To the hot skillet, add the EVOO, the garlic, and the onions and gently saute until cooked through. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.

Combine the Worcestershire, hot sauce, grill seasoning, brown sugar, and tomato paste in a medium bowl.

 Add 2 ladles of the poaching liquid to the bowl and mix well.

Transfer the chicken breasts to the bowl, then use two forks to shred the meat, and combine it with the seasonings.

Stir the shredded chicken into the pan of sauteed onions and garlic and combine well. Reheat together for 5 to 10 minutes, adding some more of the poaching liquid to make your chicken as saucy as you like.

Combine the sour and sweet pickles in a small bow. Split the rolls and fill with scoops of shredded chicken. Top with pickle relish and serve with the topped baked potatoes.


Well, this is a very delicious sandwich recipe, but it is definitely NOT a 30-minute meal. For one thing, the chicken took much longer to poach than 10 minutes. That was probably my fault because I think a couple of my chicken breasts were to big. For another thing, it takes me forever to shred chicken with 2 forks. Again, probably my fault because I've never had much practice with chicken shredding. Then it says to cook it again for 5-10 minutes (which I didn't do because I had somewhere to be). All in all it takes about an hour to make this meal, which is why I added baked potatoes to the recipe. That's about how long it takes for them to cook.

The sandwiches are meant to be eaten with Pepper and Scallion Potato Salad:

2 1/2 pounds small potatoes, such as baby Yukon Gold or red-skinned
2 ounces jarred hot pepper rings, drained and chopped, about 3 tablespoons (reserve the juice)
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons cider or wine vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chunk up the potatoes, cutting them into large bite-size pieces, and place them in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot to dry them out. Add the hot peppers, bell peppers, and scallions to the pot, then dress everything with a splash of the hot pepper juice and the vinegar. Toss to combine, then drizzle with 1/4 cup EVOO to coat the salad evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

There is something about potato salad dressed with oil and vinegar that I just don't like that much. Mark hated this salad the first time we tried it because of the scallions, peppers, and potato skins. I had made a note at the bottom to make baked potatoes, so that's what I did, and it was perfect.

We topped our potatoes with butter, sour cream, and cheese (mozzarella). I used Corona in the chicken (I was able to buy 1 single bottle at the liquor section of the grocery store).

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