Pulled Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

It can be a struggle sometimes—okay, often—to make a decent dinner. Weeknights can certainly be hectic and there are plenty of other times I just want to make it easy on myself but also have something that’s fast but not “fast food.” If you lead a busy life but like to eat well, I’m sure you’re well acquainted with the wonders of rotisserie chickens. Bless the rotisserie chickens. They’re tasty and convenient and form the perfect centerpiece for a partly home-cooked meal. Beyond adding a veggie and side dish there are countless things to do with them, too.

This sandwich by Tony Rosenfeld, author of 150 Things to Make with Roast Chicken (which appeared in Real Food), plays on the classic pulled pork sandwiches of the South, only here roast chicken takes the place of the pork. He suggests using plenty of dark meat, as it has a richer flavor and juicier texture. Thinly sliced cabbage adds crunch and a little Southern flair. Add some chips and perhaps a few raw veggies on the side and you have yourself a meal.

Keep in mind—when you first get the chicken home and it’s still warm is the best time to remove the meat as it comes off the bone more easily.

A tip: Lunds and Byerly’s stores feature a special price on their rotisserie chickens on Fridays they call 5 Buck Cluck. That’s a great deal on a cooked and ready-to-go chicken whether you want to serve it on its own or try it in this recipe. (Even other days of the week their rotisserie chicken is still a good price.) Bon appétit!

Pulled Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Serves 4

3 c. thinly sliced green cabbage (about 6 ounces)
5 tbsp. cider vinegar, divided
1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¹3 c. honey
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ to 1 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce
3 c. shredded roasted chicken
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 bulky rolls, split and toasted
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese  (about ¼ pound)

In a large bowl, toss cabbage with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, oil, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat remaining vinegar, honey, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and hot sauce until it comes to a simmer. Fold in chicken and scallions, turn off heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.

To make sandwiches, layer chicken on bottoms of rolls, then top with cheese, cabbage, and tops of rolls. Serve immediately.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.