Bourbon BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and Green Apple Slaw

A spirited barbecue sauce tops shredded chicken in a sammie. Serve with a side of slaw.


For the chicken:

  • 2 small skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • Salt

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 shots of bourbon
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 orange

For the slaw:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound cabbage (red, green or a mix), shredded
  • 1 large green apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Brioche rolls, split
  • Bread-and-butter pickles, for topping


For the chicken: Place the chicken breasts and thighs in a pot with the bay leaves, carrot, onion, orange and some salt. Cover with water, then cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low rolling boil for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the broth, then return to the pot and boil for a few minutes to reduce it slightly. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat.

For the BBQ sauce: Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, bourbon, garlic and orange juice in a small pot. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

For the slaw: Whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, lemon juice and onions. Season with salt and some pepper. Add the cabbage and apples and toss to combine.

Add 1 cup poaching liquid to the BBQ sauce, then add the chicken, stirring and shredding it with 2 forks. Pile the chicken on the rolls and top with pickles and slaw.

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