First off, I’m not from the South (obviously) and I don’t know a helluva lot about the art of barbecue. My first real taste of a Southern barbecued meal was at a BBQ joint smack dab in the middle of my old hippy/Italian neighbourhood, Commercial Drive. The food may not have been the most authentic as the pacific northwest is a bit off-course from Kansas City, the Carolinas, or any other territory that prides themselves on some sweet ol’ BBQ…but that ‘cue was tasty.
I may not have the history or even a smoker, but I’ve got gumption. I’ve tried (to great success, I might add) my hand at making pulled pork sandwiches and this weekend I wanted to recreate some of that taste in a new way. And it all started with an article in Bon Appetit and a recipe for North Carolina coleslaw. I made the slaw the night before, intending to serve it with some pan-fried cod. While it was okay as a side dish, the slaw really needed to be a part of something meaty and spicy to get things singing. So out from the fridge I pulled some chicken thighs, seasoned them and cooked them up in the remainder of the vinegary, spicy coleslaw dressing. After the chicken was cooked and well-sauced, I deboned them, shredded the meat and put them into hamburger buns. Of course, I topped them with the North Carolina slaw. Hot-diggity, this was a tasty sandwich!
smokey bbq chicken sandwich topped with north carolina coleslaw
I small green cabbage, shredded
1 c shredded carrot
1 small onion, grated on a box grater
2 c cider vinegar
1 T kosher salt
1 T ground white pepper
1 T red pepper flakes
2 T white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c ketchup
6 chicken thighs, skin removed
salt & pepper
1 T cumin
1 t chipotle powder
1 t dried thyme
1 T olive oil
1. Combine the cabbage, carrot and the onion in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl and pour about 1/3 of it over the slaw. Refrigerate the slaw and keep the remainder of the dressing aside.
2. Turn on oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Season the chicken thighs and on the stove, heat up the oil a large oven proof dish. Add chicken thighs to dish and brown on both sides. Pour in remaining dressing and cover the pot with a lid. Place in oven and cook for about 40 minutes or until the meat is cooked and is falls easily from the bones.
3. Remove the bones, shred the chicken and place on white hamburger buns. Top with coleslaw.