Friday, October 4, 2013

Apple BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Apple Topping


I know that's the longest recipe title ever. But I just couldn't leave anything out. All of those ingredients listed up there are such important components to this delicious sandwich that they all deserve to be mentioned. 

Since the title is so long, I'll try to keep this post short and just tell you to MAKE THESE SANDWICHES. If you're anything like me this (and every) fall, you probably have more apples than you know what to do with right now. Use a couple of them in this savory application and I promise, your entire family will love them. The flavor combination is just fantastic, with the salty, sweet, and smoky elements working together so perfectly.

Also, make double the chicken and use the leftovers in these BBQ chicken taquitos, and your family will practically fall at your feet. I know this from experience.

By the way, if you're a fan of The Bachelor, you should know that I found the inspiration for this recipe from the blog Mix and Match Mama, which is written by Bachelor Sean's sister Shay. She is adorable, and she posts some really amazing recipes. Go check her out!

Apple BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Apple Topping
inspired by Mix and Match Mama 

For the chicken:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups apple juice
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the onion-bacon-apple topping:

6 strips bacon, diced
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 large apple, sliced (I used a Honeycrisp, my fave)
1 thyme sprig
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon maple syrup 

For the sandwiches

Sandwich buns, toasted if desired
Mayonnaise

1. Place the chicken in a Crock pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, thyme sprigs, and apple juice. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Before serving, remove the thyme sprigs and shred the chicken with two forks. Add the BBQ sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Turn off the slow cooker and cover while preparing the topping.

2. To make the topping, cook the bacon in a large, high-sided skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Reduce heat to low and add the butter to melt. Add the onions, apples, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and caramelized. Remove the thyme sprig, return the bacon to the skillet, and add the maple syrup. Heat through, then remove from heat.

3. To make the sandwiches, add a pile of chicken to the bottom half of the buns. Top with the onion-bacon-apple topping. Smear some mayonnaise on the bun tops and serve.

3 comments:

Allison said...

Oh my yes. This is immediately getting added to the list for next week. Yum.

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