Saucy Chicken Sandwiches with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce and Crunchy Apple Slaw.

I’ve figured out how we can actually take a BITE out of fall.


Right here. Saucy pomegranate BBQed chicken covered in sweet and crunchy apple slaw.

Sounds about right to me.

I wish I could wear pomegranate arils as jewelry. Can’t even take their prettiness.

Can we talk about how wonderfully full of FALL this past weekend was? Our weather was fantastic and the leaves are just changing, it was still super sunny and warm but you could smell autumn in the air. I feel like this sounds like a used car commercial or something but it was dreamy.

Annnnd I am 100% sold on shoving as many fall activities into each weekend that I can before November gets here.

We went to the most crowded ever pumpkin patch/farm ever and neither Eddie nor Max threw any sort of tantrum. I mean, seriously. These kind of events can trigger road rage-like behavior while on foot when there are hundreds of people. Am I right?

This BBQ sauce is another extension of my pomegranate obsession and it’s completely packed with flavor. The thing is that the molasses (and pom juice) is fairly tart, so you might want to adjust the sweetness of the sauce. Or maybe add a little heat. Or do what you want!

But you know me. Give me alllll the super vinegary and tart briney things ever in the universe. It still will not be enough. (of course it won’t. I’m a millennial.)

OMG. Speaking of being a millennial. Do you know what headline I saw on the (internet) news this weekend? That counseling is up because milennials “can’t deal with their everyday life.”

Whaaaaaaat. GROSS.

This makes me hate everything, We are the worst.

As I write that I am sipping a pumpkin beer. So there’s that.

What isn’t the worst? Juicy chicken sandwiches!! They taste better with lots of exclamation points, in case you were wondering.

This is my go-to chicken starter at the moment: I brown (like, really brown) some boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are covered in tons of spices. I like to use a touch of both olive oil and butter. Once they are super golden and caramely on the outsides, I shred them (often using my stand mixer for that, because laziness) and take it from there. This is no different and it’s super easy. Not as easy as the crockpot, so if you want to take that route, go for it.

Then… covered in the BBQ sauce.

THEN. Cover it in the most delicious crunchy apple slaw. I used honeycrisp apples and sliced them into thin match-like sticks. Tossed those with some sliced napa cabbage and a few herbs, a touch of olive oil and honey and a hit of salt and pepper.

Whoa whoa whoa. How I did not eat that alone by itself, one will never know. Delicious.

The only thing to complete this fabulous sandwich is one buttery brioche bun. You deserve it! Maybe double the butter and then lightly toast it. Serve these with some hard cider and I think you’ll have a lot of new friends. Or at least, one heck of a meal that does not include pumpkin.

Yield: 4 to 6
Saucy Chicken Sandwiches with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce and Crunchy Apple Slaw
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • brioche buns for serving
pomegranate BBQ sauce
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
apple slaw
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 head napa cabbage, sliced into shreds
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Whisk together the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Rub it all over the chicken. Add the olive oil and butter to the skillet. Place the chicken in the oil once hot and brown on both sides until deeply golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. I sometimes cover the skillet while doing this and it helps cook the chicken through.
  2. Once browned, remove the chicken and shred it (I use my stand mixer). Return the chicken to the skillet with the drippings and toss well to coat. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce. Serve the chicken on the brioche with extra BBQ sauce and apple slaw.
pomegranate BBQ sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until combined. Heat oven medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for 30 to 60 minutes, until thickened. Stir occasionally. Taste and if it seems too tart, stir in a little extra honey and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit at room temperature until it cools and thickens even more.
  2. Store in a jar or sealed container in the fridge. Note: if you want a lot of extra sauce, I’d double this.
apple slaw
  1. Toss the apple, scallions, cabbage and cilantro together in a bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and honey. Drizzle it over the slaw and toss well to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Top your sandwiches!

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