Slow-Cooker Mexican Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Total Time:
6 hr 35 min
35 min
6 hr

4 servings

  • 6 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 3 tablespoons sauce from the can
  • 1 cup canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 sesame hamburger buns
  • 8 thin slices monterey jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Season the chicken with salt and the cumin; transfer to a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Add the chipotle and adobo sauce, tomatoes and onion; toss to coat. Cover and cook on low, 6 hours.

  • Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Transfer the cooking liquid to a fat separator. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan, leaving any fat in the cup. (Alternatively, skim off the fat from the cooking liquid with a spoon.) Add the ketchup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and the Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, whisk 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, radishes, scallions and 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss. Set aside.

  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally and pulling it apart with tongs or a fork, until browned and crisp in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of the sauce; season with salt.

  • Preheat the broiler. Slice the avocado. Put the roll bottoms on a baking sheet; top with the chicken and cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Top with the slaw, avocado and roll tops. Serve with the remaining sauce.

  • Photograph by Con Poulos

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