Photo: Raymond Hom; Styling: Pamela Duncan Silver
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
40 Mins
8 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Dinner guests are guaranteed to be impressed with this deceptively easy Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe, which includes a seven-ingredient rub and a simple 15-minute sauce that comes together while the chicken grills. Serve on buns, over fresh greens, or on top of a baked potato for a filling dinner.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Step 2

To prepare chicken, combine first 6 ingredients; rub evenly over chicken. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180°, turning occasionally. Let stand for 5 minutes. Shred with 2 forks.

Step 3

To prepare sauce, while chicken grills, heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper); cook 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken; cook 2 minutes.

Step 4

Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 2 pickle chips and top of bun.

Chef's Notes

The chicken and sauce can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Also appeared in: Cooking Light, June, 2006

Ratings & Reviews

fchung314's Review

October 30, 2013
This recipe was a big hit! I used 3 chicken breasts instead of the thighs cooking it the same way on a grill pan. I used smoked paprika instead of regular. I cut the brown sugar as suggested in other reviews. I used 1.5 TB for the rub and .5 for the sauce. Served on toasted hawaiian hamburger buns and with a side of creamy cauliflower mash. Will definitely be making this again!

bambam0928's Review

October 01, 2009
This is a very excellent recipe. I cooked this in the slow cooker for 5 hours on Low. I have cooked this many times I omitted the allspice from the recipe because I didn't like the flavor of it on the chicken. I also made 2x's the sauce to have enough for the chicken. Other than that this is a great recipe that my entire family loves and want me to make all of the time.

sarahjones123's Review

June 07, 2011
This was delicious I made it tonight. Love it! The sauce really is great! Will make again!

DaniLynnR's Review

October 31, 2011
I just made this (and quadrupled the recipe) for my Halloween party. The sauce is SOOOO good. Take time to make it rather than getting store bought. I used the spice rub and then did a quick sear on the chicken on the stovetop. Afterwards, I slow cooked the chicken in a crockpot for about 4-5 hours with diet A&W Rootbeer (an AMAZING way to keep the chicken, or other meat, very moist). After the chicken was done I shredded it and added the sauce to it. Definitely make this!

jcf2123's Review

February 26, 2013

Alknutson8's Review

May 11, 2013

kjok1212's Review

June 23, 2009
As others have said, this is a great recipe. Flavors all go well together and you can add more spices if you like. I used a chipolte chile in adobo sauce and actually ended up adding a bit more because I wanted it spicer. I did use chicken breasts and would recommend that if you use them to either marinade them or cut them in half so that the rub will not just be on the outside of the chicken.

StacyYC's Review

October 28, 2013

khanna's Review

June 10, 2012
Fantastic. We followed the recipie except we doubled it and barbequed it with hickory instead of grilling it. We shredded it and mixed it with the sauce in a slow cooker. The volume of sauce seemed to be about right for our tastes. The recipie was not too spicey for those who didn't care for too much heat. Several were eating the chicken on it's own.

foodforliving's Review

November 27, 2009
Although I love that this recipe calls for homemade barbeque sauce, this particular sauce is a bit too sweet for my taste. Next time I will eliminate the brown sugar (but keep the molasses, as it imparts a lovely depth of flavor). I will also add in a pinch or two of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.