Pulled chicken sandwiches with slaw

By Sheryl Julian
Globe Staff / June 3, 2009

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Serves 8

Begin with chicken thighs on the bone, add plenty of rub, and cook the thighs between slices of pancetta in a low oven for 4 hours. The meat falls off the bone and when shredded, resembles pork (the similarity is remarkable). Any hamburger-style buns will work. We like Martin's potato buns, which are especially soft, in the mini slider version. Make the slaw while the chicken cooks.


8 thin slices pancetta
Canola oil (for the dish)
10 bone-in chicken thighs
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons spicy poultry rub
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock, or more to taste
1. Set the oven at 300 degrees. Lightly oil a 10-inch baking dish with a lid or a Dutch oven that will hold the thighs in one layer. Lay 4 slices of the pancetta in the bottom of the dish or pan.

2. Remove the skin from the chicken and cut away any pockets of fat. Use 1 tablespoon of the canola oil to rub the chicken thighs all over. Sprinkle them with the rub. Arrange the thighs in the dish as tightly as possible. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the remaining 4 slices pancetta on top.

3. Cover with foil or the lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.

4. With tongs, remove the meat and pancetta from the pan. Set them aside to cool.

5. Tip the cooking juices into a container. Set aside to cool; cover and refrigerate.

6. With your fingers, pull the chicken off the bones. Shred it into small pieces. Coarsely chop the pancetta. Transfer them to a container, cover, and refrigerate.

7. Skim the solidified fat from the cooking juices. There may be only 1 to 2 tablespoons juices.

8. In a skillet, heat the shredded chicken with the cooking juices and 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock until hot. Add enough of the remaining stock to make a mixture that is lightly moistened.


1/2 green cabbage, halved and very thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 carrots, shredded
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
16 mini hamburger buns, split in half
1. In a colander, layer the cabbage with salt. Set the colander in a bowl. Set aside for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Wipe the liquid from the bowl. Lift the cabbage from the colander and transfer it to the bowl. Add the carrots, scallions, and bell pepper.

3. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, and canola oil. Pour the vinegar mixture onto the cabbage mixture. Add pepper and parsley. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and vinegar, if you like.

4. Line the buns up on the counter. Split them open. Arrange chicken on the bottom pieces. Add slaw and the bun tops.


Food styling: Preparing rice salad

Video: Food styling

Food Editor Sheryl Julian and food stylist Lisa Falso prepare the dishes for the photographs featured at the top of this page (including rice salad, above).