Recipe: Pulled Chicken Sloppy Joes


Like many folks, I am a big fan of comfort foods, and one of my absolute favorites is a good old-fashioned Sloppy Joe. The childhood favorite of mine is typically made with ground beef, but after coming across a Pulled Chicken Sloppy Joes recipe, I felt it was time to see if this classic was prime for a few tweaks. 


First and foremost, I am a huge fan of cooking with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, so this recipe had that going for it right off the bat. Chicken thighs are so much more flavorful and affordably priced compared to breast meat. And in terms of this recipe, they withstood the lengthy, 1.5-hour cooking time, however, I’d nudge that time down just a bit. The thigh meat began to pull apart just after an hour. 


Also, consider leaving out the hot sauce, especially if you’re cooking for the family and the kids don’t enjoy the extra heat. I did substitute a Hatch chile for the jalapeno, but that’s only because I found some at the grocery store and was looking to incorporate them into the meal. In either case, please make sure to leave out the seeds. Other than that, stick to the directions, as this recipe really does turn out like traditional Sloppy Joes with a twist. Finally, if you’re looking for a bun recommendation, the Artesano (found at most major grocery stores) is a winner. 


Pulled Chicken Sloppy Joes Recipe


Ingredients (4 servings)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¾ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
½ cup diced jalapeno pepper
4 medium hamburger buns — split, toasted and buttered


1. Add vegetable oil to a saucepan, and then add (in this order) garlic, yellow onion, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne, chicken thighs, ketchup, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
2. Place over high heat and wait until you can hear the garlic sizzling in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Let garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds before adding the water. Stir everything together and wait for the mixture to boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken falls apart, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Stir in the green onions and peppers and cook until the peppers just turn tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning.
5. Remove from heat and serve on toasted hamburger buns.



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