BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I’d been thinkin’ and dreamin’ for a while now of some kind of peanut-butter-roasted chicken dealio, and while this isn’t quite all that, it does satisfy the peanut butter and chicken combo conundrum I was facing. On a lark… a whim… a whimsy if you will, I added a spoonful of peanut butter to my standard barbecue sauce recipe and viola, goodness and deliciousness of this BBQ chicken sandwich was thus created.

Shredded BBQ chicken sandwich - homemade barbecue sauce with a secret nutty ingredient, shredded poached chicken breast, onions and tangy slaw all on a sub roll

Of course you could leave out the peanut butter (and I probably would recommend that if you wanted to just make the sauce to serve with like, legitimate barbecue. But it might also be good with pork I imagine. Or if you’re making this for a person with a severe peanut allergy and he/she may die; then it would definitely be a good idea to ix-nay the eanutbutter-pay.) Anyway, what was I saying? Sorry, can’t concentrate with this CUTE PUPPY on my lap.

But I digress into flim-flam and nothingness. As I was saying, you could leave it out, but I think it adds a really great “what in tha werld is in this sawse?” component to the recipe, not to mention peanut butter isn’t used enough as a savory ingredient here in the US and I think that’s a damn shame.

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches Video (scroll down for recipe card)

ZOMG. Also, while we were chowing down like T-Rexes on these bad boys, Chris was all like, “I want this with blue cheese and Frank’s RedHot” and I was like, “SHUT YOUR FACE. YOU’RE A GENIUS.” But we didn’t have any, but I’m just telling you that I think it would be awesome and then it really honestly would have all the food groups in it, including hot sauce.


Shredded Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

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4.8 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Shredded chicken, about 4 cups, from one 3 pound chicken or 2 large boneless breasts
  • Coleslaw:
  • 2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 12 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For Serving: Pickled jalapeños, onions, avocado, and/or blue cheese
  • 4 large French bread rolls or one long baguette cut into 4 pieces


  1. Heat the oil and onions over high heat in a large skillet for a minute. Sprinkle with a pinch of the salt. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. After 20-25 minutes, the onion should be golden brown.
  2. Add the sauce, sugar, vinegar, spices, and remaining salt and stir to combine. Simmer uncovered over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. While that cooks, shred your cabbage and combine with the vinegar, mayonnaise, and salt and set aside.
  4. You can also get your rolls ready. Cut open lengthwise and pull out some of the inner bread, making a cavity to hold your fillings later. Toast lightly under the broiler. Watch them so they don’t light on fire.
  5. Once the sauce has simmered and is thick, stir in the peanut butter.
  6. Add the chicken and cook another 2-5 minutes until it’s hot.
  7. Pile your rolls with chicken, slaw, jalapeños, onions, whatever else you like.
  8. Eat hot!

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  1. Diane on October 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    BANJO!!!! Oh, wait . . .

    • Hilah on October 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

      With a Banjo on my knee… ?

  2. Great Stone Face on November 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    This would be super easy to use as part of a tailgate. (“What are you making?” “Oh, I thought I’d make BBQ sauce from scratch in this NFL parking lot!”)

    The peanut butter is a nice choice. You could use Nutella® instead to make it sort of mole-like.

    • Hilah on November 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Oh yeah, we were thinking these would be a hit at a party! I hope you guys try it and take pics of the crazy looks you get, making bbq sauce in the back of a truck. 😉
      Hadn’t thought about Nutella… that’s an interesting idea, though, as a quick mole.

  3. jason on November 9, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Woah, those BBQ chicken sandwiches look amazing!

    My question is how would one make KFC style coleslaw? I know KFC is gross, but they have the best coleslaw in the world. Hilah, what does KFC do to make their coleslaw so good?

    • Cat Layla Kane on November 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Crystal Meth. Though in a pinch, most franchises will use MSG.

    • Hilah on November 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

      It’s a mystery, Jason!
      But my guess would be sugar. Lots of it. And of course you gotta mince that cabbage super fine!

  4. Randy on January 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Hello Hilah, My wife and I spent the whole morning watching you on youtube. Your videos are a riot! Sort of the “Weeds” of cooking shows. We hope you get your own show on cable. My son and his girlfriend are coming over tomorrow for Chick-fil-gay sandwiches. I was wondering in your hot dog recipes what kind of hot dogs you use? I had a major score at the grocery store on neat bright red natural casing franks for 0.99 a pound. Can you put natural casing franks in the deep fryer for corn dogs? Will they explode like a can of beans in a camp fire? Randy, Merrilou, Henry and Mina

    • Hilah on January 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Hey Randy and Co! I’m so glad you found me! I almost always use Hebrew National dogs, they’re all beef but I’m not sure about the casing. To tell you the truth it never occurred to me that a natural casing might explode. But I have certainly made corn dogs from bratwurst with natural casings and never have had an explosion.
      Here’s hoping for no wiener explosions… 🙂

  5. Allison on May 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for the awesome recipe ! It’s awesome! Cooked it for the bf today and he really enjoyed it 🙂 !

    • Hilah on May 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Hooray! That’s great news, Allison. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  6. terry on January 25, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Made the sandwiches tonight and they were totaaly yummy! I had some Angry Orchard apple cider with it and went really well. Thanks too for giving me a slaw option. My Mom’s wasn’t made with mayo xause my Dad hated mayo. She made a kind of tart slaw with milk, apple cider vibegar, a little sugar and lots of pepper. I’ve never been able to duplicate it but I just added more pepper to yours and I added the onion directly to the slaw cause Mom’s always had onion too. Anyway it comes pretty close to Mom’s.

    • Hilah on January 26, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Oh boy, Terry, that cider sounds DELICIOUS! And that’s wonderful that the slaw recipe worked out. Hope you can tweak it some more and get it just right next time.

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