Make-Ahead Southern Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Green Grape Relish

Southern Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Green Grape Relish
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
25 mins
Slow Cook Time:
8 hrs
Heat Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
6 sandwiches per portion (24 total)


  • 2 medium onions, quartered

  • 6 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • ½ cup cider vinegar

  • cup Worcestershire sauce

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoon mild chili powder

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ cup barbecue sauce

  • ¼ cup water


  • 6 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and toasted

  • 1 recipe Green Grape Relish

Green Grape Relish

  • ½ cup seedless green grapes, quartered

  • ¼ cup finely chopped English cucumber

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green sweet pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeño pepper*

  • 1 leaf fresh mint, slivered


  1. Place onions in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. In a small bowl combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper; pour over chicken.

  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 hours.

  3. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon. Using two forks, shred chicken. In a very large bowl combine chicken and onions. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir enough cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup) into chicken mixture to moisten. Stir in barbecue sauce.

  4. Divide chicken mixture into four portions. If desired, serve one portion right away (see tip, below). Cool the remaining portions completely. Transfer each portion to a freezer bag or container; seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

  5. To serve, thaw one portion in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a medium saucepan; stir in the water. Cook, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

To make sandwiches:

  1. Fill buns with chicken mixture and Green Grape Relish.

Green Grape Relish

  1. In a small bowl toss together grapes, cucumber, onion, sweet pepper, honey, jalapeño pepper, and mint.


Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Continue as directed in Step 6.

For Easy Cleanup:

Line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

317 Calories
6g Fat
36g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 558mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 5.8mg 29%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 2.8mg 16%
Potassium 410mg 9%
Folate, total 54.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.5mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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