Barbecue Chicken Sammies

Before we got married, Ted got a lot of good-natured ribbing from his friends and relatives about how being married to a vegetarian meant that he would have to subsist on a diet of straight lettuce, with a little bit of tofu mixed in just to make things extra disgusting. So now I always want to show people when I cook meat for him, and be all “See! Being married to a vegetarian is a super fun party 24/7!”

The truth is, I probably do cook meat a lot less than the average person. I can count on my thumbs the number of times I have purchased beef. But yesterday, I made some mean barbecue chicken sandwiches with homemade buns (that I just want to eat plain for the rest of my living days they are so good.) So just in case anyone was super worried about Ted’s nourishment, worry no more!

Barbecue Chicken Sandwich, adapted from Pioneer woman

3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ onion, diced
8-12 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
1 bottle barbecue sauce

Cook 3 chicken breasts in 2 tablespoons Canola Oil in an oven proof crock, until light brown on all sides

Remove the breasts from the pan and discard the fat (except for about 2 tablespoons)

Saute 1/2 onion and 8-12 whole garlic cloves in the oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes

Add a bottle of your fave barbecue sauce, then add the chicken

Put a lid on the crock, then put it in a 300 degree oven for an hour-hour and a half

Remove from the oven, take out the chicken and shred it with two forks

Add the chicken back to the sauce and stir

Ta Da!

Homemade Buns (did I mention that these are heaven) from the Kitchn

1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk 
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2/12 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon butter

Sprinkle yeast over water in a stand mixer, mix and then let it dissolve

Combine milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt in a different bowl and mix

Add this to the yeast mixture and stir

Add the flour, leave mixer on medium low speed for about ten minutes

Let the dough rise for about an hour

Lightly flour your workspace. Flour your hands periodically throughout this whole process. Divide the dough into 8 sections and form each into a ball.

*This is the coolest thing I learned in this recipe so listen up*

It is my instinct to treat the dough gingerly and just kind of plop it on the pan. But in order to get a soft chewy middle you have to make sure you make really tight balls. Work on them one at a time, rolling them in tight circles against the counter while pushing down lightly. It’s ok if they stick to the counter a little bit. You will feel the dough start to tighten up and that is how you know you are doing it right. Then make a cage out of your fingers and continue the circular motions until the roll holds it’s shape. This is where I got the directions and might be more thorough/clear

Let the buns rise for 30-40 minutes

Melt butter and brush on the tops of the rolls

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 16-18 minutes

Slice in half and top with the chicken, cole slaw/cilantro are also suggested by The Pioneer Woman

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