May 3, 2013

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Cider and Cabbage SlawRecipe by Jamie Purviance

Rating: 5 stars

4 Reviews

Serves: 6 // Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 20 to 25 minutes for the sauce | Grilling time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Grocery List

Fresh Produce

  • 1 bag shredded coleslaw blend (each about 8 oz)

Meat / Poultry / Seafood

  • 4 whole chicken legs, each 10 to 12 oz

Oil and Spices

  • .25 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • .25 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp granulated garlic
  • .25 tsp ground cinnamon
  • .5 tsp kosher salt
  • .25 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp paprika


  • bread-and-butter pickle chips (optional)
  • .5 cups cider vinegar
  • .5 cups ketchup
  • .5 cups mayonnaise


  • 1.25 pints apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 tbsp golden brown sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 6 hamburger buns



  • 1 pint apple cider or apple juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole chicken legs, each 10 to 12 ounces, skin removed


  • 4 cups shredded coleslaw blend
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • Bread-and-butter pickle chips (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider to a boil and boil until it has reduced to ¾ cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering the sauce until it is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients. Stir in the oil to make a wet rub. Brush the chicken legs evenly on both sides with the wet rub. Allow the chicken legs to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling. 

  3. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). 

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the slaw ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

  5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the chicken legs over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone, 50 minutes to 1 hour, turning once. Remove the chicken legs from the grill, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Toast the buns, cut side down, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, for about 1 minute.

  6. Using two forks or your fingers, pull the chicken apart into shreds. Add the chicken to the saucepan with the sauce and heat over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Pile the chicken on the buns and top with coleslaw. Serve with bread-and-butter pickle chips, if desired.

4 Reviews

Average Rating

Rating: 5 stars

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Rating: 5 stars

May 7, 2013

John T

Solid Recipe, Family Enjoyed It

The family quite enjoyed this one and it's an easy recipe to prepare overall....especially when you work from home! Based on taste, I added some hot sauce to the slaw and to the bbq sauce for a little more bite. I also split the mayo into half sour cream/half may and added a pinch of celery seeds and a touch more cider vinegar--just a taste thing. Cooked the legs over indirect on my 22.5" Weber Platinum kettle with some Royal Oak lump charcoal with a chunk each of hickory and applewood. I'm sure it would be great on my Genesis too but I am now bbq'ng 4:1 kettle to genesis now, I just enjoy charcoal that much more.

Added a slice of havarti to the sandwich...wife and kids loved that too. Overall, very good.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

May 17, 2013

Brett M


My wife and I made this recipe last week right after it came out and it was delicious to say the least. The pulled chicken with the hint of apple cider was moist and enjoyable, and the coleslaw just gave it that extra flavor to make it out of this world. Between the Apple Cider vinegar and the slaw it was a bit acidic so next time I make it I will be sure to use a little less vinegar in my cole slaw.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

May 30, 2013

Brian C

A new favorite

This was an excellent recipe. The sauce turned out amazing, some of the best I have ever made. I ended up making two batches, I added red pepper flakes to the 2nd batch to heat it up. I also smoked chicken thighs instead of using legs. Cole slaw was excellent as well. I can't wait to smoke a pork butt and hit it with the sauce from this recipe!

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Jun 2, 2013

Scott S


The apple juice based BBQ sauce is the star! Full of flavor, easy to prepare, and all ingredients are simple and clean! Sweet, tangy, and smokey all together!! Cole slaw should be made to your own taste. This has been added to my collection!

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

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Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Cider and Cabbage Slaw