Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwich with Kickin' Slaw

About 7 years ago, every time that I was smoking barbecue, we would get a visitor.

"Sofa", a black lab, lived up the ridge from us at Penrose Farm, a beautiful sprawling horse farm.  She became a regular guest at our house.  She was my "barbecue buddy" and would just hang out while I smoked.  She would even spend the night sometimes.  But bright and early the next morning, she'd be at the door eager to head back to the farm to do her daily "chores" (it's a working horse farm).  Her favorite treat was the bone from a smoked pork butt. I think she came to our house not only for the food but also to get a break from all the dogs and horses at the farm.  We jokingly called her our "Not Our Dog".  

Sofa watching Trevor smoke ribs in 2009.

About a year ago, Sofa visited less and less frequently as her health declined in her advanced age.  Late last year her visits stopped altogether and I have missed having her around the grills.  Yesterday, the farm owner stopped by to let us know that Sofa had a peaceful passing yesterday afternoon. 

On to more cheerful subjects.  Lately I have been craving a spicy chicken sandwich and this is what I came up with for dinner last night.   I like using the boneless/skinless chicken thighs over breasts because they have more flavor and it's harder to overcook them.  Alexis was very impressed with these simple sandwiches and said it wouldn't hurt her feelings if I made them all week long. 

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwich with Kickin' Slaw
Source:  Nibble Me This

  • 8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 8 buns
  • hot sauce*
For the cajun bird rub
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
For the Kickin' Slaw
  • 3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced/chopped*
  • 2 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp celery, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cajun bird rub
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Mix the Cajun bird rub together.  Reserve 1 tsp for the slaw.
  2. Place the cabbage, pepper, onion, and celery in a bowl.  Mix the remaining ingredients together for the dressing and pour over the veggies.  Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400f).  Season the chicken thighs with the Cajun bird rub.
  4. Grill the chicken 4-5 minutes a side until they reach an internal temperature of 175f*.
  5. Brush the chicken with a light amount of hot sauce and serve on buns with the slaw.
  • Hot Sauce:  This sandwich was inspired by the way I used to have Backyard Burger make a chicken sandwich and they use a hot sauce called Miz Grazi's sauce that was hot and sweet.  Since I can't find that, I used Tiger Sauce and that was a pretty suitable replacement. 
  • Cabbage:  Use whatever texture you like.  I like a fine texture so I slice mine thin on a mandolin with a 1/2" cross cut so it's a combination of chopped and sliced.
  • Temp:  Take the temp in the thickest part of the thigh, not the skinny parts.

Instead of my normal "in process" cooking shots, I'll wrap this up with pictures of Sofa during some of her visits to our house.

Trevor and Sofa in our garage.  Dec 2005

BBQ isn't ready yet so Trevor is giving her some cheese.  Feb 2007

Sofa making herself at home in our bedroom.

Hanging with me in our guest room.  She WAS a guest.

Sofa in "the library".

Sofa started bringing a guest with her, Dually another dog from the horse farm.
She was a great dog (even if she wasn't ours), had a lot of love, and lived a dog's life.  God speed, Sofa.  You were the "best dog I never had".