Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BBQ coleslaw sandwich

One of our favorite places to eat is Firehouse Subs, and one of our favorite subs there is the King Hawaiian BBQ coleslaw sandwiches but the last couple of times we have ordered it we have been disappointed with greasy BBQ pork and over-toasted buns. So I thought I'd try to make my own version of it.


Instead of pork I'll be making this with chicken and I'm going to use pre-made BBQ sauce and pre-prepared cole slaw that I bought from KFC.

Chickens cooking (one is for later in the week)

Step one - preheat the oven to 350, rinse off a whole chicken, if you want to you can rub it with salt it helps the chicken be more flavorful, set it in a 9x9 pan and put it in the oven. Depending on how big your chicken is it will take about 60 minutes to bake, more or less. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to test the temperature.

Chicken done and starting to cool 

Step twoOnce the chicken is cooked let it cool a bit, shred the chicken, then put it in a pot with BBQ sauce and set it one the stove to warm up. Spread out the buns on a cookie sheet and warm them up.


Step three - Put the BBQ chicken on the buns and top with extra BBQ sauce, a slice of cheese and coleslaw.


My version of the sandwich didn't quite have the flavor profile I was looking for - it ought to have had more contrast, overall it was just too sweet. I  love  the Brown Sugar BBQ sauce but I think that for this sandwich I needed more of a vinegar-based savory sauce. Also I thought that the coleslaw was too fine. The cabbage needed to be more of a long-cut style and the sauce needed to be creamier. I think I needed a different type of cheese too. If you have any suggestions, especially about the BBQ sauce - please leave a comment!!  This is a great sandwich and I can't wait to keep tweaking it to make something better.


  1. Never having eaten the original sandwich...maybe I shouldn't comment... but... that looks good to me! and I'm not a fan of coleslaw, plain or on a sandwich!

  2. Okay, so I know I commented on instagram that it looked really good, but living in Memphis for 5+ years I really figured our what kind of bbq I like. Usually the cheaper and dirtier the place the better! HA! Shout out to the Neelys. =)
    Not that I make the time to cook things from scratch but it happens occasionally. I'd add a dry rub to your process. You could do it either while the chicken is cooking or just toss it in after you shred it. Also toss a little in the cole slaw - that's how the best barbecue joints do it! For sauce Sweet Baby Rays is the way to go fo sho! You might also throw in a little pineapple, it always compliment barbecue well!

  3. Mmmmm I'm so hungry now I could eat your blog.

  4. I love Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce too!

  5. Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue sauce is pretty good, and I am not a barbecue fan. Another one that is tasty is Sticky Fingers Memphis Original barbecue sauce. Bryan agrees, this is a good BBQ sauce, and he is much more of a barbecue connoisseur than I am.

    Suggestion for cooking the chicken: Have you tried using a roaster, or covering it with foil? We roast chicken often, because it's a good meal for one, and for another the leftovers taken off the bone can be used for so many things! We usually chop up an onion, maybe a stalk of celery, and put those in the body cavity, not stuffed tight, just a few pieces. Rub some seasoning on the skin, pour some liquid in the bottom of the pan to keep it nice and moist. White wine or beer works well, or you can use broth, even plain water works better than nothing. You could also spread some of the BBQ sauce over the meat to get the flavor cooked into it while roasting.

    Cheddar cheese has a much richer flavor than american, but sometimes the sharpness is too much. Monterey Jack cheese is another favorite, or a buttery baby swiss.

    I've found the pre-shredded coleslaw salad packs are pretty good, and we like Theresa's brand cole slaw dressing.


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