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Shredded Chicken Hoagie

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

Why’d I call this a Hoagie? I have no idea, I have never said that word out loud. Where I grew up these things were called “Grinders” (queue Adam Sandler “Hoagies and Grinders”). In California and most of the country they’re just subs or sandwiches. Either way, this is good. You should make it!


  • 1 15-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes (or diced)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 12 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more to taste)
  • 12 Yellow Onion
  • 112 pounds Chicken Breast (or boneless thighs are great)
  • 6 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 2 Tablespoons Salad Dressing (to taste)
  • 4 Torpedo Rolls
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese

Cooking Instructions


    In a large pot, combine the tomatoes, water, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Turn on medium heat.

    Finely dice the onion and add it in. Dice the chicken into 1” pieces and add it in as well. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium low. You want slow but steady simmering to encourage some evaporation, but you don’t want to wildly boil the chicken pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

  • 2. SALAD

    Wash and dry the greens. Toss with salad dressing to taste. If you want to make vinaigrette, I highly recommend it! Check out this post with a whole slew of ideas!

  • 3. BUNS

    Split the buns open and cover evenly with cheese. Prepare to melt in the broiler or toaster oven, but time it so that they’re hot and ready when you’re done with the chicken.

  • 4. SHRED

    When the chicken is cooked through it’s time to shred. Depending on the pot you’ve used and how much liquid has evaporated, you can do this in the pot, or separately.

    1. If your sauce looks really liquidy, use a slotted spoon to lift the chicken on to a rimmed sheet pan or large bowl. Turn up the heat and boil the sauce until it’s reduced to a thicker consistency with enough to coat the chicken but not too much more. Use 2 folks to shred the meat on the sheet pan, then toss it back into the sauce.


    2. If the sauce looks thick enough to coat, you can just shred the chicken in the pot. If that’s a struggle though, use the method above. It’s a little easier to give yourself space.

  • 5. FILL

    Fill the torpedo rolls generously with chicken and sauce. You’ll probably have extra for another meal, the meat stores for 7 days in the fridge and is perfect for freezing up to 6 months!

  • 6. SERVING

    Serve with the salad on the side.

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    omit cheese or use a GF cheese
    melted pecorino or fresh goat cheese is good
    use GF buns, or make the shredded chicken and serve in lettuce wraps
    thighs are great but breast meat will work. Another great way to do this is to poach a whole chicken in enough water to cover the chicken fully - don’t add the other spices/ingredients, boil those separately to make the sauce. The whole chicken will poach for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, then carefully pull it out to cool a bit. Strain the resulting broth into a large clean pot - now you have delicious broth! Shred the chicken. But there’s more - next roast the bones until golden brown, cover with water, add aromatics and boil AGAIN! Now you have a “fortified” stock aka Double Stock!
  • SAUCE:
    we’re basically just making a light BBQ sauce in a pot. You could substitute everything and just poach the chicken in water, shred and toss with store bought BBQ sauce. I like the subtle flavor from poaching it but it’s up to you!
  • ADD A VEG:
    corn is showing up here, a grilled ear would be a great match! If salad doesn’t cut it for you, add roasted asparagus, broccoli, or green beans
    add a splash or more of your favorite hot sauce or chili flakes
    omit sugar. Or substitute honey, maple syrup or agave. Some sweetener does make a nice balance

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • if your kids eat chicken, but not “sauce” you can probably poach it all together but don’t stir theirs back into the thicker sauce at the end. Also, I’d serve this on a King’s Hawaiian Roll to make sliders that my kids will go nuts for

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Cook, shred and sauce the chicken up to 4 days in advance
  2. Shredded chicken is great left over and freezes well too. Use leftovers in pasta casseroles, enchiladas, or even in a soup
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