Pulled Chicken and Gouda Grilled Cheese
Made with hearty sourdough bread, these decadently delicious grilled cheese sandwiches are filled with a combination of our tender pulled chicken (recipe follows), sweet caramelized onions and Gouda cheese.
Pulled chicken is easy to prepare, a nice alternative to pulled pork and can be made ahead and used later to whip up these tasty grilled cheese sandwiches.
- 2 cups pulled chicken (see recipe below)
- 1 or 2 sweet onions (about 1 lb total)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 slices Gouda cheese
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- To make the caramelized onions, peel the onions, cut them into thin slices and separate the slices into rounds.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, cover the pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times during the process.
- Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper and the Worcestershire sauce.
- Continue cooking, uncovered, until the onions are lightly caramelized, 12 to 18 minutes. Stir the onions frequently and loosen any browned bits that may accumulate on the bottom of the pan as they cook. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Butter one side of the bread slices and set them aside.
- To grill the sandwiches, you can either work in batches or use 2 pans (2 sandwiches each).
- Brush the pan (or pans) with a tiny bit of olive oil and heat over medium-low heat.
- Place 4 of the prepared bread slices (buttered side down) in the pan and top each with a slice of Gouda, a portion of caramelized onions, a portion of pulled chicken and a second slice of Gouda. Top with the remaining bread slices (buttered side up).
- Cover the pan and cook for 3 to 6 minutes, until golden and toasted to your liking. Press down gently with the back of a spatula on the top of the sandwich to "seal," then turn and toast the other side.
- Allow the sandwiches to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting and serving.
- 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup ketchup, divided
- 2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons fruit juice (apple, orange, or pineapple)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce to taste (we recommend Frank's Red Hot)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Turn the pressure cooker on to the sauté function, add the oil to the pot and heat for 1 minute.
- Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
- Add the chicken broth, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Heat until bubbly, stir to dissolve the sugar, then shut off the sauté function on the pressure cooker.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pot, nestling them into the liquid. It isn't necessary that they be totally submerged.
- Secure the lid on the cooker and set the pressure valve to the sealed position.
- Program the cooker for 9 minutes on high pressure. Once the cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, fruit juice and Worcestershire sauce in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
- Cover and heat for 1 minute on high. Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved, then add hot sauce to taste (we used about 2 teaspoons).
- Add the butter, cover and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds more, then stir the butter into the sauce. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a cutting board and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Discard the cooking liquid or reserve for another use (see notes).
- Using two forks, pull the thighs into shreds and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sauce, combine well and use for sandwiches, dips, etc.
Don't waste the tasty liquid you cooked the chicken in.
Refrigerate it and discard the fat once it solidifies, then you can then freeze it to add to homemade soup at a later date or use it as a cooking liquid for pasta or rice.
Just keep in mind that it does have a slight sweetness, so when you add it to another dish, you'll want to be sure the flavors are a match.