Slow Cooker Mexican Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Yield:4 servings

6 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 chipotle chile,rehydrated in hot water, then chopped, plus 3 tablespoons of the soaking water
1 cup canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 medium onion, grated
2/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 avocado
4 sesame hamburger buns
8 thin slices Monterey jack cheese (about 4 ounces)

Season the chicken with salt and the cumin; transfer to a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Add the chipotles, tomatoes and onion; toss to coat. Cover and cook on low, 6 hours.

Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Transfer the cooking liquid to a fat separator. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan, leaving any fat in the cup. (Alternatively, skim off the fat from the cooking liquid with a spoon.) Add the ketchup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and the Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, radishes, scallions and 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally and pulling it apart with tongs or a fork, until browned and crisp in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of the sauce; season with salt.

Preheat the broiler. Slice the avocado. Put the roll bottoms on a baking sheet; top with the chicken and cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Top with the slaw, avocado and roll tops. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Photograph by Con Poulos

Slightly adapted from a recipe from Food Network Magazine.

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