Tom’s Ohio Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

Most Buckeyes are familiar with the shredded chicken sandwich. It makes an appearance at most small town football and basketball concession stands, as well as, festivals and arts and craft shows. It is definitely not a delicacy concocted from fine ingredients. It is one of those plain old Midwestern comfort foods that can be easily whipped up by just about anyone.

I am sure most non-Ohioans are curious to see the recipe. There is no single recipe for this sandwich filling. Each variation tastes similar but yet different. This past summer I rode my bike in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA). Just about every day saw shredded chicken sandwiches on the menus of the service clubs and schools catering the lunch for the day.

My recipe follows. I started with a basic recipe from a PTA cookbook and have altered it over the years. It is a little more work than the basic recipe that makes the rounds. That basic recipe has the chef throwing together a large can of canned chicken, a sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers and a can or two of cream of chicken soup. I dislike canned chicken and have replaced it with baked chicken and added homemade broth. I hope you enjoy my recipe and a little bit of a taste of Ohio.

Tom’s Ohio Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:

5-6 pounds of chicken (I use skin on with bones;  1/2 thighs and 1/2 breasts.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 box of Stove Top Chicken Stuffing Mix
1/4 cup of butter
2 large carrots
2 celery ribs
2 onions, quartered
2 cups of water
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
12-16 hamburger sandwich buns

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a roaster or 13X9 baking pan with non-stick spray. Lay carrots, celery and quartered onions in the pan. Arrange chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.
  3. Pour 2 cups of water into the pan. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the chicken. Liberally season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Place chicken into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the chicken is done.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan to cool. Strain and reserve the broth.
  6. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and the meat from the bones. You can use a fork to slightly shred it. Leave it slightly chunky. You should have 7-8 cups of shredded chicken.
  7. In a large bowl, mix the cream of chicken and cream of celery soups, 1 can of the reserved chicken broth and the Stove Top stuffing until smooth. Stir in the shredded chicken.
  8. Place into a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Stir the chicken mixture every hour. You may need to add more of the reserved broth. The dressing mix absorbs the liquid. The consistency should not be runny but should be creamy. I typically add 1 – 2 extra cans of broth during the slow cooking.
  9. Before serving, taste the chicken. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Serve on a bun with a slice of American cheese.

Busy Day Shortcut:
Purchase a large rotisserie chicken from a warehouse club. Remove skin and bones; shredding chicken. Use canned chicken stock. Much faster and tastes almost as good as the original recipe.

Yields: 12-16 generous sandwiches

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