{recipe} Barbeque Chicken Cakes

This recipe has an interesting and meaningful provenance. When I used to teach cooking to high school students in New York, we had a competition in which the students had to create and execute their own original recipes. I was a judge for the competition, and when I tasted thie dish, I remember being blown away by their creativity and ability to invent something so original and delicious. Needless to say they won the competition, and I won a copy of the recipe!

If you’re having trouble grasping the concept, think crab cakes but made with saucy shredded chicken and diced green apples. Their winning version was served over green apple risotto, but I served the cakes over mashed potatoes, with acorn squash on the side. I suppose you could use bottled bbq sauce to save time and effort, but the sauce with this recipe is divine and not that hard or time-consuming to make, so I recommend putting in the extra effort. In fact, I recommend you make a double recipe of the bbq sauce and save some for later!

Barbeque Chicken Cakes
This makes enough for 6 people- 2 cakes per person.


  • Honey BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 whole chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into big chunks
  • 2 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
  • 2 Tblsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 1 granny smith spple, peeled and diced finely
  • 4 eggs
  • flour for thickening and dredging
  • panko bread crumbs for coating
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • oil for searing


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat about 1 Tblsp vegetable oil in a saute pan over high heat and brown chicken on both sides.
  • Add about half of the bbq sauce (1 to 1 1/2 cups) and turn the heat down. Cook with the pan loosely covered and cook until the chicken shreds easily with a fork,  around 20 minutes. Remove to a bowl and shred chicken, using 2 forks.
  • Heat 2 T butter in a saute pan and saute onions and apples over medium low heat until soft. Add to chicken.
  • Add a bit more bbq sauce to the chicken, enough to moisten. Make sure to reserve about 3/4 cup of the sauce for garnish.
  • Add 2 eggs to the chicken mix. Add flour 1 Tblsp at a time and mix in until mixture holds together, but doesn’t become pasty. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a couple Tblsp. oil in a saute pan. Meanwhile, prepare a small plate with a small pile of flour, and another with bread crumbs. Beat remaining 2 eggs together.
  • Form chicken mixture into patties. Dredge in flour, then eggs, then panko on both sides. (If the patties start to fall apart smoosh them together.)
  • Saute on both sides until browned. Feel free to remove to a cookie sheet and keep warm in a low temp oven while finishing the sauteing.
  • Warm the reserved bbq sauce, and drizzle over top of cakes with a spoon.

Honey BBQ Sauce
One recipe will make enough for one recipe of BBQ chicken cakes, about 3 cups total.


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped finely
  • 1 Tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
  • 2 Tblsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 3 Tblsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tblsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika (not smoked)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat vegetable oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Cook onion and jalapeno until soft.
  • Add all remaining ingredients.
  • Turn down heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. When you stir make sure to scrape the bottom so all of the brown caramelize-y bits get mixed in.

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