Monday, March 29, 2010

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken

I managed to make dinner again tonight.  Two days in a row is definitely a record for the past month.  I have several other meals planned for dinner this week, so I'm hoping week 10 cooperates with my plan.

Usually when I make pulled BBQ I use a pork shoulder (very fatty) or boston butt (less fatty).  These two cuts of meat produce a very tender and flavorful BBQ.  This time I wanted to try chicken because it was on sale at the store this week, and it tends to be more lean.  Plus, I have a plan to use the leftover BBQ chicken to make a BBQ chicken pizza for later in the week, if I'm honest the pizza is the whole reason I made this in the first place.  Our verdict was that we would probably prefer the chicken in the future.  It wasn't quite as flavorful or tender as the pork is when I cook it this way, but to us that was worth saving the extra calories and grease.  (When I do the pork I tend to cook it on low for 8-10 hours.)  If you aren't concerned about the overall calories, add a piece of cheddar cheese to your bun when serving... yum!  I usually serve these on whole wheat hamburger buns, but we decided to mix it up and try something new (and save a few calories) by using thin buns (found in the bread aisle).  Serve with your favorite picnic fare; sweet potato fries, potato salad, green beans, corn, pickles, coleslaw, or baked beans.

Pulled BBQ Chicken

-2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (any cut of chicken would do here, thighs would probably be more moist and flavorful, but again, the b/s breasts were on sale this week, and overall we were going for a lean BBQ)
-1 onion chopped (optional)
-1 cup BBQ sauce, either bottled or homemade recipe below

Place onions (if using), chicken, and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours (or until chicken is tender).  Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks.  (At this point most people would return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and the juices and cook on high until the chicken is warmed through again).  (Here's how I do it, to remove even more of the fat from the finished product).  Heat the shredded chicken and 1 additional cup of BBQ sauce in a pan until warmed through.  Serve on your favorite buns, with your favorite sides.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

As is this recipe makes a ton, but exactly what I need to add 1 cup to the chicken in the slow cooker, and then another cup to the chicken when shredded.  If you will just be returning the chicken to the slow cooker with the juices then you can halve everything below.  If you like it REALLY sweet you can substitute ketchup for the tomato sauce.

-1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
-4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
-6 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-4 Tbsp. honey
-4 Tbsp. hot sauce
-4 tsp. garlic powder
-2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients.  Chill until using.  Will keep in refridgerator for up to 2 weeks.


No comments: