The Tomato Ladies | Pulled Chicken Two Ways with Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Pulled Chicken Two Ways with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Category
Poultry
Tags
bbq sauce, chicken
About This Project

Not everyone has access to an outdoor grill so here are two ways to make the indoor version of classic barbecue pulled chicken. Whether you have a slow cooker, or opt for the stovetop, here’s how to make succulent pulled chicken complete with homemade barbecue sauce.

 

Each of these recipes yields 10 to 12 generous servings, perfect for entertaining or a week of meals. Pulled chicken freezes well and goes great on burger buns with pickles; in a small bowl with a crunchy slaw.

Barbecue Sauce for Pulled Chicken

Barbecue sauce is easy to make and tastes better than the store-bought stuff. This basic recipe can be a launching pad for variations — for example, cooks can add fruit preserves such as peaches and apricots, a pinch of dried herbs or a sprinkling of hot chili powder. This recipe makes just enough for the pulled chicken but can keep for weeks in the fridge thanks to the sugar and vinegar so you might want to double it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses
  • 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tsp Tabasco
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp mustard powder

 

Method:

  1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, bring all ingredients to a gentle boil. Be careful as the sauce may splatter as it boils.
  2. Bring heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it cooks down to a darker colour and has a consistency slightly thicker than syrup.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  4. Remove and let cool completely before transferring to a jar and storing in the refrigerator.

 

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

Use this recipe if you prefer the “set it and forget it” approach to cooking. Put it on the low setting to let it cook overnight, or set the cooker on high a few hours before guests arrive while you take a nap. Don’t worry if there’s a lot of liquid while cooking — the more the chicken is shredded, the more sauce is soaked up.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. mix of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts
  • 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili powder or cayenne

 

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 7 hours, or until meat can easily be pulled apart with forks.
  2. Remove lid and, using two forks, shred meat into fine threads.
  3. Serve immediately.

Serves 10 – 12

Stovetop Pulled Chicken

 Pulled chicken is essentially chicken poached in barbecue sauce until it’s tender enough to pull apart, so of course it can be done on the stove. Be sure to use a pot that doesn’t have a special non-stick coating that could be damaged by the forks when the chicken is being shredded.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili powder or cayenne
  • 3 lbs. mix of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts

 

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barbecue sauce, paprika and chili powder. Turn heat down to medium-low.
  2. Stir in chicken. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and meat can easily be pulled apart with forks.
  3. Remove lid and, using two forks, shred meat into fine threads.
  4. Serve immediately.

Serves 10 – 12