Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crock Pot Beer-BBQ Pulled Chicken

  I have been just a liiiittle stressed lately. Finals are looming. I had a trial that I was helping out with today (unfortunately it got reset at the last minute). And, did I mention that finals are looming?! My first one is in 9 days. Yikes. Things have been getting so crazy that I was just eating boring sandwiches and frozen things. It has been really depressing. Eventually, my body started to revolt, and I knew I had to put an end to all that. Thus began a search for a quick, yummy recipe that would make a large portion; something that I could eat on for a couple days, AND wouldn't mind eating for a couple days.

From the beginning I knew that I wanted to use my crock pot. It's just too easy -- put the stuff in the pot, go about your business, come back a few hours later -- and there's something delicious waiting for you! Genius. The wheels continued turning when I went to Menu of Menu's, a really fun Houston food event/taste tasting with about 50 local restaurants (it was pretty phenom). Anyway, point being that I stumbled upon the Beaver's booth, and was reminded of an old favorite -- their pulled chicken sandwich. And hello. Lightbulb. It all came together, and I knew what I had to do. So, here you have it. A super tasty pulled chicken sandwich utilizing a crock pot and a few common ingredients. Oh, and beer. Juuust to take the edge off. So give it a try -- perfect for those crazy-busy times, or just about anytime!

Makes approximately 6 servings.

* 2 lbs. chicken breasts (approximately 4 chicken breasts)
* 1 medium yellow onion, sliced

* 1 cup ketchup
* 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon mustard (any kind you like will work -- I used dijon)
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used 2 tsp of Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Pepper sauce)
* 1 pinch salt
* 6 oz. beer, amber or something similar (What to do with the rest of the bottle? Why, drink it, of course!)
* Optional: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Want something even easier?
* Try 6 oz. beer and 3/4 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce, and proceed!
** Note: A thick sauce would work best with the recipe.

* Place slices of onion on the bottom of the crock pot.
* Layer chicken on top of the onions.
* Mix all of the sauce ingredients together.
* Pour sauce on top of the chicken. 
* Cook on low for 6-7 hours, until the chicken is tender, and starting to fall apart. If pressed for time, you can also cook on high for 3-4 hours (although low and slow is preferred).
* And look, it's already falling apart... Mmm... 
* Remove chicken pieces from the crock pot, and place in a large bowl.
* Shred. Just use two forks to gently pull apart the chicken.
* So easy...
* At this point, your sauce is still in the crock pot, but it is still pretty thin. See...

* If you are fine with the consistency, just toss with the shredded chicken, and enjoy!
* If you would like to thicken it up, just follow the next few steps:

* Toss the shredded chicken with about 1/3 of the sauce as is.
* Place the rest of the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
* Bring the sauce to a boil, and then simmer for about 15-20 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
* Toss your shredded chicken with the rest of your sauce.
** Note: I saved a little for pouring on top!
* And a close up...
* Serve on a good bun, and with any of your favorite additions (pickles or a mayo-based slaw would be fab).
** I ate mine on a whole wheat bun with bread & butter pickles. Just delicious...

* Money shot...

* And I couldn't wait any longer... 


  1. I tend to avoid most bread in the form of buns, but wow.....I could make an exception. Just thinking of that sauce soaking into the bread has me ready to get the ingredients now!

    Too bad the stores are closed, but tomorrow...it's on. Thanks for the great, tasty post!

  2. Made this tonight! It was great, but since I'm not the biggest fan of a ketchup-y bbq sauce next time I will use a bottle of my favorite bbq sauce as you mentioned ! Other than that it's so simple and good! I went with your idea and put pickles on mine except I used dill because I only eat sour pickles! They went perfect with it! Great with a side of homemade french fries! Thanks for a great recipe! Will definitely be making this again :)

    1. Thanks for the nice comment!! Also wanted to let you know I have a giveaway going on now, and you've already completed 1/2 of the steps. Details here: http://foodforthefresh.blogspot.com/2012/09/fall-giveaway.html