In The Kitchen: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

This is a recipe I tried a few weeks ago, and it was so delicious that I wanted to share it with you. Today I prepared it a day ahead for our dinner tomorrow when we head over to see our friends Jan and Greg for a weekend get-together with a lot of folks. Traditionally, I have provided dinner on Friday night, and this is what will be served up to those present. We're expecting eight for Friday, and then more will show up on Saturday. Saturday's dinner is more pot luck style with everyone providing some kind of a dish.

These were so good when I tried them recently that I vowed to show you how to do it the next time I made them. They are so simple and delicious, and bonus, they are done in your slow cooker. The pulled chicken can be prepared several days ahead and then just heated up in the oven when you're reading to serve it up as sandwiches.

Here's how it's done.  Get yourself 1 3/4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can use boneless, skinless thighs if you prefer.  I'm not a rabidly organic food person, but when it comes to chicken, I've gone organic almost exclusively. Don't even get me started on the way chickens are treated at factory farms. Ugh. I just can't support that industry.

Add a teaspoon of canola oil to a pan, or use no-stick spray, which is what I did here.  Brown the chicken 3-4 minutes per side. You're not cooking it through. Just browning it for some extra flavor.

While that is browning, thinly slice enough onions to make three cups...about two small onions.

Toss those into the bottom of your slow cooker. 

When the chicken is finished browning, put that on top in a single layer. 

Now you're ready to make the sauce. Stir together the following ingredients: One cup of ketchup,

2 tablespoons of cider vinegar,

2 tablespoons of molasses (sounds better now, doesn't it?),

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard,

1 teaspoon each of onion powder and ground cumin,

1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and Tabasco (or whatever hot sauce you like).

Toss that all into a bowl and stir it until it's well combined.  A whisk is good for this purpose.

Then pour it into your slow cooker right over the top of the chicken.  Put the lid on,

and turn your slow cooker to "low" for about 4-6 hours. Times will be different for different cookers. Mine takes closer to six hours.

When your chicken is well done, remove it from the slow cooker, leaving the sauce and the onions behind. Set it on a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes. 

Then use two forks to shred the whole thing.

Then put it back into your slow cooker and stir it up until it's well combined.

From here, it's ready to eat. Just pile about 3/4 cup of pulled chicken onto your favorite hamburger bun and enjoy. You might have noticed there is no salt added to the recipe other than that contained in the ketchup and other ingredients. I always taste it to be sure of the seasonings, but to my taste, there's no need to add more.

If you're making it ahead, spoon it into some sort of oven-proof dish and refrigerate it until you're ready for it. Then reheat it in a 325°F oven until it's warmed through, usually about 30 minutes.

And may I just say...Yum.

Here's the recipe:

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
slightly adapted from Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight, Oxmoor House, 2012
Serves 8  

3 Cups Thinly Sliced Onion
1 Teaspoon Canola Oil
1 3/4 Pounds Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast
1 Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
8 Hamburger Buns

Place onion in a 4-quart electric slow cooker. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat, or use no-stick spray. Add chicken, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place chicken in a single layer on top of onion.

Combine ketchup and next 7 ingredients (through Tabasco); pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is tender and sauce is thick.

Remove chicken from slow cooker.  Shred chicken with 2 forks, return to slow cooker, and stir into sauce. Spoon 3/4 cup chicken mixture onto bottom of each bun; cover with bun tops.


Aside from a short outing to get my hair trimmed, I've been in the kitchen all day. I made a double batch of pasta sauce from my own tomatoes and I baked some cookies for dessert tomorrow night. Yesterday I made potato salad. Tomorrow I'm making a 7-Layer dip and some pancake batter for Saturday morning. When that's all done, I'll start packing the trailer. As you might have guessed, no sewing for me today, and my feet are screaming. Just before sitting down here, I treated them to an ice pack, and they are so much happier now.

You may not hear from me again before Monday. I don't think there is wi-fi where we're going, although there is cell service. You know I can't resist sharing a picture here and there, and so you might see a few of those. But if you don't hear from me, you'll know why. It's going to be a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be back here on Monday. 

You all have a great weekend too.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Tami C said...

Sounds very yummy! I think I'll try this on my hubby. Thanks!

Lyndsey said...

Yummy that looks a great recipe and I am totally with you about how chickens are treated. I've got very particular about which chicken I use.

Dana Gaffney said...

I hope you have a wonderful relaxing weekend.

Jacque said...

I have just one word to say to you about this post....YUM!!!! Haha!
We are on the organic chicken bandwagon, too. Have a wonderful weekend! Take it easy on the knees! :)

Zizophora said...

Thanks! This looks delicious!!

Meg said...

Thanks for the recipe!! Yum yum! Will make this Labor Day weekend at the cabin when we usually have a group there.

Never thought that organic chicken would mean that they are treated better than most. I have heard that Tyson is notorious for horrific conditions for their chickens and do stay away from them. Also try to buy organic eggs for that reason.

Hope all is well at the Three Cats Ranch. It's just crazy-busy here lately... Wish it would slow down some.


Diane Wild said...

I'm cooking and heading to a family gathering this weekend. Have a fun weekend.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Looks delectable if using boneless skinless THIGHS !~! I love dark meat so much... the chicken farming situation is horrific. I saw some really bad conditions when I lived on the East Coast; pretty particular about my meat with this volatile gut that I have anyway. but yes, chicken must be bought judiciously and thoughtfully.

Have a great weekend away from the computer and the sewing machine. Withdrawal may get you; if so, sit with hands in keyboard position, face forward as if reading your monitor, breathe deeply and cry cuz the signal's so weak the computer's at home.


quiltzyx said...

That does look DEEElicious! I do love me some slow-cooker chicken recipes. MmmmMMMMmmMmMmmmmm!

Lynne said...

That sounds very delicious! So far I have not had one chicken recipe come out of my slow cooker that I've liked! Chicken is my favourite meat, especially chicken thighs, but I have found that, although the flavour of the recipes is generally okay or even good, the texture of the chicken, moist but stringy, is something I just can't handle! There's only one thing worse -- overcooked and dry and stringy!