Slowcooker Pulled Chicken


I have big news to share. I used my crockpot twice within TWO days last week.  I know, right? Amazing. And SO nice!  The day prior to making this, I made an absolutely huge pot of beef stew (I could barely jam the lid on). My goal has been to start working on some meals that I can double up so we eat them for dinner and then I have leftovers to freeze for when the baby comes (which is supposed to be in like 3 weeks, eeek!).

I  had this recipe saved in my Reader when I first caught it in Apple a Day because I loved the ingredient list and especially liked that it was a homemade barbecue sauce without the use of refined sugar.  Call me crazy, but I actually prefer pulled chicken to pulled pork and the fact that this was made with chicken and healthy to boot sealed the deal.

I liked that Kelsey used chipotles in adobo (one of my favorite ingredients, as you know) in the sauce, rather than a can of diced green chiles and chipotle powder.   The chipotles give this sauce a nice smokiness and add some more heat.  I also added some aleppo chili powder, which is slightly fruity, to complement the honey, and some cayenne for a little more spice, too.  The sauce does has a little kick (which we love) from the chipotles and the cayenne, but I wouldn’t say it’s overly spicy. Just use your judgment and use less chipotles or cayenne if you don’t like a lot of spice.

We  both really liked this and I especially loved how easy it was.  I made the sauce the night before, as well as slicing the onion.  Neither takes particularly long, but I figure why not get some prep done ahead if you can, especially if you are making this on a workday (which I was).  It took me less than 5 minutes to press some garlic and throw everything all together in the slowcooker before work.

Slowcooker Pulled Chicken

  • Looks delicious, Elly. I’m so glad you guys liked it!

  • ash

    oh yum! looks delicious! i want to try this!

  • I just made this for dinner on Saturday. I cheated and used a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce :o) I will have to try your recipe it sounds great!

  • Ooh this looks great. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t post this since I haven’t actually made it. ; P

  • The slowcooker makes the best pulled pork ever!!!

  • What is aleppo chili powder? Would regular chili powder be fine?

    • You can really use any kind of chili powder you want or have on hand. Aleppo is just a type of pepper, and it’s pretty mild and a little fruity.

      • When you say “any kind of chili powder,” do you mean powder from a single kind of chili (like habanero or cayenne) or the more common chile powder blend? Sorry to get so picky but, well, I guess I’m getting picky! 🙂

        • elly

          Well, technically it can be either but I wouldn’t use something like habanero or cayenne unless you want it really spicy. I’d stick with a commercial chili powder blend or a single, milder chile like ancho or alleppo.

  • Was the chicken frozen when you put it in the slow cooker?

    • The chicken I used wasn’t frozen – well, it may have been a little in the center because I had taken it out to thaw the day before.

  • Aleppo pepper is my new favorite ingredient in everything!

    I went to a cooking demo last month by a chef from a four-star restaurant and he used aleppo. I could not get home fast enough to get to the Spice House website to order it. Theirs is crushed, not powdered and I love it. I have used it on salads, pizza, pasta….anything.

    Here is what the website says about this spice:
    “Aleppo chili pepper comes to us from northern Syria, near the town of Aleppo, which is considered one of the culinary meccas of the Mediterranean. It has a moderate heat level with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones, with a hint of a vinegar, salty taste.”

    • I get mine from Spice House, too. Actually I get pretty much everything from there because it’s great quality and cheaper than the grocery store!

  • Yep, Spice House is a great place to shop! I love to look at the website. Of course when I got the Aleppo, I had to get other things too, to justify the shipping. So I got some of their tomato powder, which I have had in the paste. It really ramps up tomato flavor in cooked recipes.

    I am lucky to have an organic store near me that sells loose spices, so I can buy a really small quantity of something I only need a teaspoon of…like the ground cloves that I needed for some recipe.

  • Jan

    You have the yummiest recipes! Just wanted to let you know I nominated your for the One Lovely Blog award 🙂

  • Elly, I will definitely try this chicken dish, honestly I do not use my slow cooker as often as I should, great for a mid week dinner 🙂

  • Wow! Those look really yummy! Will definitely have to try this recipe after Easter … or I may just make it for some guests on Saturday regardless of whether I can eat it or not!

    • Just wanted to let you know I made these Elly and they came out great! I only added a little twist to the barbecue sauce … unfortunately, that’s the only thing I got to taste as I’m not eating meat for Lent. But everyone else said the pulled chicken as a whole was great. Thanks for the idea!

      • So glad you liked them, Maria!

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  • This looks great! I usually make it with pork shoulder, but chicken breast/thigh meat is so much healthier and less fatty, so I am going to try this recipe next time we have a craving for BBQ sandwiches. Thanks for posting!

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  • Tim

    Excellent, didn’t have honey but improvised. Excellent, can’t wait to try with the honey so its sweet, spicy, and sticky.

  • I with you, I prefer pulled chicken over pork, and mostly for the health reasons. This looks delicious. Thanks!

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