Slowcooker Pulled Chicken

March 8, 2010 · 26 comments

in burgers/sandwiches,chicken/poultry,crockpot,dairy-free,healthy

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.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsey March 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

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


ash March 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

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


At home with my kiddos March 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

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!


Renea March 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

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


bellini valli March 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

The slowcooker makes the best pulled pork ever!!!


Leigh Ann March 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

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


elly March 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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.


Deirdre Reid August 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

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 August 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

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.


Rebecca March 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

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


elly March 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm

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.


JoAnn March 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

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.”


elly March 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

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!


JoAnn March 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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 March 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

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


Juliana March 9, 2010 at 10:47 am

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 :-)


Maria March 11, 2010 at 7:53 am

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!


Maria March 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

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!


elly March 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

So glad you liked them, Maria!


the hungry artist March 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

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!


Tim December 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm

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


Sherry January 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

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


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