Well, I know that summer has come and gone, and what a beautiful summer it was. In my neck of the woods it remained around 80 degrees most days. I don’t think we ever even got close to 100 degrees. That’s my kind of summer.
Now autumn is here and while I’m eager to start thinking about how to use apples and pumpkin, I’ve got to share my pulled chicken recipe. Even though we associate barbecue with summer, there’s no bad time for barbecue. This is the perfect recipe for football season, potluck parties, and any time you have a large gathering. I substitute the chicken for the more traditional pork. You will need a little more “sauce” at the end for tossing as the absence of fat in the chicken will make it dry out a little faster than pork shoulder.
In keeping with my mission of cooking with “ingredients” I wanted to show you how easy it is to make your own rub and even, in effect, your own barbecue sauce. There’s no reason to buy ready-made products when you probably have most of the ingredients on hand anyway.
Another recommendation I have for those of you who avoid gluten and wheat is to skip the sandwich and serve this over a baked potato, a baked sweet potato, fries of any kind, and even over tortilla chips to make a unique nachos dish. While I like to use fresh ingredients as much as possible, there are some great frozen fries out there both made from potatoes and sweet potatoes. I like the Alexia brand. Just seek out a brand with limited ingredients like only potatoes or potatoes with salt. Avoid any product that has a long list of ingredients or ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
Of course feel free to pile it on your favorite bread with cole slaw and pickles. Don’t mess with success if that’s what makes you happy.
3-4 lbs. Chicken (boneless/skinless breast or thighs or combo)
Rub (recipe below)
Tomato puree (15 oz. can)
Apple cider vinegar – 1/3 cup
Worcestershire sauce – 2 tsp.
Coarse Salt – ¼ cup
Cumin – 1-2 tbsp.
Chili Powder – 1-2 tbsp.
Cayenne – pinch or 2 according to taste
Black Pepper – pinch or 2 according to taste
Cinnamon – pinch or 2 according to taste
Agave (or brown sugar)- ¼ cup
Rub the chicken. Put the chicken in a slow cooker or large heavy pot. Cover with tomato puree, apple cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Cook on low for at least 3 hours or until chicken shreds easily.
You will have an excess of cooking liquid at the end. I like to reduce it and toss the chicken with it instead of using barbecue sauce, which is the more traditional route. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side or, to switch things up, serve pineapple salsa.
All measurements are approximate. Adjust according to your taste.
Serving Suggestion: Top your pulled chicken with pineapple salsa.