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Tag Archives: slow cooker

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

3 Jul

Is anyone else in disbelief that the Fourth of July is already upon us?  In these midwestern parts, it seems to have jumped straight from winter’s end to Independence Day.  The kids are beyond ecstatic that tomorrow is the day they get to stay up waayy past dark.  All bright eyed, and mesmerized under the night sky ablaze with vibrant fireworks.  We’ll pay for it the following morning, but we gotta live life on the edge once in awhile 😉

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

Like countless others, we’ll be firing up the grill and everything else that comes with an outdoor BBQ splurge.  With the welcome sunshine comes the motivation of cooking our grub mostly sans oven.  We plan on pulling out the Brown Sugar Baked Beans and maybe our favorite Red Potato Salad Ranch Salad without mayo!

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 2

This Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken is one of my favorite ways to add to the cookout feast.  No oven and no competing for grill space.  This pulled chicken, like our no-fail Perfect Pulled Pork, is fully done up in the slow cooker.  Yes.  It could not be easier.  Toss it all in your slow cooker, let it go carefree, and voila!  You’re rewarded with the most flavorful, tender, juicy, and barbeque-y pulled chicken.  Chicken that’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky. On the bun, in a salad, or in a wrap.  This stuff is awesome.

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 3

I love foods like this.  Super delicious, crowd pleasing, and incredibly easy.  I actually prep mine the night before, and just turn the slow cooker on the next morning.  I can focus on other things (i.e., the grill) and just a few hours later, we’ve got a mouthwatering dish of pulled chicken, hot and ready to serve up.  Does it get better than that?  We think you’ll love this Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken.  It’s perfect for all those summer BBQ cookouts.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Enjoy 🙂

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RECIPE (8-10 servings)

4 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs (breasts can be mixed with thighs, but thighs turn out more tender)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp table salt (fine)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
6 TB packed brown sugar
2 tsp onion powder
2 TB worcestershire sauce
2+  cups Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce (my favorite choice; brand of sauce matters!)
1 – 1.5 TB liquid smoke
Buns or sandwich rolls to serve
Pickles to serve

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.  Mix sauce ingredients well.  Sauce can be made well ahead of time and kept in fridge.  Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels.  Combine chicken with sauce and place in slow cooker.

Cook on high about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Carefully remove chicken from slow cooker with tongs.  Keep slow cooker lid on and keep sauce warm.  Pull chicken apart/shred with forks.  Return shredded chicken into slow cooker.  Toss well to make sure chicken is fully coated in sauce.  At this point, add bit more BBQ sauce if needed.  Cook on high another 30-45 minutes.  Turn down to warm setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Toast buns or sandwich rolls and serve with pickles, if desired.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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Hearty White Chicken Chili

2 Feb

I might have a new addiction to hearty foods.  I recently gave you two of our favorites: Hearty, Chunky Chili and Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup.  Maybe it’s the winter; around our neck of the freezing woods, hearty dishes are more than a mild craving.  Not to mention all the game-day celebrations, which call out for eats that would satisfy a crowd of ravenous guys.  And gals 🙂

White Chicken Chili

So, yeah, I’ll go ahead and add another one to the hearty list.  This white chicken chili hits the spot.  When the weather is cold, I love having my slow cooker filled to the brim with this goodness.

White Chicken Chili 3

Hearty white chicken chili is all that its name suggests… and more.  Chunky bites of tender white chicken, soft white beans, and sweet corn for texture.  All bathed in a mouth-watering broth.  Perfect if a chewy loaf of rustic bread  were to show up alongside of it.  Or bust out these easy sweet corn muffins…sooo YUM.

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I’ve tried various white chicken chili recipes, but always return to this one as my go-to fave.  They all taste yummy, but my laziness brings me back to this great recipe, because it’s super e-a-s-y.  As in, you don’t have to cook the chicken meat separately first.  Yep, it’s true.  Just throw all the goodness into one big slow cooker and let it go.  Just let it go.  Dinnertime 🙂

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RECIPE (10-12 servings)

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs uncooked skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders, cut into chunks
3 (15 oz each) cans Northern beans, drained
2 (10.5 oz each) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 (15 oz each) cans corn
2 cups chicken broth
4 small onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp oregano
2 1/2  tsp cumin
1 tsp Tobasco sauce
6 TB flour
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients (except salt/pepper) into large slow cooker.  Mix well to incorporate.  Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink and onions are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn slow cooker to “warm” setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.  If desired, garnish with shredded cheddar.  Serve with bread, chips, or corn muffins.

Source:  Chew Out Loud (adapted from an old recipe by my sweet friend Ashley)

Notes:  If you want to thicken your chili further after cooking, mix in 1 TB of flour at a time until desired thickness is achieved and let it cook another 30 min or so.  If you want to thin it out, simply add more chicken broth until desired consistency.

Perfect, Smoky Pulled Pork

18 Aug perfect smoky pulled pork

Years ago, I went through a slow cooker phase.  What’s not to love about such a good, old-fashioned appliance that delivers?  Especially when the “daily stuff of life” leaves little time for cooking, the crock pot is a dinner saver.  A few times, I’ve turned to said appliance for batches of various styles of pulled pork, which have all turned out tender and juicy.  But this recent rendition of pulled pork is, unquestionably, our family’s most favorite-est.

perfect smoky pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – really hits the spot!

Nope, it doesn’t even require a smoker.  I know a few BBQ Guys who turn out deliciously smoky meats with their smokers.  I could subconsciously be a tad envious because I don’t own a smoker.  I don’t have a smoker and I refused to turn on the oven with the hot and humid weather.  Thankfully, my trusty crock pot was ready to go.  The neighbors might even have been envious of the great big BBQ aroma coming from my little kitchen 🙂

perfect pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – smoky, sweet, and savory – all without a smoker!

Actually, now that I think about it… it’s kind of funny that I’ve been posting about meat.  During my independence-seeking college years, I swore off red meat, among other things.  If I remember correctly, I adamantly refused beef and pork during that health nut phase (which my mama still scolds me for.)  Funny how pork has since had an image revamp and become the “other white meat” – yeah, okay, that probably doesn’t include pork shoulder/butt.  But still.  Pork has come a long way.

perfect pulled pork smoky

Perfect Pulled Pork – tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone YUM!

I still favor poultry and seafood, but I’ll totally fill my plate with these pulled pork sandwiches when they come calling.  I’m serious – this pulled pork is full of flavor, with an awesome dry rub that sits on it overnight before cooking.  The only challenge is that you’ll need to plan for that night of marinading.

Perfect Pulled Pork 5

Perfect Pulled Pork – serve it up with your favorite coleslaw, pickles, or potato chips.

The best part of this pulled pork is that you will get such big flavor and tender and  fall-off-the-bone-goodness, all with little effort once everything is in your slow cooker.  Just turn on that sweet little cooker early in the morning, and dinner is ready when you get home!

Perfect Pulled Pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – cooks all day on its own!

Oh, and everyone knows that BBQ sauces are not all alike.  My disclaimer is that I only use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce because out of all the sauces I’ve tried, this is it.  I’m not doing some kind of sponsor-ad thing, and I didn’t get my recipe off the back of the sauce bottle.   I just want you to really like this meal.  You can certainly use something else, but it probably won’t end up tasting like the pork I’m bragging about 🙂

Here’s to delicious food that cooks on its own, slow cooker style.  Enjoy!

RECIPE (10-12)

INGREDIENTS

For Dry Rub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TB paprika
1 TB kosher salt
1 1/2 TB freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB onion powder

4-5 lbs pork shoulder or butt
2 cups cola or root beer
3 T liquid smoke
1/4 cup water
1-2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray Honey BBQ Sauce, depending on how saucy you want it

DIRECTIONS

Make dry rub by mixing first 7 ingredients together.  This can be made days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

Using paper towels, dry pork.  Press dry rub generously onto pork, on all sides.  Wrap pork tightly in double foil and let sit overnight in fridge.

Remove foil from pork and set evenly in slow cooker.  Pour in 2 cups cola or root beer and 3 T liquid smoke.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours.

Remove and shred pork.  Reserve cooked pork juices into separate bowl and skim off fat.  Put shredded pork back into slow cooker.  Mix in 1 bottle BBQ sauce.  Add as much of the reserved pork juices as desired.  I use maybe half or more.  Add more BBQ sauce if desired.  The meat will soak up a lot of the moisture, so this part is pretty much done by taste and by eye.  Once it is to your liking, cook on low another 30 min to 1 hour.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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