If you want to slow down on Sundays, you need--need!--to make a batch of pulled chicken in the slow cooker. The only cooking? Opening cans and plugging the machine in. And yet for our version, we've still used real food all the way: no high chemical signature from bottled dressings or sauces, no high fructose corn syrup anywhere, and no artificial flavors.
This is fairly large batch, 6 to 8 servings. You might want to have warmed tortillas, pickled jalapeño rings, shredded Cheddar, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, and sour cream at the ready. But to really make this a slow down Sunday, look for most of these extras on the salad bar at the supermarket. You'll have nothing to do but enjoy dinner. Cue up the DVR!
- One 14-ounce (400 grams) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup (175 grams) apricot jam
- 1/4 cup (45 grams) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, stemmed and seeded (NOT 1 can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
- 1 tablespoon mild smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1. Put the tomatoes, jam, brown sugar, vinegar, chipotle, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, coriander, allspice, cloves, dry mustard, and celery seeds in a large blender. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the inside of the canister.
2. Pour the tomato mixture into a 6-quart (5.6 liter) slow cooker. Add the chicken and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks and mix well with the sauce.
Note: The dish is fairly wet, a traditional pulled chicken to be eaten in a bowl with tortillas on the side. If you want a thicker, glazed sauce (and better pulled chicken for sandwiches), remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker before you shred it. Pour the sauce in the cooker into a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Put the cooked chicken in the reduced sauce, shred with two forks, and stir well.