A tasty switch…
For whatever reason you might not eat pork, this pulled chicken is a genius substitute! Just as tasty to eat, and truth be told, faster to make – using meaty bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs! Don’t worry though, the skin is discarded after cooking.
There are several steps to build the luscious flavour in the chicken. The first is combining the ingredients pictured above for a dry marinade, which is applied to the chicken – it then sits in the fridge overnight.
The next evening, bake the chicken thighs and let them cool slightly, to be able to do the shredding or ‘pulling’ using 2 forks and pulling in opposite directions. Do remove and leave out the skin, but be sure to save all those dark crispy bits. There’s a ton of flavour there!
Warm your favourite homemade or purchased barbecue sauce, or use one like this sweet & spicy Texas-style barbecue sauce and add the shredded chicken to it. Use lots of sauce! Whether you serve it on mini buns as sliders, on top of rice or lentils, or as a full on sandwich – you’ll want it saucy~
Break up the work…
You can actually make the chicken ahead, and have it shredded and ready to go in the fridge. When ready to serve, simply warm up the barbecue sauce, add the chicken to it and you’re ready to go. Use this recipe anywhere you’d use pulled pork; in sliders, quesadillas, chili, etc. It might be a good idea to double the recipe as this is fantastic to have on hand!
To serve as a big, juicy sandwich…
Granted, the buns pictured above were quite large and bigger than I wanted. I couldn’t find slider buns in the massive grocery I was in, so I picked what looked good. Soft. Crusty buns do have their place, but not in this sandwich; you don’t want the filling to come gushing out when you bite into it.
The best topper…
Why yes.. just like with a pulled pork sandwich the best topper is coleslaw. Again use store bought or homemade, but make sure it’s got a vinegar base; it’ll deliciously contrast the sweet-hot of the barbecue sauce.
Whether served as sliders or a sandwich, these are perfect for any casual gathering; great especially for game day on the telly. If you don’t eat bread/gluten, try serving it on white or brown rice, lentils, or beans such as pinto to keep in the southwestern flavour palate.
As always, for stopping by! Do you have a fave game day food that’s big at your house? Let us know in the comments~
Saucy BBQ Pulled Chicken
This clever substitute for pulled pork is just as tasty; just remember the chicken needs to sit overnight in the dry rub, before cooking. Great to use in sliders, sandwiches, quesadillas, or as a topper for rice or beans.
for the dry rub & chicken pieces:
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
to serve as a sandwich/slider:
- 3/4 - 1 cup barbecue sauce approx.
- 4 soft burger style buns or 12 slider buns
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups vinegar based coleslaw approx.
night before prep:
Combine the first 5 ingredients and set aside.
In a large plastic resealable bag add the chicken thighs and dry rub; turn bag to coat, gently massaging the rub into the chicken. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400º and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Place chicken on the baking sheet and bake for approx 35 - 40 minutes, or until 165º on a thermometer. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly.
Pull off and discard the skin. Using 2 forks, pull in opposite directions to shred the meat away from the bone, discarding the bone after.
Heat the barbecue sauce and add the chicken just before you’re ready to serve.
In the buns pile, on the chicken and then the slaw. Serve with lots of napkins!
Easily multiplied for a crowd - or if you just want a lot to have on hand!