Barbecue Pulled Chicken
Almost nothing beats a barbecue pulled pork sandwich, but this faster and leaner spin, which is made with roasted chicken thighs and breasts and a quick barbecue sauce, is a delicious alternative that only tastes like it took all day to cook. Serve on buns with a vinegary slaw and ranch or buttermilk dressing, if you like. For a smokier flavor, use a combination of sweet and smoked paprika. Like most barbecue recipes, this is even better reheated the next day.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 ½teaspoons sweet paprika
- ½teaspoon ground cumin, plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon ground cayenne
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¼cup olive oil
- 3tablespoons canola oil
- ½cup minced shallots (from 2 to 3 shallots)
- 1(12-ounce) bottle stout beer
- ½cup cider vinegar
- ⅓cup Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓cup tomato paste
- ¼packed cup dark brown sugar
- 2tablespoons honey
- 1tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2garlic cloves, finely grated
Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Pat the chicken thighs and breasts dry and place them on a sheet pan. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon paprika with the 1/2 teaspoon cumin, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, then pour over the chicken and toss to coat.
Step 2Roast the chicken for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces, until an internal thermometer registers 165 degrees in both the thighs and breasts. Set aside until cool enough to handle, reserving the pan drippings.
Step 3Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beer, vinegar, Worcestershire, tomato paste, brown sugar, honey, mustard, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cumin; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened.
Step 4Remove the meat from the thighs and breasts, discarding the bones and skin. Tear the meat into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved drippings and toss to coat.
Step 5If serving immediately, add the chicken to the sauce, toss and warm through over medium heat. If making in advance, add the sauce to the chicken, toss well, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan set over medium heat before serving, or partly covered in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.