Barbecue Pulled Chicken

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.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat 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.
  2. Step 2

    Roast 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.
  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, 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.
  4. Step 4

    Remove 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.
  5. Step 5

    If 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.