Sundays are the perfect day to pull out the slow-cooker. At least in my family. After attending church for 3 hours it’s so nice to come home to a ready-made meal. To open the front door, walk in, and be greeted by the aroma of something succulent cooking in the kitchen, all ready to eat, is pure heaven.
But this obviously isn’t limited to just Sundays. Whether you work outside the home or stay at home with the kids or whatever your situation may be, there isn’t one of us who doesn’t enjoy sitting down to a ready-made meal that required little to no effort on our part. And the convenience aspect aside, there is something particularly comforting and inviting about the flavors that are gently coaxed out of the ingredients through the slow-cook method. Slow-cooked food is marvelous.
Today’s menu in our home featured slow-cooked Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with an amazing homemade barbecue sauce. An all-American meal! This recipe is perfectly suited for both chicken and pork – you choose.
Let’s get started!
Place the chicken or pork roast in a slow cooker. Add all the slow cooker ingredients, set heat to low, and cook for 8-10 hours.
To make the barbecue sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 7 min.
Add the barbecue sauce mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to low, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance, and will taste even better!
When the chicken or pork is finished, place the chicken on a plate.
Discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken with two forks. Set the shredded chicken aside in a bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, ladle the vegetables from the slow cooker onto the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Discard the liquid from the slow cooker.
Combine half of the barbecue sauce with the shredded chicken or pork mixture, tossing to combine. Warm up the chicken or pork mixture and serve on warm sandwich buns with sliced pickles and your choice of sides (coleslaw, french fries, potato wedges, salad, etc). Pass around the remaining barbecue sauce. Serves 6
- Slow cooker ingredients:
- 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or a 3 lb pork shoulder roast
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced in half-moons
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- For the Barbecue Sauce
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz) can whole tomatoes, pureed
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup peach or apricot jam
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 sandwich buns, warmed
- Pickle slices
- Place the chicken or pork in a slow cooker on low heat. Add all slow cooker remaining ingredients and cook for 8-10 hours. Remove the chicken, discard the bones and skin, and shred the meat using two forks. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the vegetables in the slow cooker and combine them with the chicken. Discard the liquid.
- To make the barbecue sauce, Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Saute the onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine half of the sauce with the shredded chicken or pork and reserve the other half for passing around the table.
- Heat the shredded chicken or pork mixture before serving. Let dinner guests assemble their own sandwiches with pickle slices on top. Serve with french fries, potato wedges, salad, or your choice of sides.
- Serves 6.
- *Suggestion: Make the sauce in advance, up to 2 days. It saves time plus it will taste even better.