*** Update – October 2015***
I frequently get texts from friends and family asking me for recipe ideas for potlucks, dinner parties, or for a freezer meal. This is always the first one on the list. After they make it, I always, ALWAYS, get a text saying what a big hit this recipe was. Men, women, kids (even the super picky ones. Ah hem, MINE!) have all been known to devour this chicken. Try making some homemade buns to go along with your fabulous bbq beer crockpot chicken.
It’s fantastic fresh from the crockpot. But you can also make it ahead of time, and just warm it hours or days after you make it. OR!!!!!! You can make it, cool it, and freeze it into smaller portions and take those portions out of the freezer whenever you want to use them (read below for how I freeze mine).
Bottom line, if you haven’t made this recipe yet, you should. Pronto!
***Original Post – May 2012***
My mom might be one of the only moms who didn’t ever make our meals in the crockpot, in fact, I don’t even know if we owned one… This is not to say my mom was some sort of chef. On the contrary, my friends. One day a week she made a trough of pasta, left it on the stove, and all week we dished out our meals worth (I always drenched mine with butter and parm, yum!). It’s no wonder I EVER learned how to cook, no really, it’s actually a miracle! Cooking in general, let alone in a crockpot, was preeeeeetty much foreign to me and I had a total fear of the crockpot. I know, it’s a stinken crockpot, scared of it, really JULIA! But it’s the truth, I didn’t totally understand how they worked. This last year though I’ve sort of fallen in love with the crockpot, and it all started with this chicken.
I made this chicken sandwich last fall for a wedding because I wanted to make a somewhat untraditional ‘wedding chicken’ dish. Serving ‘pulled chicken’ at a Jewish wedding can get a bit confusing when the servers start telling guests it’s ‘pulled pork.’ I promise, no pigs were harmed in the making of this chicken! Anyway…You guys, I can’t even tell you how many batches of this stuff I made over the course of a few weeks, literally, like 16 batches. It was insane. But even after making it over and over and over, we still didn’t get sick of it. Me, a meat disliker, even liked it! Maybe it’s because it has beer in it… just speculating. My point is, when a dish can be made soooooo many times (of course we sampled each batch) and you still don’t get tired of it, that’s when you know it’s a good one!
Summer is here. Well, I guess not officially, but I’m declaring it summer! It’s my way of willing the sun to come out in full force and for us to spend our afternoons in the backyard playing in the sprinklers. With summer comes hot weather, lots of watermelon, and backyard BBQ’s. The only downside to BBQ’s is that someone is stuck standing over the grill while everyone else is standing far away from it, avoiding the heat penetrating off of it. Soooooo, this chicken, it’s the solution. Since it’s made in a crockpot, it won’t heat up the house while it’s cooking. It’s waaaaaay easy, again, because it’s made in the crockpot. And, it’s just freaking delicious!
- Every crockpot cooks at different temperatures, and while my chicken took a little under 6 hours, yours might take more/less. If you start with frozen chicken breasts, it may take a little longer too. At around the 4 hour mark, check the chicken and see if it easily falls apart. If it does, it’s ready to be shredded.
- One of my favorite parts about this chicken (besides the taste) is that you can freeze the leftovers. Allow the cooked chicken to cool, then put it in a big ziplock bag, write the contents and the date on it, and shove it in the freezer. When you want to eat it, let it thaw (at room temp or in the fridge) then dump the chicken into a pot on the stove and reheat it. Simple!
- Use whatever bbq sauce you like, whether it’s store bought or homemade. If it’s a thicker BBQ sauce, you may want to add a little extra beer, but, if you forget (I know from experience), this will still taste amazing!
- Instead of beer you can use chicken stock, apple juice, pineapple juice, mango juice, etc… It’s pretty versitile. Sure, the flavor will be slightly different, but not THAT much. Yes, I’ve tried all of the substitutions I just mentioned and our favorite is still made with beer, even though Jon HATES beer. So for all you beer hatin’ folk, you’ll still like this!
- Serve the sandwiches with coleslaw on top and a side of beans. And maybe a side of potato chips, if you’re feeling generous (I was, they’re just not pictured because I was also feeling greedy and hoarded them to myself).
Recipe Adapted from How Sweet Eats