Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Chicken

slow cooker pulled chickenOh, now here’s a variation on a theme for sure. I did an informal inquiry about what people think when they are asked about “pulled” meat recipes. The vast majority of them think of pork. But it doesn’t stop at pork. Here is a great pulled chicken recipe. The majority of recipes call for boneless chicken breasts, but I think that boneless thigh meat is far superior to breast meat. In its essence, thigh meat is much more moist. The results here are absolutely delicious.

This recipe can be served two ways. Balsamic pulled chicken can be served traditionally like pulled pork…on rolls (preferably onion rolls). Or it can be served over corn bread. There are a number of good recipes for corn bread. In fact, there’ll be one right on the box of corn meal you buy to complete this recipe. However, I’m providing a link to one of my favorite corn bread recipes, courtesy of the spectacular Giada De Laurentiis.


2-2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

sea salt and pepper (to season the chicken)

1 medium-large Vidalia onion or Bermuda onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup Balsamic vinegar

1 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock

Pickled jalapenos (for serving)

Baby Arugula (for sandwiches)


Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of the slow cooker. Salt and pepper the chicken and add it to the slow cooker, packing the brown sugar evenly over the top. If your chicken overlaps (which it might), be sure to get some of the brown sugar in between the pieces.

In a bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Pour it over the chicken. Set the slow cooker on “high” to cook for four hours. During that time turn the chicken once.

When you reach the 3-hour point, remove the chicken and pull it in to strips using two forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker for another hour, cooking with the cover off so that the “mop” thickens a bit.

Serve over corn bread topped with pickled jalapenos, or serve pulled chicken sandwiches on onion rolls using baby arugula the same way you’d use lettuce in a sandwich.


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