Crock Pot Pulled Barbecue
We have a load of tomatoes in our freezer, tomatoes we grew last season. I’ve talked before about keeping tomatoes, and in a day or two, because of a change in my writing schedule, I will do a discourse on tomatoes. Suffice it to say that the following recipe will be better if you make this with a sauce you make yourself from tomatoes you grew yourself. Come back for that discussion in a day or two. But for the moment, here’s a story: I came home from work the other day, and the house smelled absolutely incredible. It was like there was a barbecue party going on, which I knew couldn’t be the case, since it was about 50 degrees outside, and we really don’t party much anyway. To my delight, I discovered that the wonderful fragrance assaulting me was that I was in the presence of something special–pulled barbecue sandwiches, something we hadn’t done before, and wasn’t I thrilled! Well the reality of the sandwiches was even better than the promise when I hit the door. To my additional delight, thanks to the good folks at EatingWell.com, these sandwiches were even healthy (especially if you skip the bread, but served on really good artisan rolls, one just has to do the sandwich. And even better, you make this one in the crock pot. Just dump the ingredients in the pot, turn the knob to low, and go to work. What you come home to will warm your heart (and your throat and belly if you make it spicy). You could even substitute pork for the chicken if you want to go all the way to barbecue heaven, but if you do, make plenty and invite friends. You’ll win hearts with this one.
Here’s what you need:
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika (you can use sweet paprika if that’s all you have, but smoked is waaayyy better)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. ground chipotle chili (you can get this at most better grocery stores)
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 clove garlic, minced
Here’s what you do:
1. Stir the first 10 ingredients (tomato sauce through salt) in a large slow-cooker pot until smooth.
2. Add chicken, onion, and garlic, stir to combine.
3. Cover the pot and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart easily (about 5 -6 hours).
4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with forks.
5. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well, and serve over hard rolls.
Per serving, this is only (get this!!!) 184 calories per serving and only 8 grams of carbs (not counting the bread). This represents just 1/2 serving of carbs. Eat well!