We are officially going into short days and winter since daylight savings ended last weekend. Growing up, April always meant warmer days, sunshine, flowers and the tease of summer. These days it’s completely the opposite. I find it strange how seasons, months and holidays seem to coincide and when one element is different the whole feeling changes. Part of the joy in holidays and seasons is the nostalgic nature – so now Easter brings a change in wardrobe but rather than breaking out my spring dresses I’m pulling out sweaters and tights!
With the earlier sunset, spending an hour or two making dinner after work when it’s dark feels like we are eating late! So to assist with dinners and lunches during the week I try to prep veggies and proteins on Sunday or Monday. Last week I made BBQ pulled chicken in the slow cooker (crock pot) for sandwiches, wraps, burritos and quesadillas. When I use the slow cooker, I tend to cook things on low overnight so it’s ready in the morning. The chicken was so moist, delicious and super easy to make! We ate it mainly on rolls with extra BBQ sauce and my twist on coleslaw (recipe at bottom). For lunches, I would put the sandwiches together and then microwave for 10 seconds before eating. The little heat took the sandwiches to the next level as it loosened the bread up and helped the flavors blend.
We also used the chicken in the Mexi Bowls as the protein instead of beans and also put it in tortillas with cheese as a quesadilla. Though these two dishes mixed a Mexican flavour with a little BBQ chicken, we didn’t have issues with the flavors. We used salsa, greek yogurt and avocado on the mexi bowls and quesadillas, whereas the sandwiches had additional BBQ sauce.
BBQ Pulled Chicken
10 min prep, 8 hours cooking on low heat
1 cup Beer (use beer of choice – I used The Chancer Golden Ale)
3 cups warm water or stock
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 red onions
1 whole chicken (using chicken breasts would reduce cooking time)
BBQ seasoning or rub
Roughly chop carrots into disks and onions into wedges. Line the bottom of the slow cooker (or crockpot) with the carrots and onions. Place whole chicken on top of carrots and onions.
Pour the apple cider vinegar & beer over chicken and if possible into the cavity of the chicken. Fill up the slow cooker with the water. I tried to pour the water around the chicken in hopes that I wouldn’t wash off the beer and ACV from the top of the chicken. The water should come up halfway on the chicken – you may need to adjust the amount of water based on pot size and chicken size. Note – the water level will rise during cooking as illustrated in my photos below.
Pour the 1-2 Tbs of BBQ sauce and BBQ seasoning onto the exposed skin of the chicken. Massage with either fingers or back of spoon into the chicken skin. Sprinkle 1 Tbs of Seasoning and sauce into beer and water mixture and stir around chicken to ensure seasoning dissolves.
Put lid on and cook on low for 8 hours. I put mine on at night and it was perfect when we woke up in the morning. Since we were headed straight to training I changed the setting to keep warm setting until we returned home.
The chicken will be super tender and hot so use tongs to remove the legs first and then remove the rest of the chicken onto a big cutting board. Pull meat off of bone and put into a big bowl. Pull chicken apart using two forks until shredded to desired consistency. Add 1-2 Tbs of the stock from the slow cooker and 2 Tbs of BBQ sauce. Mix well and serve. Store leftover chicken in a sealed container up to 5 days in the fridge.
One handful of slaw
1 heaping Tbs Greek Yogurt
½ tsp mustard
1/8 tsp lemon juice (estimated)
Salt & Pepper
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve on two buns with pulled BBQ chicken.