It has been far too long since I posted a recipe. High time to remedy that, and what better way to do so than with this, a flavorful, saucy, easy cook, and favorite chez nous. It is perfect for those beautiful, lazy Sundays when you want to throw something together with little active cooking time that can feed a crowd, or be enjoyed as weeknight leftovers.
Photogenic it ain’t but tasty it indubitably is. If you want to fill the house with tantalizing tendrils of mouthwatering aroma, this is the dish for you.
When I say spicy here, I mean it. If you would like to take the heat down a notch or two, consider omitting the jalapeno, cayenne, or reducing the amount of hot sauce in the recipe below.
Did I mention this is a very messy, sloppy mass of deliciousness? Prepare yourself for a wrist-licking, paper-napkin-using good time. If you want a dryer, perhaps more domesticated version (which it must be said, I advise against), experiment by halving all sauce ingredients for the chicken. Or just use a knife and fork…
Spicy Pulled Chicken & Cooling Slaw
Ingredients For The Chicken:
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted (I use Muir Glen)
- 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. mustard
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Tapatio)
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne peper
- 4 tsp. chili powder
- 4 tsp. smoked paprika (look for pimentón, especially dulce)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Ingredients For The Slaw:
- 1/2 – 3/4 of one small red cabbage, halved and sliced very thin
- small bunch of cilantro, chopped fine
- about 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- salt to taste
- juice of half a lime
You will also need your favorite buns! A few slices of cheese never hurt.
Method For The Chicken:
Combine the butter and oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to color. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for an additional few minutes. Once the veggies are fragrant and soft, add the crushed tomato, worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce, brown sugar, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened a bit. Nestle the chicken thighs into the sauce and bring to a healthy simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer gently for an hour and a half, or until the chicken is completely cooked and tender, and the sauce has reduced somewhat. Don’t forget to give it a stir now and then to prevent and sticking.
Fish the chicken out, draining as you go, and shred using two forks on cutting board. It should be very tender and easily pulled apart. Return the shredded chicken to the sauce, stirring to distribute it evenly, and simmer gently for an additional 1/2 hour or so.
Method For The Slaw:
While the chicken is cooking, combine all ingredients for the slaw in a medium sized bowl. I add the yogurt gradually, not really measuring, until the ratio is to my liking. Experiment and see how much you prefer. Do keep in mind that the lime juice and addition of the salt will create a bit more moisture. Cover the bowl and allow flavors to mellow in the fridge while the chicken finishes. Prior to serving, toss, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
Method For Construction:
We prefer to eat this on buns, preferably with a slice of melted cheese. To do so, toast your bun in the oven with cheese on top, then add a healthy serving of chicken, and top with slaw. Serve with sufficient napkins or consider enjoying open-faced.
Serves about 8
Adapted from Portuguese Girl Cooks