Zesty Barbecue Chicken That Cooks for Hours
Barbecue chicken is a protein-rich dish you can use in everything from sandwiches and wraps to salads and even as a topping for pizza. This Crock-Pot version simmers in your slow cooker for hours, which deepens the robust flavor and produces a tantalizing, sweet and spicy aroma. It’s also lean, using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and requires only a short list of common ingredients. If your family prefers dark meat, substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Cook up a batch to serve at a summer picnic or prepare it on a weekend afternoon to work into meals throughout a busy week.
Total Time: 190 - 490 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 1 1/2 large breasts)
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper, as desired
- Place the chicken breasts in the pot of your slow cooker, sprinkling a small pinch of salt over each.
- In a large bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, garlic, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir these ingredients together until well combined.
- Pour the entire bowl of sauce over the chicken in your slow cooker, then set the temperature to high to cook for 3 to 4 hours, or on low to cook for 7 to 8 hours.
- Once the time is up, add a touch more salt plus pepper to taste, if desired.
- Shred the chicken using two forks, then place it back in the pot for an additional 10 to 12 minutes to soak up the remaining sauce. If you serve the breasts whole, add a spoonful of sauce over the top of each as you serve it, or place a bowl of the leftover sauce on the table for your family to dip into as they wish.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
- If your family prefers darker meat, use 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, or about 8 thighs, instead of breasts. They contain only slightly more saturated fat, but more flavor, zinc and iron as well.
- Use mild barbecue sauce if family members aren’t keen on hot peppers, serving cayenne pepper or spicier barbecue sauce on the side for anyone who prefers added heat. You can also offer sliced sweet and hot peppers as option topping for sandwiches. Just make sure you let partakers know which is which.
- To add volume to leftover sauce if served on the side, stir in a bit more barbecue sauce. If it's too thick at that point, add a touch of water.
August McLaughlin is a health and sexuality writer, podcast host and author of “Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment” (Amberjack Publishing, 2018). Her articles appear in DAME Magazine, Cosmopolitan.com, the Huffington Post and more, and she loves connecting with readers through her blog and social media. augustmclaughlin.com