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Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

It’s like pulled pork, but with chicken.

This awesome recipe for slow cooker pulled chicken is as delicious as it is easy to make. All you need is a slow cooker, we bought a super affordable online, mix up the marinade/sauce ingredients and then chuck them in with the chicken thighs. That’s it. In a few hours time you’ll have succulent, flavoursome pulled chicken for dinner. 

We like to serve out pulled chicken in a lightly toasted brioche bun, with a side of sweet potato fries and coleslaw. 

Pulled chicken with sweet potato fries and coleslaw
Pulled chicken with sweet potato fries and coleslaw

This really is the best no-fuss, mid-week dinner recipe idea. Slow cooker pulled chicken is great for when you don’t have much time to cook, or you’re not even into cooking that much. It’s so easy to make. 

Pulled Chicken Recipe
Pulled Chicken Recipe

And not only are you getting a great recipe in this shredded chicken recipe but you can use it as a springboard to make other recipes. For instance, you could make slow cooker pulled chicken tacos, or pulled chicken bbq. You could make pulled chicken wraps, burgers, and so much more. Our fave option is essentially a pulled chicken sandwich, or pulled chicken burger, depending on how you look at it. 

This is the best shredded chicken recipe in our opinion, so we recommend making it a few times then start adapting it to suit your own tastes!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with fries
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

What is slow cooker pulled chicken?

Slow cooker pulled chicken is essentially chicken which is cooked at a low and slow temperature in a flavoured sauce mixture. The process produces a soft and succulent meat that just ‘pulls’ apart when you dig into with cutlery. 

Using a slow cooker means you can efficiently cook the chicken for a long time without having to turn the oven. 

Cheats Pulled Chicken
Cheats Pulled Chicken

What is in the pulled chicken recipe?

This is really a ‘cheat’s pulled chicken’ in that we use some convenience ingredients such as tomato ketchup. We want this recipe to be as quick, easy, and accessible as possible. So we make our pulled chicken sauce using tomato ketchup as the base and some extra ingredients to give the brilliant depth of flavour we love in pulled chicken or the similar bbq chicken. 

We prefer to use the low salt and low sugar Heinz tomato ketchup.

To this pulled chicken recipe we had a Knorr chicken stock pot. We love these for adding meaty and umami depth of flavour. A normal stock cube would be fine but this is extra flavoursome. 

We also add brown sugar and white wine vinegar for extra sweetness and sourness notes.

And for spice we use smoked paprika as the main spice for flavour. It gives a little heat without being overly spicy. You can also add a touch of cayenne pepper if you want your pulled chicken spicy.

Finally, some garlic puree is used for ease rather than chopping up fresh garlic. And a splash of Worcestershire sauce (we also sometimes use Henderson’s sauce) gives more saltiness and depth of flavour. 

Best pulled chicken recipe
Best pulled chicken recipe

Is pulled chicken the same as shredded chicken?

Yes, pulled chicken and shredded chicken are often used interchangeably amongst some cooks. 

What to serve with slow cooker pulled chicken

You can serve slow cooker pulled chicken in burger buns, brioche buns, any of your preferred sandwich rolls. It’s also great with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.

Other great sides and accompaniments to pulled chicken includes pickled onions, fresh salad, sliced avocado, lime, spring onions, or a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Slow cooker pulled chicken could also be served in tacos or wraps. Pulled chicken tacos are delicious! Or maybe add it to a fresh jacket potato. 

Shredded Chicken in a slow cooker pot with a wooden spoon
Shredded chicken in a slow cooker pot

Can you make any substitutions to pulled chicken?

We have played around with this recipe a lot and it is really adaptable, which is great to suit your own tastes and get creative. We have made this without sugar and it still tastes great. 

The cayenne pepper can be left out if you don’t like spicy food. Likewise, if you want it spicier increase to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. 

Pulled Chicken like pulled pork
Pulled Chicken like pulled pork

Can I make this recipe in a crockpot, instant pot, or thermomix?

As far as we know this pulled chicken recipe can also be made in a crockpot, instant pot or thermomix. We haven’t tested it ourselves but do check how your machine works best. 

Enjoy one of the best slow cooker chicken recipes.

Best Pulled Chicken Recipe
Best Pulled Chicken Recipe

SLOW COOKER PULLED CHICKEN (SERVES 4-6)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1KG Chicken Thighs, skin and bone removed
  • 100ml Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / Henderson’s sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Puree
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 0.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Chicken Stock pot
  • Generous seasoning of salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. In a measuring jug add all the ingredients except for the chicken thighs. Give them a good stir.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and the mixed sauce ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir so that the chicken is well coated.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Give the chicken a stir about an hour before serving to help break up the chicken thighs.
  4. When ready to serve use a wooden spoon or spatula to give the chicken a good stir to help break up the meat. 
Yield: 6

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

Pulled Chicken Recipe

Easy to make slow cooker pulled chicken takes just 5 minutes to assemble the ingredients then leave to cook for a few hours. Tastes amazing in burger buns or brioche rolls. Perfect mid-week dinner, or party offering.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1KG Chicken Thighs, skin and bone removed
  • 100ml Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / Henderson’s sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Puree
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 0.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Chicken Stock pot
  • Generous seasoning of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a measuring jug add all the ingredients except for the chicken thighs. Give them a good stir.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and the mixed sauce ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir so that the chicken is well coated.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Give the chicken a stir about an hour before serving to help break up the chicken thighs.
  4. When ready to serve use a wooden spoon or spatula to give the chicken a good stir to help break up the meat. 
Pulled Chicken shredded
Pulled Chicken shredded

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