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Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken 8.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Aug 9, 2018

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts render this dish low calorie and low fat, but packed with flavor. You can make Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce (see related recipe) to go with these, or you can use your favorite store-bought brand.

This recipe calls for a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, plus their juices
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or as needed
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 halves)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hamburger buns or rolls, for serving
  • Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce (see related recipe), or your favorite barbecue sauce, for serving

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Combine the tomatoes and their juices, the vinegar, honey, paprika, soy sauce, mustard and crushed red pepper flakes in the insert of your slow cooker. Add the chicken and season well with salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for about 5 hours, or until the chicken is falling apart.

Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper. Shred or tear the chicken into smaller pieces, as you like. Spoon onto buns or rolls and serve hot, with barbecue sauce on the side.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South,” by Virginia Willis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018).

Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using 1 teaspoon salt): 170

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 3g 5%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 85mg 28%

Sodium: 310mg 13%

Total Carbohydrates: 8g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 26g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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