Do you need an easy dinner idea? Well, here you go!
BBQ Pulled Chicken with Bonus Chicken Stock
3-6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3-6 Carrots, peeled, and cut in 4-5 pieces
3-4 Stalks of celery, cut in 4-5 pieces.
1 Onion, peeled and rough cut
salt & pepper to taste
any other seasonings you like
Bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. (I like Sweet Baby Ray's.)
What can be easier than throwing some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot with water and seasonings, (salt & pepper, or whatever your like,) even some carrots, onions, and celery?
If you'll be gone all day and are comfortable leaving your crock pot on while you're away from home, then set your slow cooker to low. Season the chicken breasts, and add to the slow cooker. Add carrots, celery, onion, whatever you like to flavor your chicken stock. Add water to cover. If you're at home and want need to meal to be ready sooner, then set the slow cooker on high and follow those same steps above for adding the ingredients. For low, 6-8 hrs. For high, check the meat at 4 hrs.
When the chicken will pull apart with two forks, then separate the chicken from the broth and vegetables. Make sure to put the lid back on the crock pot to keep it warm, BUT DON'T FORGET THAT IT'S TURNED ON! Shred the chicken and return it to the crock pot FIRST, since it's still warm and you don't want to put something cold into a hot slow cooker! Add a bottle of BBQ sauce, or whatever amount you prefer, and mix with the chicken till heated through. If the BBQ sauce is cold, I would recommend warming it a little in a glass container in the microwave. Don't put the bottle of BBQ sauce in the microwave (for our not-so-well-versed in the kitchen fans!).
Next, strain the vegetables from the broth. If you want the broth to look its best, strain it through a cheesecloth. Then freeze the broth in ice cube trays. After frozen, remove the cubes and place in a Ziploc bag, then you'll have easy-to-use increments of chicken broth. This way, you can add as much or as little broth to whatever dish you're making the next night or some evening in the future. And, your ice tray will be back in service for the next item you want to freeze, whether it be water or more broth.
When the shredded chicken and BBQ sauce is heated through, serve as is, or on buns. Fast, easy dinner! I really appreciate this kind of meal. Though I love, love, love to cook and try new recipes, there seems to be no end to housework, yardwork, errands, etc. There are MANY days when dinner seems to be more of a chore than a pleasure to cook. So, meals like this slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken make life simpler on those busy days. And, it's nice to get a batch of chicken broth as a bonus. For you chicken broth afficionados, I know this broth has no bones or skin to help flavor it. However, I still really like this broth! When going to use the broth later in another dish, you have the choice of kicking up the flavor with the addition of herbs, seasonings, etc., and sometimes, I even use it to cook more chicken. It's as if I'm starting out with my own frozen buillion cubes. So, give it a try and tell me what you think. As long as you have your chicken breasts the night before or in the morning, you'll be set for a quick dinner that evening.