Smokey, slow-cooked pulled pork has become increasingly popular in the UK over recent years, and for good reason. The long cooking process results in meat which is so tender it can literally be pulled apart. Combined with a delicious blend of spices, authentically prepared pulled pork soaks up all of the flavour of the rub as well as being injected with the delicious smoke aroma from the cooking process, resulting in a taste which is arguably unmatched in any other dish.
Recreating pulled pork at home is possible, if time consuming. In More Takeaway Secrets, I included a recipe which is designed to be made in a home oven and which I hope produces good results. The dry rub contains garlic, paprika, coriander, brown sugar and more to create a spicy coating on the meat. Although missing the deep flavour which comes from properly smoking the meat, the pork cooks for several hours in the oven, becoming temptingly tender and appetising.
Having the time to plan ahead and slow-cook meat for several hours is no doubt a fantastic thing. All too often however, time is short and we find ourselves looking for a quick fix. To that end, I've designed this recipe to satisfy the cravings whilst ensuring that the entire dish can be prepared and served in around an hour. Of course, if time allows, you could marinate your meat for a few hours or overnight, however I'm confident that the spice rub detailed below packs a nice punch even when used almost immediately.
To ensure the meat cooks quickly whilst remaining juicy and tender, I've used chicken thighs. These will cook in good time but do a good job of holding in the spices included in the recipe. If you're a fan of pulled pork, or indeed any BBQ style food, give this a go and I hope you'll be glad to have done so.
BBQ Pulled Chicken
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch white pepper (optional)
- pinch cinnamon (optional)
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 100ml light chicken stock
- 2-3 tablespoons BBQ Sauce (I used Tesco own brand)
- 1 teaspoon Frank's RedHot Sauce (optional but recommended)
In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, ginger powder, smoked paprika, chilli powder, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, white pepper and cinnamon. Mix well.
Unfold the chicken thigh fillets and add the prepared dry rub. Massage the spices into the meat until thoroughly coated. Cover and set the chicken aside in the fridge until ready for use. Leave the chicken marinating in the spice rub for at least 20-30 minutes, or up 24 hours if desired. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a frying pan over a high heat. Place the chicken thighs into the pan and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes over a high heat until well browned on one side. Turn the chicken pieces and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on the other side until well browned all over.
Add the chicken stock, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer the chicken for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through.
Remove the lid and use tongs to transfer the chicken thigh fillets to a large plate or bowl. Allow the stock to continue simmering over a low heat with the lid off whilst you 'pull' or shred the chicken. This can be done using two forks, a knife and fork or simply with a pair of scissors.
Return the shredded chicken to the now reduced stock, add 2-3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and 1 teaspoon of Frank's RedHot sauce. Mix well, cover and simmer the chicken for a further 10-12 minutes over a low heat until the sauce thickens and the chicken is coated in a sticky BBQ sauce.
Serve the BBQ Chicken in a toasted burger bun or tortilla / chapati wrap with any of your favourite side dishes such as coleslaw, sliced chilli peppers, dill pickles, curly fries or potato wedges.