Teriyaki Pulled Chicken

I love cooking with my crock pot.  It’s great for work nights; I can take a few minutes in the morning to put a dish in the crock pot, and when I come home in the evening, I have dinner ready and waiting for me!

Crock pots are also great for cooking for a large group.  I recently made pulled pork in the crock pot for a BBQ with friends.  The pulled pork was easy to make, and I didn’t have to spend time away from my guests while I was cooking.

I created this pulled chicken recipe to accompany the Asian Slaw recipe.  I think the flavors of the pulled chicken really complement the slaw. You’ll also notice that the sauce is similar to the sauce in the Teriyaki Chicken Wings.  I absolutely love this teriyaki sauce, because it’s not too sweet, not too spicy, but has great flavor and a hint of garlic.

My initial thought was to make this a recipe with pulled pork, but when I think teriyaki, I think chicken.  But I’m sure this would still taste great with pork. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs because I like the mixture of light and dark meat in the pulled chicken, and using the skinless chicken makes it a little more figure friendly.  The meat will pull apart easily because it’s extremely tender, so you’ll definitely want to use boneless meat when making it in the crock pot, otherwise you may get bones mixed in with the meat. Trust me, the meat will still be tender with the boneless, skinless meat.

Here’s the recipe for Teriyaki Pulled Chicken:

3-4 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts and Thighs

1 Vidalia or Walla Walla Onion, Chopped

**I like to use these sweeter onions to give a milder flavor to the sauce, but you can use regular yellow onion if you’d prefer.

2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

1 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup White Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Teaspoon (a small handful) Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper (for the teriyaki)

Salt and Pepper to Season the Chicken

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about five minutes.  Remove onion and garlic from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a crock pot.

Place the skillet back on the stove over medium high heat.  You might need to add another tablespoon of olive oil if there isn’t much liquid left in the skillet.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in the skillet until chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking on the skillet, prepare the teriyaki sauce in the crock pot.  To the sauteed onions and garlic, add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, honey, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir to combine in the crock pot.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and add to the crock pot.  Cook in the crock pot for at least 6 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.  Remove the chicken from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board. Don’t throw away the teriyaki, you’ll add the meat back to the sauce.  Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it by pulling it apart with two forks, or you can even use your hands to shred it.

Once the meat is shredded, return it to the teriyaki and stir the meat in the sauce.

Serve the pulled chicken on good quality kaiser rolls or hamburger buns.  You can top the chicken with the Asian Slaw or even a classic cole slaw.  You can even have it without any toppings because it tastes so good!!

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