In honor of the start of summer in Maine (and in acknowledgement of the fact that it’s felt like summer in Georgia for about a month), I whipped out my Maine Summers Cookbook and began my search for the right recipe.
When I stumbled across “Pulled barbecued chicken with vidalia onions,” I knew it was the winner. We’d recently been treated to a delicious, slow cooker version of pulled barbecue chicken while at a friend’s home over Mother’s Day weekend. I hope to get a copy of their recipe, as well, but was thrilled to stumble across one of my own. In addition, the vidalia onions honor our new Georgia home (check out Vidalia, GA, “The Sweet Onion City”).
You could easily transfer this recipe to a slow cooker, I believe. It takes about 6 hours in an oven heated at approximately 250 degrees. The recipe below serves 8 – I made a smaller version, between 1/3 to 1/2, but wasn’t precise enough with my measurements to share it. The good news is, even if you don’t have the balance of ingredients exactly right, it still tastes great!
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 2 large Vidalia onions, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Cholula or other hot sauce
- 1/2 cup cola (please, I beg you, don’t substitute this with a diet version – the sugars in the original are a critical flavor element)
Preheat the oven to 250 – 300 degrees. Place the chicken and onions in a large Dutch oven. In a separate sauce pan, combine the chicken broth, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, cider vinegar, hot sauce, and cola over medium heat, stirring until well blended and the brown sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken and onions.
Put a lid on the Dutch oven and bake in the center at very low heat for 6 hours (I reduced the heat to about 200, 225 at this point). Check the chicken for doneness – it should be falling apart. Pull the chicken pieces to shreds using two forks until all meat is torn apart.
Recommended serving is with warm roles and cole slaw. I had the initial taste last night, while my husband attended a work dinner, and skipped the side dishes entirely.
Tonight, we’ll have the rest, and I plan to serve it with green beans and Ben’s Peppery Potato Wedges – another great recipe from the Maine Summers Cookbook.