Sweet N Spicy Pull Apart Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5-6 breasts)
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into discs (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TB. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 TB. pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce or romaine lettuce
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Green onions, chopped (optional)
  • Red cabbage (optional)
  • Brown mustard (optional)

Instructions

Place onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with whole chicken breasts. Pour 1/4 cup stock over the top. In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon sea salt, paprika, coriander, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle these spices over chicken and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

After chicken has been cooking for about 4 1/2 hours, begin the sauce by adding 1 1/2 cup stock and water to medium saucepan. Add carrot slices and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until carrots are soft enough to skewer with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together molasses, maple syrup (or honey), apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper.

Being careful to reserve broth, drain softened carrots. Add cooked carrots to a food processer fitted with an S-blade, along with 4 tablespoons of carrot broth. Blend until creamy. Add blended carrots (about 1 cup), as well as 1 tablespoon carrot broth to large bowl with sauce ingredients and mix well with a spatula or spoon.

At the 5-hour mark, check to make sure the chicken is cooked (there should be no pink flesh and an inserted thermometer should read 160o – 165o). If chicken needs more time, allow it to cook for another 30-45 minutes. If the chicken is cooked, add sauce to slow cooker and use two forks to shred the chicken and mix in the sauce. Let cook for another 10 minutes.

Spoon 1/2 cup filling onto 1 lettuce leaf and top with cucumber, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, or any optional topping. Roll or fold in half, and serve.

Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in freezer for 2 months.

Variation: For more heat, add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to chicken while it cooks.