July 4th

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spicy Pulled Chicken on Homemade Cheddar Jalapeno Buns

Baseball. Baseball. Baseball. That is what we have been doing everyday for the past 3 months. Between high school baseball and Little League, we never seem to be home for dinner! My family has been eating waaaay too much concession stand food!! We only had an early morning practice yesterday so we spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool. After more than my fair share of vitamin D, I headed home with a car full of hungry, waterlogged kids. My kids love chicken and love spicy stuff. I came across this recipe for a pulled chicken dish and thought I could tweak it to my family's taste. It was a great success! I served the spicy chicken on homemade buns full of cheddar cheese and jalapeños, a simple red cabbage slaw to cool the spice and some fire roasted corn on the cob. You can adjust or omit the jalapeños in these recipes if your family likes more or less spice. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Spicy Pulled Chicken
Makes about 8 servings
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato puree
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 -1/2 cup hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons chili powder
3teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the Slaw:
3 cups Red cabbage sliced very thin
4 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lime, juiced


For the chicken:
 In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the tomato puree, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly. Add in the chicken thighs, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, or until chicken is completely cooked and tender.
Remove from heat. The chicken should be very tender, and easily shredded. Using 2 forks, inside the pot, pull the chicken apart. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for another half hour to absorb all the flavor. Serve on buns, topped with slaw or your other favorite bbq condiments.
For the slaw:
In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, chili powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add in the shredded cabbage and toss to coat just prior to serving. Serve over the pulled chicken.

Cheddar Jalapeño Buns


1 package yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
3 large jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped


Add warm water to the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit 10 minutes, until frothy. Add the, oil, 1 egg, and sugar to the bowl. Mix until well blended. Add the flour, salt, cheese, and peppers and mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook until the dough holds together, about 2 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If not, add additional flour by the tablespoon.

Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been lightly greased with oil. Cover it with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and each half into 4-6 pieces. Roll into rounds and flatten with the palm of your hand onto the baking sheet; placing buns about 1/2-1 inch apart. Cover with a damp towel and let them rise for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the buns with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.