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Recipe: Indoor Pulled Chicken

indoor pulled chicken recipe
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

This recipe is courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.

Indoor Pulled Chicken

Serves 6 to 8

Do not trim the fat from the chicken thighs; it contributes to the flavor and texture of the pulled chicken. If you don't have 3 tablespoons of fat to add back to the pot in step 3, add melted butter to make up the difference. We like mild molasses in this recipe; do not use blackstrap. Serve the pulled chicken on white bread or hamburger buns with pickles and coleslaw.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Chicken

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise
  • Hot sauce

To Prepare

For the sauce: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Set aside.

For the chicken: Bring broth, molasses, sugar, 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, gelatin, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add chicken and return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is easily shredded with fork, about 25 minutes.

Transfer chicken to medium bowl and set aside. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl (do not wash pot). Let liquid settle for 5 minutes; skim fat from surface. Set aside fat and defatted liquid.

Using tongs, squeeze chicken until shredded into bite-size pieces. Transfer chicken, 1 cup sauce, ½ cup reserved defatted liquid, 3 tablespoons reserved fat, and remaining 1 teaspoon liquid smoke to now-empty pot. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until liquid has been absorbed and exterior of meat appears dry, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.