Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Well, it was the last meal of 2014, so it needed to be a good one. The main criteria for selecting this dish were:

  • Could be prepared in advance (no-one wants to be in the kitchen on NYE)
  • Could be reheated the next day to combat the inevitable hangover
  • Would suit a relaxed, low key New Years Eve night in
  • Involved bread baking (this bit is optional - you can just as easily use shop-bought burger buns, but I suddenly got it into my head on 31st December that I needed to bake bread again before the year was out. I will add my burger bun recipe to the blog SOON)\

This isn't really my recipe……it's been passed on by my lovely American friend Sarah. I've made a few tweaks to personalise it, and it is so simple yet so delicious that you may well add it to your regular mealtime repertoire!

Takes: About 10 minutes to prepare, plus 35 mins cooking time

Makes: A main meal for 6 people


  • 2 red onions
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 x 300g bottles of BBQ sauce (I like Reggae Reggae BBQ sauce, but just use your favourite brand)
  • 250ml chicken stock (just use a stock cube and make up to 250ml with boiling water)

Optional seasonings: lime juice, maple syrup, Worcester sauce, cayenne pepper/chilli powder

To serve: 6 burger buns, 150ml sour cream, 2 ripe avocados, smoked paprika


  1. Peel and slice the onions finely.
  2. Put the sliced onions and whole chicken breasts in a large lidded saucepan. Pour over the BBQ sauce and the stock. The chicken should be completely submerged. if it isn't, add a splash of water.
  3. Simmer gently with a lid on for 30 minutes , or until the chicken breasts are cooked through (take one out onto a chopping board and pull apart the thickest part with two forks. If it there is no visible pinkness in the meat then it's ready.
  4. Remove the chicken breasts to a chopping board. Crank up the heat under the pan and let it bubble vigorously for 5 minutes or until it reduces and thickens, and the onions are soft and translucent. At this point taste the sauce and add whatever you think it needs from the list of optional seasonings. Every brand of BBQ sauce ifs different, some need more sweetness, other need more tanginess, while others just need a kick of spice. Be brave and experiment - it won't hurt to add a bit of all of the seasonings (or none of them!).
  5. While the sauce is bubbling, use two forks to pull the chicken breasts into strips.
  6. When the sauce has reduced, return the pulled chicken to the pan and stir it to heat through. Either serve immediately or tip the chicken and it's sauce into a serving dish ready to be reheated later in the oven or microwave.
  7. Slice the burger buns in half. Slice the avocado, and let people pile up chicken, avocado and sour cream onto their bun halves, finishing with a sprinkle of smoked paprika if desire

Storage: The cooked chicken will be happy in the fridge for up to 3 days, but make sure it is reheated thoroughly. It also freezes well (as long as the chicken was not previously frozen).