Oklahoma isn’t really known for barbecue but there’s enough good ‘cue that I fell in love at a young age.
There’s just something about that smokey, sweet, and tangy flavor that makes me so happy.
I’ve only been to one BBQ joint in Milwaukee so far. (I’ve been really slacking here!) And I have another place on my list to try that looks really promising.
More recently though – I’ve taken to my slow cooker to get my BBQ fix.
As I looked through some slow cooker BBQ chicken recipes for inspiration, I noticed the majority of them call for putting all ingredients straight in the slow cooker.
Being a bit of BBQ obsessed person, I wanted to add even more depth of flavor to my recipe.
I decided to add seasonings to the chicken and then sear it before putting it in the slow cooker to really enhance the flavor. It turned out great!
I haven’t tried it yet but I think the cooked chicken would freeze well if you wanted to make a large batch and freeze some for future dinners.
I photographed this recipe as a sandwich but there are tons of ways you could serve this BBQ pulled chicken. I made a list of ideas within the recipe below.
If you make this recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram. Use #thesimplefoodie, I’d love to see it!
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 t. smoked paprika
- 1 t. ground garlic
- 1/2 t. hickory smoke flavoring, optional
- 1 t. salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 T. butter
- 1 1/4 c. barbecue sauce, divided (plus more as desired)
Place the chicken, smoked paprika, garlic, hickory flavoring, salt, and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Shake until the chicken is completely coated. (This can be done the night before to marinate overnight for even more flavor.) Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the chicken thighs in the skillet and let cook for a minute or two until browned. Then flip over and let the other side brown. Place the chicken and any pan drippings into a slow cooker. Pour 1 cup of barbecue over the chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or cook on low for 7-8 hours. Once the chicken is done, shred it with two forks. Add another 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce and stir so the chicken soaks in the juices and sauce.
- Serve as a sandwich and top with coleslaw (as pictured above).
- Serve as a wrap with greens, onions, and blue cheese.
- Serve on top of mashed potatoes with a side of roasted broccoli.
- Serve in a sweet potato boat with pinto beans, onions, and a drizzle of ranch dressing or melted cheese.
- Serve on top of a salad of greens, onions, carrots, avocado and ranch dressing.