In college, my mom racked up enough points on her credit card that she was entitled to a free gift. She didn’t want anything from the gift catalog, so she offered it to me and said to pick whatever 500 points got me. Being me, I glossed over the off-brand Snuggies and walnut chess boards and went straight for the kitchen section. There, I found a pretty sweet deal: a slow cooker.
I had just enough points. So I ordered it. A week later, my slow cooker came in the mail and the rest was history. Thanks, Mom! To this day I’ve used my slow cooker at least once a month. Slow cooking is, like, the most passive form of cooking, and yet it often yields the most delicious results.
My favorite thing to slow cook is chicken. It becomes this luxuriously juicy, flavorful meat that can be served in a variety of ways. Today I’m sharing a recipe for Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Pulled Chicken, and serving it with a cilantro purple cabbage slaw for crunch. I made this BBQ pulled chicken for a weeknight dinner, and loved how flavorful it was. And it made for fantastic leftovers, as well.
How to make pulled chicken
Asian BBQ pulled chicken sounds super fancy, but literally all you have to do is put all the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it cook on low for 6 hours total. About halfway through the cooking process, the chicken will be cooked enough for you to shred it. To shred the chicken, you have two options:
Shred the chicken with a fork — This is the most straightforward method for making pulled chicken, and you don’t have to dirty any extra bowls if you stick to using just two forks. You’ll need a little elbow grease to shred the chicken, but it should take you no more than 5 minutes to do it.
Shred the chicken in a stand mixer — This sounds crazy, but hear me out! Transfer just the chicken to the bowl of a standing mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Then whisk the chicken for 20 to 30 seconds to shred it. Genius, right? You’ll have a few extra dishes this way, but it’ll save you a lot of time.
Assembling the pulled chicken sandwiches
Once the slow cooker Asian chicken has been cooked fully and is shredded, you can (finally!) assemble the pulled chicken sandwiches. To do so, you simply have to:
Toast the burger buns — I opted to grill my burger buns on the stove, but toasting them in a toaster oven or in an oiled skillet would also work. Toasting the buns not only adds extra flavor and texture, but I find that it also helps the buns hold together a little better. The BBQ pulled chicken is quite moist, so you need a sturdy bun when making pulled chicken sandwiches.
Top with slaw — The key to any pulled chicken sandwich (Asian BBQ chicken or not) is a healthy dose of cabbage slaw on top. The creamy, crunchy slaw goes perfectly with the rich chicken and makes for a gourmet home dining experience.
Add sliced jalapeños — The jalapeños are totally optional, but are a must for spicy food fanatics. Canned pickled jalapeños wouldn’t go amiss here either.
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In a slow cooker, mix all ingredients together, adding the chicken last. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours. After 3 or 4 hours, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred into pieces, either with two forks, or using this super easy method: place chicken into stand mixer with whisk attachment and turn on low speed. Chicken will shred within 20 seconds! It’s brilliant.
Anyways. Place chicken back into slow cooker and continue to cook for another two hours. Chicken is done when it’s soft to the touch and not chewy at all.
To make the cilantro cabbage slaw, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Can eat immediately, or place in a jar to pickle for up to a day (after that, the purple of the cabbage will release it’s color).
To assemble the sandwiches, toast your favorite burger bun, then top it with the asian pulled chicken, cabbage slaw, and slices of jalapeños (optional)