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    Sweet and Tangy Pulled Chicken

    Source of Recipe

    From "One-Hour Comfort" by America's Test Kitchen

    Recipe Introduction

    "Genuine pulled chicken is worth the long wait through brining, smoking, shredding, and saucing. But when you crave a barbecue fix in a hurry, here's a way to get it. Start by braising boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a flavorful liquid that mimics the brine that the meat would normally get. Using broth instead of water intensifies the chicken flavor, while molasses adds bittersweet notes and liquid smoke contributes the essential smoky element. (Don't give liquid smoke the side eye: It's an all-natural ingredient made from real woodsmoke.) Since chicken thighs are collagen-rich, the meat stays juicy and becomes so fork-tender that it can be 'pulled' by simply squeezing the pieces apart with tongs. Strain the braising liquid, skim the fat, and add a bit of both to the shredded chicken to reheat before serving. The fat, along with a little powdered gelatin, offers the rich mouthfeel that normally comes from cooking bones and skin. More liquid smoke, along with tangy sauce, reinforces the barbecue vibes. Don't trim the fat from the chicken thighs here. If you don't have 3 tablespoons of fat to add back to the pot in step 4, add melted butter to make up the difference. Serve with pickles and coleslaw, if you like."

    List of Ingredients

    Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce:
    ◦ 1 cups ketchup
    ◦ cup mild molasses
    ◦ 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    ◦ 1 tablespoon hot sauce
    ◦ teaspoon table salt
    ◦ teaspoon pepper

    Chicken:
    ◦ 1 cup chicken broth
    ◦ 2 tablespoons mild molasses
    ◦ 1 tablespoon sugar
    ◦ 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, divided
    ◦ 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
    ◦ 1 teaspoon table salt
    ◦ 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise
    ◦ Hot sauce

    ◦ 6 to 8 hamburger buns

    Recipe

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

    For the chicken:
    Bring broth, molasses, sugar, 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, gelatin, and 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 barbecue sauce, 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 on buns, passing remaining sauce separately.

    Serves 6 to 8

 

 

 


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