Flavored with tangy vinegar and sweet brown sugar, this chicken is a delicious, leaner alternative to traditional pulled pork. Layering the tender meat with crunchy slaw on a pretzel bun makes a sandwich hearty enough for dinner.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken broth
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 2 cups (6 oz./185 g) thinly sliced napa cabbage
- 2 cups (6 oz./185 g) thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) minced red onion
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. poppy seeds
- 6 to 8 pretzel buns, split
1. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. In a large fry pan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a slow cooker.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and dry mustard. Season with salt and black pepper, then whisk in the broth. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on high until the chicken falls apart when shredded with a fork, about 2 hours.
3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred with 2 forks.
4. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1 Tbs. cold water and stir into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cabbages and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, the remaining 2 tsp. Dijon mustard and the white wine vinegar and pour over the slaw. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, season with salt and black pepper and toss to combine.
6. Spoon the chicken and sauce on the bun bottoms, top with the slaw, cover with the bun tops and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Find more fresh and satisfying recipes for your slow cooker in our
The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns.