A few months ago on the BBC I was watching a program on KFC in the UK. While amusing, I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was more background noise as I was puttering around. It has been years since I ate at KFC, and I didn’t really have a great hankering to go back. However, one episode consisted of them trying out a new product to try and encourage people to go back to KFC and appeal to the foodies. Their brilliant idea, pulled chicken.
When they showed it coming from their warehouse, it was in a soupy plastic pound ready to be reheated. It did not look good.
So, with the recent heat in the UK, I decided to make my own version. A foodie version. One that would appeal to people.
Pulled chicken, is essentially chicken that has been partially slow cooked in liquid. The process of doing so allows the meat to become tender and shred easily. If done properly it is lovely and juicy, but if overdone it is dry and stringy.
A good pulled chicken sandwich is held together with a lip smacking sauce, and topped with a crunch slaw. All served in a bun or roll that can handle it (Butter buns anyone?).
For the chicken, I used breast meat on the bone. Chucked it onto a heated pan with a bit of oil, garlic, onion. After a few minutes of sautéing it, I added chicken stock and some herbs I had to use up. Reduced the heat, covered the pan with some foil and let the whole thing simmer away for about 25-30min. As soon as the chicken easily shredded when poked it was finished. Took this out and shredded all the meat of the bone.
For the ever so important sauce, I used 1 cup of homemade Black Forrest sauce (recipe to come), which is spicy and fruity. I suggest using a fruity BBQ sauce here. I added to it, cider vinegar, bay leaf, chopped parsley, some passatta (crushed and sieved tomatoes) and other spices. Heated and then reduced. Until you have about 1.5 cups. Add the pulled chicken to the sauce.
Finally the slaw. I wanted something different, a bit more local than the standard coleslaw. So I created a remoulade (recipe to follow), essentially the French version of slaw. It takes shredded celeriac (celery root), and mix it with a homemade mayo and Dijon. Let it rest in the fridge for a bit to chill and dive in. It is great on their own, but great topper on a sandwich. It is good for about a day or two in the fridge, but then the celeriac takes on too much liquid.
- 5-6 pieces of bone in chicken.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 onion
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbs chipotle paste
- 2-3 bay leafs
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 50 ml cider vinegar
- 1 bunch of chopped parsley
- 1 cup of Passata
- 1 TB olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and very lightly brown on all sides. Add the chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, onion and 1tsp of both cayenne and black peppers. Heat this so it begins to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and allow to simmer for about an hour. The chicken will be done when it shreds easily.
- Let the chicken sit in the stock while you prepare the sauce. To do so, combine all remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. This needs to reduce down so that it becomes rich and silky.
- Take the chicken and shred all the meat off the bone. Pieces should be bit size. Add these to the sauce pot, and stir to combine. Take this off the heat and allow to cool. This can be placed in the fridge for an hour or overnight. This will allow the flavour to intensify.
- To serve, slowly heat the meat on the stove (or microwave….please use the stove). Place your desired meat and sauce ratio onto a good quality bun and top with celeriac remoulade.