I have to admit, I've never been a huge fan of chicken. It always seems so bland and boring. Since deciding to stop calling myself a vegetarian, I only eat meat that seems worth my while. (Think double smoked bacon, crispy fried chicken skin, pâté, and confit) If it's not rich, fatty and overflowing with flavour, I'm not interested. So when I read a recipe for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I'm usually not, well, interested in it.
Put the word ‘pulled' in front of meat and the whole story changes. Add the word ‘chipotle' and give it a kick ass good review, and I'll keep reading. I was given this recipe by a local Vancouver chef and reader of my blog. His raving review had me making it the day after he sent me the recipe. Less than a week later, here I am making it again.
The chicken is so soft and tender that it literally pulls apart into thin threads. There's a good kick of smoky heat from the chipotles and sweetness from the orange juice. It's the best damn pulled chicken I've ever eaten.
I've served it on soft shelled tortillas for dinner and scooped up the leftovers on crackers for lunch. This time I've topped it with a crunchy southwest inspired slaw on a crispy baguette. The possibilities are endless. How would you serve this?
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced
- 2 cups orange juice
- ¼ C Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 grated carrot
- ¼ cup finely minced onion
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper
- Add oil to hot pan, add garlic saute for 1 minute. Add chipotle peppers and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add worcestershire and mustard and stir to combine.
- Add a small amount of OJ to the pan and stir. Add chicken breasts to pan and fill with orange juice until it comes up to half the height of the chicken breasts.
- Bring to a simmer then cover with lid.
- Simmer for at least 2 hours, checking occasionally that it is just simmering and not boiling and that OJ has not evaporated (keep the level more or less constant)
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred with a fork.
- Reduce the sauce slightly then pour over shredded chicken and stir to combine. Set aside.Combine lime juice, honey, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl toss cabbage, carrot and onion. Add dressing and toss to coat.
- On a baguette, bun or tortilla add a generous helping of the chipotle and orange pulled chicken and top with the southwest slaw.
Want some more delicious sandwich recipes? Check out the complete Six Part Sandwich Series: