All you have to do is place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker and add beer and seasonings. Wait, you also need to plug in the slow cooker and turn it on. But you can handle that, right? The chicken is slowly cooked to perfection and effortlessly falls apart when it's time for the shredding. I really couldn't believe how easy the shredding step was, you could almost do it just by thinking about it. I didn't actually time it, but it took less than 2 minutes.
|Don't you just love the slow cookers with removable stoneware? So much easier to clean!|
As if that's not enough, you shred it right in the slow cooker. No cutting board, mess or extra dishes. Like I said, too easy. The chicken soaks up flavors from the beer and seasonings leaving you with moist, tender, juicy shreds to use as you please. There are so many things you can do with this chicken. The flavors are spot on as is, but if you want to play around a bit here are a few ideas to get you started:
- leave it as is and heap onto buns for sandwiches
- add BBQ sauce for BBQ chicken sandwiches
- use in tacos
- Buffalo sandwich: add some hot sauce and top with blue cheese (I even saw blue cheese slices the other day)
- sprinkle in a quesadilla (have you tried the chicken, apple, cheddar combo?)
- pile onto nachos
- make enchiladas
- use as a pizza topping, I want to try it on this pizza
In real life this batch was left plain and gone before I could decide what to try first. I'll be making some more this week and I might even try it with wine just to see what happens. Somehow or other a boring pilsner made it's way home in a 6-pack mix, so that's what I used here. An IPA got mixed in too, but that won't be quite as easy to get rid of (it's too bitter for most cooking/baking uses). In this recipe the beer enhanced the other flavors, but didn't provide any obvious beer notes. If you're not into beer you'll still like this. If you're really into beer, try using something stronger and let me know how it turns out. While I'd love to test this recipe side-by-side with different beers, I have too many other recipes to experiment with right now. In general, lighter beers pair well with lighter foods like fish or chicken and heavier, darker beers pair well with heavier foods. Use your best discretion and be sure to report back with your findings. Enjoy your weekend.
Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
inspired by How Sweet It Is
1-1/2 lbs (24oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed if frozen
3/4 cup beer (I would use 1 cup next time)
1 tsp smoked paprika (this is not the same a regular paprika)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
* Place chicken breasts in a 4-quart slow cooker.
* Combine beer, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken breasts.
* Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
* Shred chicken using two forks. Toss lightly to distributes juices.
Food for Thought: "Stay true in the dark and humble in the spotlight." -Harold B. Lee