Yesterday, the crockpot become my new best friend.
My oven is broken…again.
To a person who cooks all the time, this is the worst news.
Especially this time of year. All I want to do is roast this, bake that, broil this and toast that. To say I am bumming out is a major under statement. I guess it is not that bad, I do have a tiny little oven that does work… for now, but I am scared that since it is attached to the big oven – that doesn’t work – that it could go at any time. I am literally praying it doesn’t. This little oven though? It practically fits nothing! A 9×13 inch Pyrex pan just barely fits in (thankfully!). It’s just super hard to cook for eight plus people in an oven that fits only one Pyrex pan. Ugh.
For the next two weeks though (at least!), it’s all I’ve got and as I sit here typing this I am realizing, I should be thankful I at least have that!
You guys like small batch food?? My family is in for a surprise… and possibly smaller waist lines.
So ok, I am done with the complaints for today.
But at least you can understand why I now have all things crockpot on my brain. I guess it is kind of time to be breaking out the crockpot anyway. Some never put them away. I pretty much use mine all year round, but definitely in the fall and winter months the most. However much you use yours, the bottom line is – the crockpot rules. It’s high time I get myself a new one though, especially since I actually just sent mine down to Denver on Monday, full of this Gumbo, and I’m not expecting it back. I did it on purpose. My crockpot is horrible and I have decided I want one of those new fancy ones. Any suggestions? I clearly need one ASAP.
I actually made this Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken a week or so ago, in an effort to shove corn into as many recipes as possible. Remember when I told you I was on a major corn bender towards the end of August? Well, I suddenly realized that almost all of my posts for that week contained corn. So I made the decision to spread a few out over September, because really September is one of the best corn months of the season.
But um, I may or may not have sliced up a pumpkin and made some puree today (in my tiny little oven – good thing those pie pumpkins are small!). I sort of feel guilty though, like I am cheating on the last few weeks of summer, but then I look out the window and make myself feel better because, here where I live, fall is in full swing. The leaves on the trees are turning a pretty shade of yellow and wow, it is getting so cold at night. We have also had a ton of rain, so that sort of helps with the whole “get into the mood of fall” thing too. And rain around here means snow on the peaks of the mountains. Yep, more fresh snow this morning up there.
I feel like this simple meal is a good mix of late summer and early fall. It’s got a little corn to keep things fresh, but the rest is all cozy, warm and the perfect food for a colder early fall night. And of course, Thursday night football.
Plus, the popovers?? I normally only make popovers on Thanksgiving and I usually just make them traditional, but corn filled cheesy popovers are so good! Very happy I stepped out of my comfort zone with these. They do not get to the height of a normal popover, but they still have that nice hole in the center. Perfect for filling with the best BBQ chicken.
I hate saying the best, but this pulled BBQ chicken really is SO good. It’s the sauce and the fact that it gets slow cooked all day long. Everything is better slow-cooked. So much flavor.
As for the left over chicken you may have (I didn’t have any – too many people here.)? I am thinking this needs to made into a beer bread grilled cheese.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Next time I am so doing this.
Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken with Cheddar Corn Popovers.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast thighs or a mix of the two
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 3 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 cup beer I used pumpkin beer!
Chicken in the Crockpot
Place the chicken in the bowl of a crockpot. Add the honey, smoked paprika, chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, BBQ sauce and beer. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours. If the sauce gets too thick, add more beer (or water) to thin the sauce out. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the sauce and shred with two forks return the chicken to the sauce and toss. Keep warm.
Chicken on the Stove
Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken, honey, smoked paprika, chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sear the chicken until almost blackened on both sides. Once the chicken has been seared on both sides, reduce the heat to low and add the BBQ sauce and beer. Give everything a good stir and then cover the pot. Simmer the chicken for 2-4 hours, the longer the better. If the sauce gets too thick, add more beer (or water) to thin the sauce out. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the sauce and shred with two forks return the chicken to the sauce and toss. Keep warm.
Cheddar Corn Popovers
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a standard popover pan or 12 muffin/cupcake molds.
Using a blender or food processor, mix the eggs, milk, flour, corn, brown sugar and salt at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter and blend another 20 seconds or so. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
Divide the batter among the prepared cups. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until puffed, golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully cut around the sides of each popover to release. Serve immediately.
Split the warm popovers open and fill them with BBQ chicken. If desired top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve with slaw. Enjoy!
So saucy. I love it.