Pulled Chicken, Cookbook Memories and Bacon Cornbread

In case anyone is keeping score Winter seems to be winning by a snow mound, a really big snow mound…at the end of my driveway. With so much time spent indoors, I find myself strolling down memory lane. Memories can make us more enlightened to what we’re doing in the present. I also have lots of time to surf the internet.

I found the Pulled Chicken recipe that I used for inspiration online. I get a lot of ideas from what I see there. I don’t think that I’m alone in relying on the internet. It’s easy, quick and full of possibilities. I bet you’ve gone there too, in search of the perfect recipe (maybe even on my website).

Every time I head down to the computer, I walk past a shelf filled with cookbooks. Occasionally I stop and think, I know there’s a recipe for what I’m looking for somewhere up there, but I’ve become such a creature of the quick fix, Google  search, that I head downstairs and scroll through far more recipes than is necessary.

I’ve come to realize that by seeking this “quick fix” I’m leaving an incredible resource literally sitting on the shelf. I’ve always loved looking through cook books. I have been known to read them cover to cover like a novel. What happened? The ease and incredible volume of what is available at the touch of a keystroke has made me lazy. If looking through family recipe boxes has given me a new voice, then perhaps reading a cookbook now and again could give it more resonance.Scan_Pic0026

Laziness sent me back to my cookbook library. I thought that corn bread would go well with the Pulled Chicken. I just needed a basic Corn Bread recipe and I honestly didn’t want to go downstairs again and scroll through hundreds of options. There on the shelf by the stairs were my  Doubleday Cook Books.DIGITAL CAMERA I found the recipe in about a minute and was pulling the ingredients out of the pantry in less than that. The recipe was very basic, (Flour, cornmeal, leavening, liquid, and fat). Left to my own resources,  I decided to make Cornbread with Bacon using Buttermilk for liquid  and Bacon Drippings for fat.Scan_Pic0029

Before the internet became my darling, I referred to the Doubleday Cookbook for many cooking questions. It’s been my reference of choice since my sister-in-law gave it to me in 1980. She swore by it, and knew I would love it, too. She was right. The fact that the binding is cracked and a few pages are falling out attests to how often I’ve turned to it.

It’s easy to use, filled with “how to” illustrations from boning a fish to rolling croissants . The recipes cover everything from brown stock and white sauce to how to prepare Squirrel. The two volumes weigh in at almost 1500 pages. Authored by Jean Anderson in 1975, it won numerous awards. She revised it in 1985 to incorporate the changing American palate and interest in nutrition. Sadly, both versions are out of print now, though there are copies available on Amazon anEBay.

Now, about that Pulled Chicken…the idea intrigued me. A lighter, healthier answer to Pulled Pork and another use for the boneless skinless chicken thighs that needed to come out of the freezer. When I make Pulled Pork, I use my Slow Cooker. The inspiration recipe used a Slow Cooker, so I decided to use one, too. DIGITAL CAMERA

It started as boneless skinless chicken thighs and a tomato based barbecue sauce, Onions and garlic had to be part of the entourage because Mama D puts onions and garlic in most everything.DIGITAL CAMERA

The Sauce included a varied cast of characters. Smoked Paprika led the parade and helped create the vivid red sauce. My husband has, for lack of a better word, a delicate palate, so my spice choices were on the mild side. I barely did more than say cayenne over the bowl. I think pumping up the heat and spice in this would be excellent, so if you think heat is neat, be my guest. I used a mustardy “Carolina” type barbecue sauce from Trader Joe’s, but you could use any BBQ sauce home or store made. Three Kings Spice Blend comes from Caboose Spice & Company . It’s sweet, spicy, smokey, and not too salty. 

DIGITAL CAMERAAs Slow Cooker recipes go, this one was ready in a relativelyDIGITAL CAMERA short time. It was ready in less than 5 hours. A couple of forks and a few minutes later it was a mound of tender, juicy, and fragrant shreds of chicken.

The chicken went back into the pot to let the sauce get acquainted with every surface. I had my Bacon Cornbread ready and because it tasted so delicious, I smothered a generous hunk of the bread with Pulled chicken, and to get back to this being a healthier alternative, I topped it with some Mustard Coleslaw.DIGITAL CAMERA


My ideas didn’t end there. I’ve included an extra mini recipe for Poutine. This is Canada’s gift to our cholesterol level. Usually french fries, brown gravy, and cheese curds my version includes Pulled Chicken and lots of toppings.

Mama D's Pulled Chicken
Print Recipe
Mama D's Pulled Chicken
Print Recipe
  1. Trim chicken thighs of as much visible fat as possible. Layer in a 5 - 6 quart Slow Cooker coated lightly with non-stick cooking spray, placing the onions and garlic in between the layers.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Pour over the chicken, onion, and garlic. Move things around so that the chicken is evenly covered with the sauce.
  3. Cook on the low heat setting for 4 - 5 hours. The chicken should be very tender and just starting to fall apart. Remove the chicken to a heat resistant cutting board. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Using two forks, shred the chicken into uniform pieces. Return the chicken and any accumulated juice to the slow cooker. Raise heat to high and tilt the cover slightly. Cook an additional 20 - 30 minutes,until the sauce has thicken slightly and everything is hot.
  5. Serve the Pulled Chicken in sandwiches, tacos, or quesadillas. It's also great sitting atop rice, pasta or corn bread. You can even eat it all by itself.
  6. Mama D's Poutine: Top oven baked french fries with Pulled Chicken. Garnish with any or all of the following: Shredded cheddar cheese, blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits, sliced green onions, ranch dressing.
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The pulled chicken is a keeper. I’m grateful that the I found the inspiration recipe online and that I can share my inspiration with you. I’m even happier that I have become re-acquainted with my cook book shelf. Winter is not going anywhere any time soon. I think I may curl up with a glass of wine and a good (cook) book.

Love, Mama D

One thought on “Pulled Chicken, Cookbook Memories and Bacon Cornbread

  1. Pingback: Pork Tenderloin A La Boulangere…and Other Words of (Pork) Love | Mama D's Kitchen of Love

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