Crockpot “pulled” chicken in homemade rolls!

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Very tired today after  a night of finding it hard to sleep, and another bout of what I am sure is low iron related to pregnancy.  Tomorrow I am planning a post all about that (battling anemia with diet), since I am going to have to give up my “making homemade pizza for the freezer” day and spend another day resting – (that is, after my OB appointment and the few errands I have in the morning)  and won’t have another food post for you because of that.  I will post a recipe, though, that I have for something that helps me with my iron deficiency :) But for now, I’ll just keep chomping on my ice and will take advantage of the small amount of energy I have from the dark chocolate I just ate, and I will tell you all about what’s for dinner…

I will be happy to finish up my crazy two weeks in the kitchen and return to some sort of normal routine!  This morning started off with just putting all the ingredients into the crockpot for this awesome pulled chicken recipe  (It sure smells amazing now, 4 1/2 hours later!!)  It will be our dinner tonight, along with some new rolls I tried out this week to take the place of regular hamburger buns.  It’s a rest day so I didn’t run, and I don’t even have to do any cooking the rest of the day (aside form the leftovers I threw together for lunch), so hopefully I’ll be able to get caught up on laundry and the house  my rest.  I made enough of the chicken and the rolls to freeze a lot of each, so it will be another “new baby” meal.  I plan to have a recipe up every day except Sunday until the cooking extravaganza is over :)  After that, in case any of you foodies are following me just for the recipes, I am afraid the well will run dry, and I will go back to posting only one recipe a week.  Even with food in the freezer, I’m sure I’ll still cook at least once a week, and I promise to post it if it’s yummy :)

Now on to the Honey Bourbon Pulled Chicken.  In case you aren’t familiar with pulled pork, it’s a pork rump cooked until you can basically just pull it apart.  It’s usually made with some sort of BBQ type sauce (I don’t know if people smoke it or what – I’m a Texan, but somehow not familiar with the real world of BBQ.)  Either way, this will be chicken, not pork, cooked in a sauce in a crockpot for a long time, making it so that you can just pull the chicken apart – or in this case, we’ll be shredding it with a fork.  I got it from someone else’s blog but will also post the recipe here in case you are unable to link to the blog.  I found it on the blog of “Hungry Mom on the Run.”  She posted lovely pictures of it all as well, so I’ll leave it to you to check out her page :)  Here’s the recipe as well for good measure, quoted directly from her blog:

Honey Bourbon Pulled Chicken
Makes… a lot!  Enough to feed 10 adults
Originally posted and adapted from here
2 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 small Onion, minced
3/4 cup Bourbon
4 Tablespoons Honey
4 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
4 tablespoon Molasses (or 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar)
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 pinch Salt
2 pounds chicken breast, 2 pounds chicken thigh
So now I can tell you about the rolls!  I posted the other day here about grinding and soaking wheat to make healthy whole grain breads, so some of this will be the same.  I will even reuse one picture because I went to take a picture of that step again for this recipe (I made both in the same day), and the shot looked exactly the same (proofing the yeast).  So please excuse me for being lazy :)
I found the recipe on the Kitchen Stewardship blog (as I did Monday’s bread recipe) in this post.  I of course changed a thing or two to suit my needs, so I’ll post my full recipe at the bottom of the pictures.
 I started out the night before by grinding the wheat using my Whisper Mill (no idea why it’s called that, since it’s REALLY LOUD.)  I used all Hard White Wheat Berries for this recipe, omitting the Hard Red I would normally use in breads, in order to make a lighter, fluffier roll (that’s the plan at least – I’ll have to let you know after we eat it tonight how they turned out in a comment :) )  I used the water called for in the recipe, minus a little bit so I could add buttermilk to make it acidic, along with the honey and the Olive Oil in my soak.  I knew this time how the liquids would separate in the measuring cup and wanted a cuter picture,  so I measured the honey first, then added the buttermilk, and finally the oil :)
Once this was all mixed into the flour, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and left it on the counter overnight.  When I first started soaking, the things I read said to use a glass bowl, so I do that every time.  The next day, I “proofed” the yeast with some warm water and a little honey, since the
dough was not warm as it normally would be in a bread recipe.  Then I added the remaining ingredients for the rolls (eggs, salt, and gluten) to my Bosch mixer with the soaked flour and the yeast mixture and kneaded for 20 minutes to simulate a bread machine, which is what the original blogger used.  As you can tell, the dough was pretty sticky when I started the kneading.  Had I been braver I would have added more flour at this point, but I stuck with the original amount and pressed on.
The dough looked much more promising after its thorough kneading.  I was, unfortunately, deceived :)
After the knead I placed it into a greased metal bowl in a slightly warm oven where it doubled during its rise of about 30 minutes.  I poured it out onto a floured counter and commenced the roll-making process of forming balls to put on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  This is where it went awry, as it was impossible to make balls since the dough was too sticky.  Were I to do this over, I would use less water initially since I believe the hydration of the wheat berries I bought in the UK is much higher than that of the ones I bought in America.  I have had issues with this on any breads for which I have used only Hard White and no Hard Red (which is from America.)  I have corrected it for my other bread recipes by reducing the liquid but didn’t want to change the amounts of things for this recipe since it was my first time to try it.
Another option would have been to leave the dough in its bowl and then oil my hands rather than flouring them, as this may have made working with the sticky dough easier.  Either way, here are my flat “rolls” ready to rise.  They never did rise for me, though, until I put them in the oven where they rose a smidge.  Taste and texture are all that matter to me, though, so I tried one last night as a late night snack just to make sure they were yummy, and I can at least say they taste awesome. :)  Which means, in retrospect, I think I wouldn’t change a thing.  They were great with just butter and delicious with some rhubarb and ginger jam, and it was already Wednesday (I made them Monday) so staleness does not seem to be an issue.  When we eat them with the pulled chicken we will be grilling them by buttering them and heating them on a skillet for a few minutes, as Hungry Mom on the Run recommended :)
Here is the aftermath of the roll-making process on my counter.  I waited a day to clean that up so it would be dry for me to scrape off more easily :)  Man, I just can’t get the super yummy flavor of those rolls out of my head!!! Must…focus….
Here’s how they came out:
Magnificent! Although you’d think they’re too flat to use as a bun for a sandwich, I assure you that the one I cut in to was great inside and perfect for any filling.  Here is the recipe with the changes that I made.  I doubled her original as well to have some for the freezer and to make my amounts simpler.
Whole Wheat (soaked flour) Dinner Rolls
 Makes about 30 rolls.
The night before soak:
9 cups freshly ground flour
2/3 cup E.V.O.O.
2/3 cup Honey
2/3 cup buttermilk
2  1/3 cups water
Proof the yeast:
 1/4-1/3 very warm water
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp yeast
Mix together at least 12 hours later:
 2 eggs
The soaked flour mixture
The yeast mixture
4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
Knead for 20 minutes then leave to rise until doubled.
After the rise (about 20-25 minutes), form into balls of dough about the size of a tangerine and place on a lightly-oiled cookie sheet.  Allow to rise again about 45 minutes.  Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes.
Now I think I’ll lie down on the couch until baby Greer wakes up from her nap, after which I will try to lie down as long as she will snuggle with me until I HAVE to get up and switch the laundry :)  Hope you are able to get some time to relax today as well, especially if you’re pregnant!!! :)

One thought on “Crockpot “pulled” chicken in homemade rolls!

  1. Hey Corey,
    Just looking through your blog, figuring out what post to share, and I saw this recipe that looked yummy and easy. I’m gonna have to try this recipe.
    ~Olivia

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