Say hello to my guest blogger, Steph! I’ve been a longtime superfan of her blog, Stupid Easy Paleo, ’cause her recipes are fantastic and her photos are drool-worthy. Plus, Steph’s brainy, brawny, and cute as a button. She’s got twelve years of science teaching experience, a certificate in holistic nutrition, and an unabashed love of tasty Paleo food. Steph went Paleo in early 2010, and it didn’t take long for her to decide that she was never turning back. Eating clean, nutrient-dense foods has fueled her both in life and as both a competitive CrossFitter and mountain bike racer. Steph launched Stupid Easy Paleo in 2011 as a way to help spread the word about how to make simple, tasty recipes to help people in their quests to just eat real food.
I love the recipe she’s posting today because it’s the perfect make-ahead dish when you’re craving barbecue—even after the dog days of summer have long faded from memory and you find yourself hunkered under a giant comforter this winter. Take it away, Steph!
Tender, shredded chicken swimming in a savory and slightly spicy sauce…do I have your attention? Good because this recipe is sure to get your taste buds amped up!
As an athlete, getting enough protein to support recovery can be a challenge for me, and falling into a rut with meat choices is something I try to avoid. Adding sauces and spices to a blank protein canvas and making frequent use of my favorite culinary secret weapon – the crock pot – are two of my favorite ways to feed the machine and keep myself from getting a big fat case of food boredom. This recipe makes good use of a drool-worthy sauce and meat that practically cooks itself. Win-win!
The sauce is vinegar-based, more typical of Carolina BBQ, and uses a small amount of honey for a hint of sweetness. If you’d like to avoid honey, you can make a paste of 4-5 Medjool dates soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and mashed instead. Bonus: using dates as a substitute would make this recipe Whole30-friendly!
Other tricks for busy folks: Make the sauce ahead of time (it can also be frozen) and cook the chicken while at work or the gym. Come home, shred the meat and heat the sauce…done!
- 1 whole, large chicken
- 2 Tablespoons ghee or your fat of choice
- ½ white onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce
Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Place it in the slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours.
(Alternatives to making a crock pot chicken: poach 1½ to 2 pounds of chicken breasts or buy a pre-made rotisserie chicken from the market.)
In a large saucepan, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the minced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
Now, add the rest of the ingredients: garlic, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, tomato paste, honey, salt, black pepper, and Tabasco. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat.
Simmer the sauce until the volume has reduced by a quarter to a third. It should be slightly thickened but not pasty.
When the chicken has cooled a bit – unless you have asbestos hands – shred all the meat and unite it with the tangy, savory sauce.
See? Steph’s awesome! I can’t wait to make this recipe—and treat myself to some of her Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding, too.