Peachy Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

22 Jun

I like cheap, easy, home-cooked food with lots of flavor. I also like putting a bunch of random stuff in a pot together and seeing what comes out, preferably while also polishing off a bottle of Gnarly Head (it’s a great wine for around $10, btw). Last week I bought a 5 lb. package of chicken thighs for $5 and stuck them in the fridge, where they matured  for a few days.

Fortunately, I remembered to cook them before they started to smell like a zombified albatross.

I like using up odds and ends in the crockpot. It makes me feel like a mad scientist. I scavenged half a red onion out of the fridge and two peaches that were just about to be overripe, plus our favorite bbq sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and (of course) the chicken thighs.

I didn’t really have to chop the onion so fine; it disintegrated in the pot.

Mmm, peachy! They sure looked pretty on my cutting board. (I didn’t realize how much of my kitchen stuff was red till I started taking pictures. Yay red?)

The peaches took longer to break down in the sauce. How big you should chop them depends on whether you want to see any peach bits in your BBQ or not.

I hate touching raw meat. I don’t care if you think I’m a wuss, whatever. It’s nasty. You probably don’t have to rinse them, but I always do. I also removed any loose gristle or bone pieces I could find, because I hate biting into it. Then I removed the skins and excess fat.

My colander is kinda ugly and has a crack in it, but it’s been with me for years and I have an inexplicable attachment to it. Maybe because it holds my gross stuff without complaining.

(…See, this is why I can’t have nice things. I wrote that last paragraph and the first thing I thought was “Cool, you can substitute the word butt or husband instead of ‘colander’ in that last paragraph and it still works!” Does anyone else think of shit like this? Am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious? My poor, defective brain.)

Anyway. Moving right along!

I left one skin on to see if it would give the chicken a little more flavor. I don’t think it really matters. If you leave all the fat and skin, it’ll be more tender. It’ll also have more fat (and squishy fatty bits in the sauce, ew). Choose your own adventure?

I didn’t pat the chicken thighs before I put them in the pot, and the end result was a little soupy. Next time I’ll definitely dry them first.

I like my bbq to have some tang to it, and since I wasn’t bothering with a recipe I just guessed at the “right” amount of vinegar and brown sugar. 1/4 cup each? Okay, why the hell not. (I think I’ll skip the vinegar next time.)

Sweet Baby Ray’s is a sweet, smoky and spicy BBQ sauce that my entire family loves to death. My dad will put this on anything. Literally. Even ice cream. (I’m only half-joking.)

Again, I eyeballed the amount. I ended up with about a cup and a half of bottled bbq sauce in there. Next time I’d put in at least 2 cups… but then, I really love this sauce.

Then I dumped the mulch on top. Ooo, pretty.

Mix mix mix! Okay, enough mixing. Really, stop it. You’re ruining everything! After sufficient screwing-with I put the lid on top and set it on low. I checked it after about 5 hours and tasted the sauce. Oh dear. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good, but it wasn’t all I had hoped.

I wanted more smoke, spice, and depth to the sauce, so I added about 3 tablespoons of molasses, a teaspoon each of ancho chile powder and kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. I really wanted to stick some cinnamon in there too, but I decided not to at the last minute. I still sorta wish I had.

Two hours later, I picked out a disturbingly small number of bones (where the fuck did the gristle and bone-bits go? Seriously, WHERE? I hate this part of cooking meat. It’s such a creepy transformation. I can’t think about it when I’m eating, ’cause it grosses me out) and ended up with this:

In the end, it made a very serviceable and tasty BBQ chicken. We ate it on rice that night, and on buns the next day. (Best eaten with a fork, unless you don’t care about spots on your shirt/table/face/hands/dog/cleavage etc.) The peach flavor was pretty much overwhelmed by everything else in the mix. If I were aiming for a strong peach-y chicken dish, I would’ve made my own special peach sauce and left out the bbq altogether.

And for a little over $8 in ingredients, we got enough for twelve individual portions. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. That said, I can’t wait to try this again with beef.

Want to try your hand at it?

Peachy Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

5 lbs skinless chicken thighs

1/2 onion, chopped

2 peaches, chopped

2 cups BBQ sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 T. molasses

chile powder (ancho or chipotle), salt & pepper to taste

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Arrange in crockpot, then add all other ingredients and stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is tender and falls off the bone. Separate with a fork and serve on buns or over rice.

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3 Responses to “Peachy Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken”

  1. falconesse June 22, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Sweet Baby Ray’s is so very, very tasty. We might have to try this.

    • Bika June 22, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      Can’t really go wrong with Sweet Baby Ray’s 😀

  2. Caulle June 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I’ve never had Sweet Baby Ray’s before, but I always see it at Costco. Maybe I’ll have to check it out. I know I tried the Pendleton BBQ sauce once because they make an amazing Canadian Whiskey and it was extremely disappointing.

    This looks pretty interesting, I might get around to it at some point. Though I’m making ribs next weekend, photo opportunity + recipe blog post mayhaps?

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