Gluten-Free Pulled Chicken with Cherry-Chile Barbecue Sauce
SERVES 4 TO 6
This fresh seasonal sauce - so good you’ll be glad to have leftovers - features less sugar than traditional barbecue sauces. Serve this moist, flavorful chicken on warm gluten-free burger buns. Wear rubber gloves when mincing the jalapeño.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup coarsely chopped shallots (about 1 large shallot)
1 tablespoon peeled chopped fresh ginger (about 1½-inch piece)
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed
Scant 4 cups dark sweet fresh cherries, pitted and de-stemmed, or canned cherries, drained
2 (14½-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, no salt added (you’ll only use 1½ cans; save the rest for another use)
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten-free chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
1¼ teaspoons chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
15 grinds black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
3 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed if necessary (about 8)
4-6 gluten-free burger buns, warmed
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, ginger and jalapeño and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add cherries, tomatoes, molasses, vinegar, chipotle, 1 tablespoon mustard, ¾ teaspoon chili powder, 1½ teaspoons salt and 5 grinds pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer over medium heat and cook until aromatic and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully transfer half to a blender. Puree until smooth, about 20 seconds. Puree second half until smooth (you should have about 5¼ cups). Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons mustard, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 10 grinds pepper and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix well.
3. Put chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour 1½ cups barbecue sauce on top (reserve remainder for serving and extras). Cover and cook on low until meat is cooked through and tender, 4 to 4½ hours.
4. Use tongs to transfer chicken to a cutting board. Carefully use a fork to separate meat from the bones, discarding bones. You should have about 4 cups meat.
5. To serve, stir together 1 cup remaining sauce and shredded meat. Reheat in microwave or on the stovetop. Spoon some meat and sauce onto the bottom half of each bun, cover with the top bun and serve.