Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches on Homemade Hoagie Rolls







Pandora Station: Blind Pilot


Let me start off by telling you that I have ADHD and that I'm taking medication for it. And I'm not even going to lie to you, when I have a day off of work and school, I have been known to abuse my prescription just a tiny bit, putting myself into a do "ALL of the Things!!" kind of frenzy. A lot of the time when this happens, I end up throwing on my short shorts, pulling all of my hair back, and deep cleaning the entire house (seven dogs and three boys make a lot of dust!) But, other times, I end up doing a little experimenting in the kitchen.


Today is a cooking adventure kind of day. Roommates gone, boyfriend at school and work all day, and tiny kitten sleeping soundly in my hoodie pocket, I take my first steps into the cooking blog world. Sort of. Here goes.


I love barbeque sauce. I love it so much. If bbq sauce were a man, I would sit with it and watch football without complaining (And that's saying something...). Lately we've been trying to save money, so we've been buying those big bags of frozen, individually wrapped chicken breast halves from Costco and using them for all kinds of things. To be quite honest, I'm surprised that this is the first time I've decided to use bbq sauce with it. In addition to that, I will jump at any opportunity to use my awesome red slow cooker. Something about smelling dinner all day long just makes it a billion times tastier.


This recipe was adapted from AllRecipes, but I made a few necessary improvements:




Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (Serves 3-4)


Ingredients


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, thawed
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of bbq sauce (It is really important to use a good quality sauce for this. I like Bullseye or Jack Daniels Original sauces.)
  • 1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 fresh minced jalapeno (This may be cut down or omitted completely if you aren't into spicy things. You can also use canned jalapenos, but fresh ones have a way better flavor!)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (Or more! I'm a huge fan of garlic, and I will slip it in anywhere!)
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • salt and pepper


Directions


  1. Rub chicken halves with salt and pepper, and place them in your slow cooker.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour them over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 2-4 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and serve on warm hoagie or kaiser rolls with cheddar cheese. You can use pre-made rolls, or try my recipe for homemade ones below!


Home-made Hoagie Rolls (Makes 9 rolls!)






Ingredients


  • 1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast (That's 2 1/4 tsp. if your using a jar!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of hot tap water (You will end up dividing this into 1/4 cup and 1 1/4 cup) 
  • 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 - 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour


Directions


  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of the hot water, add 1 teaspoon of sugar, and let it stand for about five minutes. A little foam will start to form.
  2. Add the remaining water and sugar. Beat in oil, salt, and flour until smooth.
  3. Turn onto a floured board and knead for about 6-8 minutes, until it is elastic-like.
  4. Place into a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
  5. Cover with a kitchen rag or a damp paper towel. Make sure to place it somewhere that isnt too cold. yeast likes warmth to rise. I put dough in my microwave to rise (But don't turn it on!!). Let it rise for about 45 minutes
  6. Punch the dough down (So much fun!), place it on a lightly floured board, and cut it up into nine equal-ish pieces.
  7. Shape each piece into an oval.
  8. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. I like to cover my sheets with foil for easy clean up...What can I say? I'm lazy.
  9. Use scissors to cut a 1/4 inch slash on the top of each piece.
  10. Cover and let them rise for another 20 minutes.
  11. Before baking, you can also brush them with a little butter, add some parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, or really anything you want to the top of them. I sprinkled a little garlic salt on top of mine!
  12. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.






So, there you have it! I realize that making your own bread is a little extensive, but I had extra time today, and I have a jar of yeast that I really need to use up. Plus, I don't think there are many things better than fresh bread.

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