Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Sriracha-Pineapple Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches with Easy Guacamole

Use this delicious Sriracha-Pineapple Barbecued Chicken on a sandwich, inside a pita pocket, or on a salad, and using a slow cooker will keep your kitchen cool!

Slow Cooker Recipe for Sriracha-Pineapple Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches with Easy Guacamole

I know some people think of the slow cooker as only being for cold-weather foods like soup and stew, but truthfully I love my slow cooker just as much in the summer for the way it lets me cook without heating up the house.  This recipe for Sriracha-Pineapple Barbecued Chicken only takes a few hours in the slow cooker, and it's something that would be perfect you're having guests and you'd like an easy main dish that can be eaten outdoors.  The Easy Guacamole is optional, but for me it was the perfect topping for the sandwich.  This would also taste great stuffed inside a pita, or served over greens for a salad.

I used a small amount of pineapple juice and raw agave nectar to make this chicken slightly sweet, but if you'd like something with even less sugar I think you could make this with Stevia Granulated or Splenda.  I did like the flavor of the pineapple juice in this even though pineapple isn't recommended for the South Beach Diet, and in a recipe like this where you're eating a very small amount in the sauce I wouldn't worry about it.

Trim the visible fat from four boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut each one in half lengthwise.

Spray a small slow cooker with nonstick spray and arrange the chicken pieces with an onion cut in fourths.

Whisk together low-sugar ketchup, Sriracha, pineapple juice, raw agave nectar (Splenda or Stevia), rice vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder to make the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and onions and set slow cooker to cook for 1 hour on high; then turn to low and cook 2-3 more hours.

When the chicken is cooked enough that it shreds apart easily, remove it to a cutting board and pull apart with a fork.

Put the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker to keep warm while you reduce the sauce.

Straining the sauce is optional, but it will give a smoother sauce.  Simmer the sauce over medium heat until it thickens slightly and reduces by about half.

I ended up with about 1 cup of sauce after I reduced it.

Stir the sauce into the chicken, turning it over until all the chicken is lightly coated.

To make the Easy Guacamole mash together avocados, lime juice, chile powder, Vege-sal (or salt) and finely chopped green onion.

Assemble the sandwiches by putting meat on the bun and topping with guacamole.  I used these 100% whole wheat buns, which were great.

Slow Cooker Recipe for Sriracha-Pineapple Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches with Easy Guacamole
(Makes about 6 sandwiches; recipe created by Kalyn.)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, cut in fourths
whole-wheat buns for serving

Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup reduced sugar ketchup
2-3 T Sriracha Rooster Sauce (I would use 3 T but you may want to taste before you add that much)
3 T unsweetened pineapple juice (buy a small can and freeze the extra)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (or if you want a sauce with less sugar, use Splenda or Stevia Granulated)
1 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder

Easy Guacamole Ingredients:
2 medium sized avocados
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. Vege-sal (or salt)
2 tsp finely chopped green onion

I used a 3.5 quart oblong slow cooker for this recipe.  If your slow cooker is much larger than that,  I would recommend doubling the recipe as it freezes well.

Trim away fat and any undesirable parts of the chicken breasts; then cut each one into half lengthwise.  (This helps the chicken cook more quickly and gives shorter pieces of shredded chicken.)  Spray inside of the slow cooker with nonstick spray and arrange the chicken pieces and onion quarters inside.

Whisk together the ketchup, Sriracha sauce, pineapple juice, agave nectar (Splenda or Stevia granulated), rice vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder to make the sauce.  Pour sauce over the chicken, turn slow cooker to high and cook for 1 hour.  Turn heat to low and cook for 2-3 hours more (mine was done in 2.5 hours more.) 

Remove chicken pieces to a cutting board and let them cool a few minutes so you can shred the meat without burning yourself.  Then shred the meat apart with a fork and put it back into the slow cooker to keep warm on low.  Discard the onion and pour the sauce into a small saucepan (straining if desired) and simmer to reduce the sauce until it's slightly thickened and reduced by about half.  (I had 1 cup of sauce when I mixed it back into the shredded meat.)  Mix the sauce into the shredded chicken, turning it over until all the chicken is coated with sauce.

Cut the avocado in half, discard the seed, and scoop out the avocado flesh and mash with a fork, then mix in the lime juice, chile powder, Vege-sal (or salt), and finely chopped to make the Easy Guacamole.

To serve, pile desired amount of chicken onto a bun, top with a generous scoop of Easy Guacamole, and serve.

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South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this for the South Beach Diet, it's important to use reduced sugar ketchup, as regular ketchup has a lot of added sugar.  It would reduce the sugar even more to use Splenda or Stevia to sweeten the sauce, but I liked the way the agave nectar made a sauce that coated the chicken.  Pineapple isn't really recommended for South Beach, but when you use only a few tablespoons in a sauce like this, you're only eating a very minimal amount.  Avocado is also a limited food for South Beach.  With those cautions, I would limit this to an occasional treat for phase two or eat it more frequently for phase three for South Beach dieters.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Shredded Meat in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.

Spicy Barbacoa Soft Tacos from Bev Cooks

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Beef from The Perfect Pantry

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado from Kalyn's Kitchen

Korean Shredded Beef Tacos from A Year of Slow Cooking

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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  1. Um wow. That is a mouthful of a a good way. So much deliciousness going on here!

  2. I'm reading this post with my breakfast, and thinking, "I have time to make that today!" I love using my slow cookers in the summer, to keep my warm kitchen from overheating. And I love dishes like this chicken, because I can make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.

  3. Oh Wow Kalyn! This looks fantastic and something my family would devour. Love it! Hope you're having a fabulous summer. Karista

  4. I even take my slow cooker camping, believe it or not. We like to prepare a meal and go to the beach or do other things. I have a bottle of Sriracha and don't use it as much as I would like to use it because I don't find many recipes for it. Should try yours!

  5. My slow cooker has been tucked away for a few months. I kinda forgot about it actually. Great recipe for me to start using it again. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. This recipe looks great-what I really love about your blog is the tips along the way. #1) Using a slow cooker in the summer is a great way to save energy by not wasting cooling costs. I once worked with an engineer who calculated in his house that the air conditioner could NOT cope with amount of heat that the oven would put out while his wife cooked dinner! #2) Freeze that extra pineapple juice-fantastic idea. Waste not-want not my mother used to say!
    Thanks Kayln!

  7. Luscious! Great idea for reducing the sauce after cooking. I usually don't like slow cooker chicken as much as beef or pork but this looks tender and full of flavor.

  8. That is one tasty looking sandwich! I am liking the guacamole topping!

  9. Thanks for the nice thoughts about this everyone.

  10. I found you via Pinterest and signed up for an email subscription immediately. It's great to start my day with the encouragement of your gorgeous photos and recipes. I too love rooster sauce and am always looking for ways to use it. Thank you!

  11. This looks really tasty. About how many lbs. of chicken did you use. My 2 lb. packages usually have 3 large breasts in them.

  12. Miss B, so glad you are enjoying the blog and e-mail subscription is the best way to make sure you get every recipe. Thanks!

    Celeste, I didn't weigh the chicken but I would guess it was right around 2 pounds.

  13. I love the idea of guacamole on top of this spicy BBQ sandwich!

  14. I can't get enough guac right now. I've been eating avocado for breakfast lunch and dinner lately!

  15. Thanks Jeanette and Becky. I'm all about the avocados lately too!

  16. A hearty dish that is summery as well. Reminds me of the pulled pork sandwich I had at a local diner last night.


  17. This is an absolutely wonderful chicken dish! Thank you for making healthy eating so easy! Next time I make it, I'm going to substitute pork tenderloin!

  18. Thanks Mimi!

    Lyn and Don, so glad you liked it, and I do think it would be great with pork too.

  19. Loved this meal. I made it with a side of tater tots...mmmm. It was SO good.

  20. Talk about a tasty combo! This is a "must try," Kalyn. By the way, you'll get a chuckle out of this, but when I first started reading I thought that I was on your slow cooker site and I thought Oh, my goodness, Kalyn is making all of these recipes that she shares?? She is such an overachiever! (which you are, of course) Then I realized I was on your Kalyn's Kitchen blog. LOL Trying to quickly get in my blog reading can cause some errant thoughts from time to time. LOL


  21. Looks like a real winner! I look forward to trying this soon - I think I have everything at home but the pineapple juice/

  22. Question .... 4 chicken breast pieces --in other words 2 whole chicken breasts? Or 4 chicken breasts, which would be 8 pieces?

  23. Four chicken breast pieces; I thought the photo made that clear, sorry.

  24. How would you recommend reheating this after it's been frozen/thawed? It sounds delicious and I'm game for anything that makes lots of leftovers!

  25. I just reheat it in the microwave, but for larger amounts I would reheat in a covered container in the oven.

  26. I loved it. My husband even had seconds. I an looking forward to making it for a football party.

  27. Thanks Nan; so glad you enjoyed it!

  28. If I double the recipe in a larger cooker, do i adjust cook time at all?

  29. Dusty I don't think the cooking time will be significantly longer for a bigger slow cooker but it might be slightly longer. I'd just check and see if you think it needs another 30 minutes or so.

  30. Hi Kalyn! Cant wait to give this recipe a try this week! Quick question, under the 4 pic I believe it says "Pour the sauce over the chicken and onions and set slow cooker to cook for 1 hour on LOW; then turn to LOW and cook 2-3 more hours" I assume one of those is supposed to say "high," and I'm pretty sure it's for the 1 hour, I just wanted to be sure. Thanks!!!

  31. Whoops! Nevermind! I looked down in the actual directions and found my answer :) Im just more of a visual person so I typically follow your recipes pic by pic, haha! Thank you!

  32. Katherine, thanks for noticing though; I will correct it! (Makes me c-r-a-z-y when I do things like that.)

  33. This sounds delicious and easy to freeze leftovers. Our Costco has stopped carrying the single serving Good Foods guacamole, just has the big tubs. I am going to complain as the single serving portions are perfect , especially on sriracha chicken,yummy! Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Jill it makes me crazy when I get hooked on something and then Costco quits carrying it! Hope you enjoy.


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