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.
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.
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.
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.
(Makes about 6 sandwiches; recipe created by Kalyn.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, cut in fourths
whole-wheat buns for serving
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.
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.
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.)