Black Folks Southern Pulled BBQ Chicken

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A Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe is the epitome of finger-lickin’ good!

This is the ultimate in no-fail BBQ chicken recipes, whether you’re making this dish from scratch or with leftover BBQ chickenYou’ll hold onto this easy weeknight dinner idea for good!

 

Black Folks Southern Pulled BBQ Chicken

 

Making pulled chicken from scratch has never been easier. This Instant Pot Southern-style pulled chicken recipe is an easy make-ahead dish for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and parties. 

It’s a flavorful and tender chicken dish with just 15 minutes of cook time in the Instant Pot!

 

What is meant by pulled chicken?

Pulled chicken is a barbecue cooking term. It refers to cooked chicken meat that’s shredded, torn, or pulled into strands using a tong, fork, knife, or your fingers. Or for faster shredding – a food processor

Generally, the term pulled is used when the chicken is used in a BBQ chicken sandwich.

 

What is meant by pulled chicken?

 

What is the difference between a shredded and pulled chicken?

Shredded chicken and pulled chicken are two different ways to cut chicken. 

Chicken is generally shredded with the help of a utensil like a fork, tongs, knife, or an appliance like a food processor. 

On the other hand, the texture of pulled chicken is usually coarser and less uniform since it’s pulled away in chunks by hand.

 

How do you pull or shred a chicken breast?

You can easily pull apart a chicken breast, thigh, or any other part of the chicken by using any of the following methods:

  1. The good old-fashioned way is to use your hands to pull apart the chicken into bite-sized chunks or strands.
  2. You could also use a utensil like a knife or a fork to help shred the chicken.
  3. Can you use your food processor to shred chicken? Yes! It’s my favorite way to make Southern pulled BBQ chicken.

 

Pulled Chicken Sauce Recipe

 

So how do you make shredded chicken in a hurry? 

My favorite way is using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to easily shred the chicken. 

Place the boneless chicken in a bowl. Then mix with the paddle attachment at a low speed for about a minute.

 

What is the best way to shred chicken?

Fork, knife, electric mixer, or simply by hand. A few ways are faster than others. However, there’s no “right” way to shred chicken.

The best way is whichever method is easiest for you!

 

Is pulled chicken white or dark meat?

White meat is the lean meat found on the breast and wings of poultry, while dark meat (chicken thigh, leg, drumstick) contains more fat. 

Though dark and white meat are commonly used for different dishes, pulled chicken is usually made with dark meat. 

Dark meat is more flavorful and tends to absorb sauces and seasonings better. Dark meat is generally used for slow cooking to allow the fat and collagen to melt away quickly. 

In this Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe, the dark meat is pressure cooked to tenderize it and make it easy to shred.

 

How do you pull or shred a chicken breast?

 

What is a Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe?

This barbecue chicken recipe is flavored with a winning combination of Southern soul food poultry seasoning, garlic, and herbs. Then covered in an addictive homemade barbecue sauce. 

It’s, in essence, a succulent chicken with tender meat and a soul food savory sauce bursting with caramelized flavors.

BBQ chicken is one of America’s most beloved dishes. So I’m here to bring that same love and Southern hospitality to you with an effortless and easy way to get dinner on the table. 

 

But aren’t all BBQ recipes the same? 

Don’t get yourself caught out there by asking this question in a room with folks from North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, or Tennessee. A culinary argument over who’s BBQ is the best is sure to ensue! 

Like all soul food recipes – this is a dish where Black folks have put their own seasoning spin on things! 

And after a legacy of Black people’s food and recipes, it turns out the little things make the most significant difference! 

Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken is so easy, you’ll be convinced it took you longer to make than it really did! 

 

Soul Food Pulled Chicken Recipe

 

What should you do for the best pulled chicken?

Pro tip: When cooking any chicken, pulled, roastedfriedair fried, or barbecued chicken – make sure your chicken is seasoned first!

Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning:

A hearty blend of spices with a classic kick! The bold, soulful seasoning of Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning is made from paprika, garlic, onion, lemon zest, mustard seed, black pepper, and other fragrant spices.

Sprinkle it on your BBQ pulled chicken for an unforgettable flavor and aroma. With its all-natural ingredients, this delicious blend of spicy and savory flavorings can be used on your poultry dishes to take them to a new level.

 

What can you substitute for the poultry and herb seasonings?

You can use your favorite all-purpose seasoning or a combination of these soul food seasonings to make 4 tablespoons

Homemade soul food chicken seasoning:

  • Paprika
  • Mustard seed
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated bell pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Some Southern cooks also include a little soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce and an olive oil cooking spray for their baking dish when gathering their ingredients.

 

 

How do you make BBQ soul food Southern pulled chicken?

Follow the easy recipe instructions below!

 

Can you use frozen chicken for BBQ pulled chicken in the Instant Pot?

 

Kitchen equipment for Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken

 

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KitchenAid stand mixer  |  Instant Pot electric pressure cooker  |  Amazon cutting board  |  Kate Aspen heart-shaped measuring spoons  |  The Pioneer Woman measuring bowls  |  World Market glass prep bowls  |  Anthropologie dish towel  |  Jungalow dinner bowl  |

 

Can you use your food processor to shred chicken?

 

Ingredients for Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken 

 

Homemade BBQ sauce recipe HERE!

Steve Harvey Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
Steve Harvey shares his easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
This Southern BBQ sauce is perfect for slathering your favorite meats for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or any other holiday!
You'll have enough leftover sauce to store in a mason jar and share!
Check out this recipe!

 

Soul Food Pulled Chicken Sauce Recipe

 

Instructions for Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken 

  1. In a small bowl, mix the chicken seasoning and the garlic & herb seasoning.
  2. Rub the seasoning mixture on the chicken thighs to coat them.
  3. Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  4. Place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the inner pot, then place the seasoned chicken thighs on the rack.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  6. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 7 minutes.
  7. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  8. Remove the cooked chicken thighs from the pot using the trivet rack handles.
  9. To pull the chicken thighs apart, chop with a knife. Or shred the cooked chicken thighs by hand, with a fork, or with a stand mixer.
  10. Add the shredded chicken to a large bowl and pour in the BBQ sauce, gently mixing and folding to coat the chicken.
  11. How do you serve Instant Pot shredded BBQ chicken? Serve this Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken on a plate with coleslaw or as a chicken sandwich, and enjoy!

 

Southern Soul Food BBQ Chicken Recipe
No, you don't have to go to a restaurant when you crave Southern BBQ.
Thanks to this easy Southern soul food BBQ chicken recipe, you can bring the same deliciousness of savory BBQ flavors home to your kitchen. 
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Soul Food BBQ Chicken Recipe

 

How do you make a Southern pulled BBQ chicken sandwich?

All you need are heaping scoops of pulled chicken on hamburger buns. Topped with Southern coleslaw as the signature Deep South favorite BBQ condiment!

 

Black Folks Pulled BBQ Chicken

 

Can you eat pulled chicken cold?

Not only is this recipe another Instant Pot easy magical meal in minutes. You can also enjoy leftover pulled chicken warm or cold!

 

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What sides go with BBQ pulled chicken?

Making this Southern pulled chicken is much more than just putting the chicken in the cooker and calling it a day. Like any dish, you have to have the right sides to go with it!

There are many sides to choose from, so you can never go wrong if you stick to the basics. 

Your guests will love these tried and true soul food sides that pair perfectly with this soul food sweet and tangy pulled BBQ chicken recipe.

 

What do you eat with pulled chicken?

 

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What vegetables and sides go with BBQ chicken?

Baked beans – Can you really have Southern pulled BBQ without Southern baked beans? Baked beans are a Southern staple with pulled pork and pulled chicken. Beans add to the flavor of your meal and help in rounding up all the barbequed food in one scoop.

Coleslaw – The flavors of BBQ and coleslaw complement each other well, making them a match made in heaven! So much that Southern coleslaw is like a condiment to a pulled BBQ sandwich. The tang of the vinegar in the coleslaw is a perfect companion to the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Potato salad – What’s a summer cookout without BBQ and potato salad? Soul food potato salad is always an accompaniment to Black folks Southern pulled BBQ at a Black cookout.

Macaroni salad – A beautiful summer pasta staple bursting with various soul food flavors and seasonings. Macaroni salad is the cousin to Black folks’ potato salad. Made with pasta instead.

Collard greens – African Americans love the play of BBQ pulled chicken with collard greens. The tangy and leafy collards cut through the meat’s richness and add a healthy side dish to the meal.

Cornbread – A warm, fragrant cornbread is another side dish meant to be eaten with BBQ pulled chicken. The sweetness of the cornbread goes well with the spiciness of the chicken. It also makes the chicken moist.

Mac and cheese – There is nothing better than mac and cheese with barbecue pulled chicken. It is an American specialty with a cheesy, buttery, and rich taste. It goes well with almost all barbequed foods and helps round up the meal.

Mashed potatoes – Simply add mashed potatoes to elevate your pulled chicken sandwich entrée to a soul food Sunday dinner!

 

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What sauce goes best with soul food BBQ chicken?

While this recipe’s BBQ sauce holds its own in flavor. That’s never stopped folks from including in their favorite chicken sauce specialties!

Whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an afternoon snack, one of these condiments is sure to be a favorite for a soul food chicken recipe. 

  • Hot sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Pure honey 
  • Honey mustard

 

What is soul food in a bowl?

An example of soul food in a bowl is the delicious combination of ricesoul food collard greens, and black-eyed peas served with BBQ chicken on top! 

Other famous soul foods in bowl specialties include the Deep South favorite, Hoppin’ JohnTidewater chicken yock, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s mac and greens.

 

Southern Pulled Chicken Recipe

 

Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken FAQs

Is there any replacement for the BBQ sauce?

You can make the homemade BBQ sauce in an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or on the stovetop. 

The various cooking method instructions can be found HERE.

 

Will BBQ sauce burn in the Instant Pot?

 

Will BBQ sauce burn in the Instant Pot?

A frequently asked question is, “Won’t I get a burn notice on the Instant Pot?”

You will not, as the homemade BBQ sauce is a slow cooker recipe, and liquid is added to the sauce.

 

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Why does your Instant Pot say ‘burn’?

The Instant Pot’ burn’ notice will appear during the pressure cooking function when not enough liquid is added to the pot. The food inside will burn and stick to the bottom of the inner pot.

 

What makes chicken soft and juicy?

 

What does natural release on the Instant Pot mean?

At the end of the pressure cooking time, the pressure must be released to unlock and open the Instant Pot lid. 

A natural release begins on its own when the cooking time is finished.

The lid will not unlock for your safety until the pressure is released (naturally or manually). 

 

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Can you use frozen chicken for BBQ pulled chicken in the Instant Pot?

Yes, but you’ll need to allow approximately 4-8 minutes more for the pressure cooking time, depending on how much chicken you’re cooking.

 

Can you use bottled BBQ sauce for the recipe?

This homemade BBQ sauce recipe calls for Rufus Teague’s bottled “Touch O’ Heat” and Sweet Honey BBQ sauce. 

 

Can you use bottled BBQ sauce for the recipe?

 

How can you thicken the sauce?

Follow the recipe instructions and add a few ingredients (apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and pure cane sugar or brown sugar). Then simmer!

You could also use a bottle of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce for this recipe.

 

Could you use a whole chicken?

You can use the meat from a whole chicken, preferably the dark meat chicken pieces. 

 

Does the slow cooker tenderize chicken?

Yes, but at a slower pace. Pressure cooking is a better tenderizer at a faster pace.

 

How long does chicken take in the slow cooker?

Crock pot chicken can take hours in the slow cooker and only minutes in the Instant Pot.

 

What makes chicken soft and juicy?

Juiciness combines doneness, fat content, bone-in versus bone-out, and temperature. Cooked chicken juiciness is affected by the time the chicken spends cooking, the temperature, and how the chicken is prepped before cooking.

 

What do you soak chicken in to make it tender?

People often ask, “How do you make chicken soft like a restaurant?” and “Does soaking chicken in milk tenderize it?”

Yes, so optionally, you can use the below instructions and marinate the chicken in a buttermilk brine to tenderize it before adding the BBQ sauce. 

This additional step is easiest with an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.

 

What do you soak chicken in to make it tender?

 

Instructions for a buttermilk marinade chicken brine

  1. To make homemade buttermilk, use 3 cups of milk and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. In a medium-sized bowl, stir the two ingredients together and let them sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Open the Instant Pot lid and add the buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of salt to the stainless steel inner pot.
  3. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side up, to the pot with the buttermilk. (No Instant Pot? No problem! – allow the chicken to marinate in the buttermilk for 4 hours to overnight.)
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  6. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  7. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot (you can discard the buttermilk) and set the chicken pieces aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool off to the touch.

 

Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

You can make homemade buttermilk simply with 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. 

The ratio is 1:1.

 

Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

 

Should you sear chicken before slow cooking?

This is unnecessary and may end up overcooking it, making rubbery chicken.

 

Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

It’s safe to cook raw poultry in a slow cooker and an Instant Pot. Slow cookers, pressure cookers, and Crockpots are designed to cook raw meats.

The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking time, and steam created from the tightly covered container destroys bacteria, making slow cooking safe.

 

Why is your pulled chicken tough?

Many factors can cause tough and chewy pulled chicken. However, the most common reason is accidentally overcooking the meat.

 

Can you overcook pulled chicken in a slow cooker?

It is perfectly safe to cook pulled chicken in a slow cooker. In fact, the Instant Pot has a slow cook setting, although it will take a lot longer than pressure cooking.

While cooking pulled chicken is not rocket science, it does take some practice. Generally speaking, the longer you cook chicken after it’s already done, the less moist it can become. Maybe even dry and crumbly. 

It’s possible to overcook chicken, even in a slow cooker. Therefore pressure cooking is a faster and better way to have moist, juicy chicken quicker than slow cooking.

 

Soul Food Pulled Chicken

 

How do you make dry shredded chicken moist again?

Cooked shredded chicken can be made moist again with the help of chicken stock or broth. Just add the chicken to a pan or sauté in the Instant Pot. 

Pour enough chicken stock or broth over it to cover it, allow it to come to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

 

When cooking chicken in the Crockpot should it be thawed first?

It’s easier to cook chicken from frozen by pressure cooking than slow cooking. Although it can be done, it’s recommended to thaw it first if you’re making Crockpot BBQ chicken.

 

Is pulled chicken as good as pulled pork?

The answer is obviously yes! Pulled chicken is not only as good as pulled pork but also healthier. Chicken has lower fat and calories than pork. 

 

What chicken is best for shredding?

There are two types of chicken best for shredding. Boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs. 

 

Should you leave the skin on the chicken in a slow cooker?

Not a great idea. Chicken skin is loaded with fat and grease. When left in the slow cooker, it will render out, releasing fat and greasy oil into your finished dish. 

 

How many pounds of chicken do you need for pulled chicken?

For this soul food pulled chicken recipe, you’ll need 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

 

Southern Pulled Chicken

 

About how many servings does this make?

This Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe makes 6 servings.

 

Can this recipe be doubled in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can use the dynamic recipe card below to adjust the serving sizes and get the correct amount of ingredients for your desired cooking method.

 

Can you freeze BBQ pulled chicken?

How do you store leftovers? Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

 

What did you think about this recipe?

Did you enjoy this Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

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The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
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Black Folks Southern Pulled BBQ Chicken

Black Folks Southern Pulled BBQ Chicken

A Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken recipe is the epitome of finger-lickin’ good!
This is the ultimate in no-fail BBQ chicken recipes, whether you’re making this dish from scratch or with leftover BBQ chicken. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure Release The: 7 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black folks Southern pulled BBQ chicken, instant pot chicken, Instant Pot chicken recipes, soul food BBQ, soul food BBQ chicken, soul food BBQ chicken recipe, soul food pulled chicken, Southern pulled chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 282kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Electric hand or stand mixer  (optional)
  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker (optional)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken thawed, boneless skinless chicken breasts, or preferably chicken thighs 
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning, or similar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic & herb seasoning Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning, or similar
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix the chicken seasoning and the garlic & herb seasoning.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture on the chicken thighs to coat them.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the inner pot, then place the seasoned chicken thighs on the rack.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 7 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Remove the cooked chicken thighs from the pot using the trivet rack handles.
  • To pull the chicken thighs apart, chop with a knife. Or shred the cooked chicken thighs by hand, with a fork, or with a stand mixer.
  • Add the shredded chicken to a large bowl and pour in the BBQ sauce, gently mixing and folding to coat the chicken.
  • How do you serve Instant Pot shredded BBQ chicken? Serve this Black folks’ Southern pulled BBQ chicken on a plate with coleslaw or as a chicken sandwich, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 2023mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Black Folks Southern Pulled BBQ Chicken
Amount per Serving
Calories
282
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
55
mg
18
%
Sodium
 
2023
mg
88
%
Potassium
 
311
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
24
g
27
%
Protein
 
14
g
28
%
Vitamin A
 
280
IU
6
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
40
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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