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Old 12-07-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: 09-22-11
Location: Edgewater, MD
Default pulled chicken

Gotta make pulled chicken for my school holiday party. What do you guys use? For pure ease I've used boneless/skinless thighs in the past. However I'm thinking using bone in and skin on thighs may make for a moister finish. What do you all recommend? Thanks
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
Juggy D Beerman
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Join Date: 09-18-06
Location: Warrensburg, MO

Keith, I am so tight with my money, I can figure out a way for two or three people to split a nickel equally......

So here is the cheapest way I know of to cook pulled chicken. I buy the ten pound bags of chicken quarters, ie leg/thigh pieces. I wait until they are on sale for 49¢ a pound and buy several ten pound bags. There are any where from nine to eleven pieces per bag.

Once the pieces are thawed and ready to cook, on the smoker they go. I use no rub on the pieces and never baste them either. I cook them at 250ºF for the first hour, because my smoker puts out very little smoke if I cook hotter than this. After the first hour has passed, I kick the heat up to 300º-325ºF. The pieces are done when you can easily bend the leg where it joins the thigh. Or you can use your thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the thigh is above 170ºF. The whole cooking process takes about two to three hours.

Once the birds have cooled off enough to where they can be easily handled, you can then pull the meat. I throw the skin and bones into a stock pot for making smoked chicken stock. I use no spices or veggies in the stock, just skin and bones. Once the water and chicken parts have boiled for an hour, remove the pot and let the liquid cool. I use a collander to strain the bones and skin from the liquid. It is not neccessary to do this next step, but I find the stock is less fatty or greasy if you place it in the deep freeze until the liquid freezes. The fat will come to the top and you can easily scrape the fat from the iced liquid by scraping it with a spoon. Then you can thaw out the stock and put it into containers for freezing for future use. The stock can be used with water for flavoring boiled rice, soups or adding to a pan of pulled chicken.

Now if you don't want to go through all that trouble of making stock to add to a pan or pans of pulled chicken, you can just add some canned chicken broth or apple juice or a combination of the two. This will moisten the chicken up and keep it from drying out during the reheat.

Now back to the chicken....... Once the chicken has been boned, I then add rub to the meat before freezing or serving. If I am freezing the meat, I do not add any liquid. As to the yield of a ten pound bag of thigh/leg quarters, I usually get about three pounds of meat.


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Old 12-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: 06-07-12
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I get the leg quarters from Dillons in ten lb bags also. I don't bother with broth but I should...

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Old 12-07-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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I wait till bone in, skin on thighs are on sale in a family/value pack for $.89/lb. In fact, I did pulled chicken today for a large pot of chicken chile verde. I rubbed with Plowboys' Bovine Bold and dusted with Habanero Death Dust (probably not a good thing for school :) ). I cook on my MAK at about 285 for about an hour till 170.
I just love thighs and always look for a reason to cook those delicious little chunks of meat.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #6
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Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN

I just did a bunch of pulled chicken last weekend.

I always just do whole chickens. I can find them pretty regularly for less than $1/lb, so I end up with a whole 5 lb chicken for about $5. I usually yield about 2 lb of pulled meat from 1 5 lb bird.

I brine the chickens in a basic brine (1 gal water, 1 c kosher salt, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1-2 TBS whole peppercorns) for 5-8 hours.

Then I just apply plenty of seasoning in the cavity and on the skin. I usually don't do a bbq rub, but more of a "general" poultry seasoning. I like Weber's "Kickin Chicken" or Garlic & herb seasoning. Sometimes I just do a nice simple kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder too. Since I eventually pull off the skin I don't see the need to blow through a bunch of expensive rub. I've even been buying a big shaker of Lawry's "Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning Blend" that I've found at Sam's.

Then smoke them at 350 smoker temp until done (usually takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hours) or 155 IT breast and 170 IT thigh, take them off and let them rest for at least 30 minutes and put them in the fridge.

Later (when cool enough to handle) I remove the skin and pull all the meat off the bone. I SAVE THE JUICES that are always in the pan I put them in the fridge in. Once I pull all the meat, place back into the drippings/juices, add a little more seasoning/rub and mix it all up.

TADAAAA.....pulled smoked chicken.

Always turns out great. I like the mix of white and dark meat.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Going to try that tomorrow. 2 whole chickens. Looking forward to some good pulled chicken.
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