Slow Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken

I made a lot of slow cooker meals when I was working full time and since I have become a stay at home mom, I don’t use it as often. However, I came upon this recipe in Everyday Food magazine and tore it out because it sounded delicious. I don’t know why. I’m not a buffalo chicken fan or a “spicy” fan. Come to think of it, I’m not quite sure what possessed me to tear out this recipe. But I did, and I am glad that I did!

Taste test…couldn’t help myself, it smelled so good! I ended up adding more hot sauce after this taste.

Slow Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken
from Everyday Food

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I used less)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I had a two pound package and used it all–I trimmed the fat off quickly though, so it might have ended up closer to 1.5#)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I used three of the frozen variety)
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (I only used one)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup hot-pepper sauce, such as Frank’s (I started with 1/8 of a cup but ended up adding more after a taste test)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses (didn’t have any and forgot it at the store in a hurry. I substituted brown sugar)
8 hamburger buns (or whatever type of bun you desire. I had some whole wheat buns in the freezer)

1.In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring once, until meat is golden brown, 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a slow cooker, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Repeat with chicken breasts.

2.To skillet, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet, 5 minutes (I skipped this step because I was using a non-stick pan so there wasn’t anything to de-glaze). Season with salt and pepper and transfer to slow cooker.
3.To slow cooker, add crushed tomatoes, hot-pepper sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and molasses; stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until chicken is very tender, 4 hours. Shred chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The magazine recommended using a potato masher to shred the chicken right in the slow cooker. I was skeptical, but it worked like a charm!) Serve on buns.

I served mine with homemade creamy coleslaw (recipe coming soon). I thought it would be the perfect complement to the spicy sandwich. It was! Some crispy, salty potato chips would have made this even better. I don’t keep those in my house though because if I did, I still wouldn’t have them on hand because I would have already eaten them all!
Verdict: This was really, really good. As I already mentioned, I am not a buffalo chicken or a spicy food fan, but this was great. It makes a ton, especially since I went heavy on the meat. It could definitely serve 8 as the recipe states, but I plan on freezing it and enjoying it again at a later date. I like the combination of dark and white meat, and even if you don’t like one or the other, I would recommend using both. The dark meat gives it more depth of flavor and moisture in my opinion. But if you’re dead set against one or the other, I’m sure it would be fine if you substituted the dark for white or vice versa.
Husband’s take: He liked it, even went back for seconds.
Changes I would make: None at all. Well, maybe I might cheat next time and see if I can sneak by without browning the meat first. It isn’t that hard, but if I can eliminate a step, you better believe I will!
Difficulty: Easy. Shocker, huh.
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  1. Pingback: 100+ Slow Cooker Recipes - Rachel Cooks

  2. I know, I love Everyday Food! I get so excited when it arrives in the mail.

  3. I am a buffalo chicken and spicy fan…this is right up my alley! I'm going to try this soon! Everyday Food has some awesome recipes!

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