Pulled chicken

Pulled chicken

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 6

Remake a street-food favourite, pulled pork, with juicy chicken thighs to cut the calories for a healthy taco filling

Nutrition and extra info

  • chicken only
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal353
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre10g
  • protein29g
  • salt1.2g


  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed and discarded and trimmed of any big bits of fat
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 250ml passata
  • 75g barbecue sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • juice 3 limes, plus extra wedges to serve (optional)



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 215g can refried beans
  • 1 small, ripe avocado, diced



    Although it's technically a fruit, the mild-flavoured avocado is used as a vegetable. Native…

  • ½ small pack coriander, leaves only
  • 3 Little Gem lettuces, shredded
  • 8-12 tacos, or cooked rice, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rub the chicken thighs with 1 tbsp of the chipotle paste and some seasoning. Mix the remaining chipotle paste with the passata, barbecue sauce, 100ml water and half the onion. Spoon the sauce into a roasting tin that will fit the chicken snugly in a single layer and add the chicken thighs. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hr, then uncover, increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for another 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining onion with the lime juice and some salt, and set aside while the chicken cooks. Mix all the beans in a saucepan with 100ml water and heat, ready to serve.

  3. When the chicken is really tender, use two forks to shred the meat into the sauce (discard the bones). Keep covered with the foil while you heat the beans for 5-10 mins until piping hot and not too wet, and warm the tacos following pack instructions. Stir the avocado and coriander leaves into the lime-onion mixture.

  4. Serve the pulled chicken and beans with shredded lettuce and tacos, or rice and lime wedges to squeeze over, if you like. Top with a spoonful of the avocado salsa.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Oct, 2016
Great recipe if you're entertaining. I used chipotle sauce instead of paste as they didn't have it at my local supermarket, which still worked really well. I served with rice, tortillas and homemade guacamole - perfect!
10th Jan, 2016
Really liked this! Juicy and the sauce was good. I will say though it won't feed 6 adults unless they're not very hungry. I served with brown rice and also added red bell pepper to the mix
4th Oct, 2015
Delicious recipe, the chicken was very tender. I found that I had to boil the sauce afterwards separately to reduce it as it was too watery, and then mixed it back in with the pulled chicken to cover it.
Minoo's picture
17th Jun, 2015
I loved the effect of slow roasting the chicken thighs and loved the flavour- although maybe it was a bit salty as so much pre-made BBQ sauced was needed. I also think the suggestion that this could serve 6 is a little optimistic- I think if you've got all adults then it's more like 4. But I'd make it again, especially the salsa!
Frantic Flapjack
17th Feb, 2015
I cooked the chicken in the sauce for the flavour and then took out and shredded separately as the sauce did look greasy. Used in wraps with fried onions, peppers and salsa and some refried beans, mashed avocado and sour cream.
16th Jan, 2015
The sauce was incredibly oily, totally impractical for tacos, a soft wrap would work better. Too many beans, the black beans add nothing, especially if you are also using the re-fried beans as suggested. Avocado, onions and lime salsa was delicious.
19th Dec, 2014
I followed the recipe for cooking the chicken with rice but then deviate by creating a salsa with half a red and yellow pepper, 1/4 of the onion, half the avocado and a squeeze of the lime + a bit of salt and pepper. After pulling the chicken I returned it to the sauce (used in the oven) which I then placed on the hop, reduced the sauce and squeeze 1/2 a lime into this. Fab Recipe!!
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Sarah C's picture
Sarah C
28th May, 2018
To make this one pot & slimmer friendly: I used chicken breast not thigh. Simmered the breast in the onion (I used red onion), passata, chipotle and BBQ sauce till cooked. Shredded it then added it back to the sauce and reheated it with 1 tin of black beans, and the whole tin of refried beans. Season to taste. Served with rice, lettuce, and the onion/avocado lime salsa. Very delicious.
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