Pulled Barbecue Chicken


  • Whole free-range chicken – 1 whole free-range chicken
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Yellow onion – 3/4 cup, diced
  • Garlic – 1.5 tablespoons, minced
  • Whole tomatoes and sauce – 2.5 cups peeled, whole tomatoes and sauce
  • Honey – 1/3 cup
  • Red wine vinegar – 1/4 cup
  • Coconut vinegar – 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • Molasses – 1 tablespoon
  • Cloves – 1/2 teaspoon, ground
  • Cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Sea salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf – 1 bay leaf
  • Red chili flakes – Pinch red chili flakes


  1. Prepare the chicken! I had no clue what to do, and as usual, am feint at following instructions. I tucked my hands into the chicken before opening The Joy of Cooking or Googling a strategy. Thankfully Dimity was in town, and dialed our Mamma for quick tips. She said “find the natural joints and cut.” Pretty intuitive, huh? So that’s what I did. I pulled apart the legs and chopped them off. I sliced off the breasts. I sliced off the wings. And then I sliced off any remaining meat. I put everything in a bowl, rinsed it thoroughly, and pat it dry with paper towels. We left the chicken covered with paper towels while we prepared the barbecue sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high.
  4. Add the onion to the saucepan and saute until it turns translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 more minutes, until the garlic turns golden.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and simmer the barbecue sauce for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Put the chicken in an oven proof dish, like a cast iron skillet or square baking dish.
  7. Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken. (Save your barbecue saucepan – you will use it later!)
  8. Put the barbecue chicken in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove the barbecue chicken from the oven. Using tongs, pull out the chicken and put it in a separate bowl to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, begin to pull it off the bones. Pull it! Shred it!
  10. Transfer the barbecue sauce back into the saucepan and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. It will reduce to about a third of the original quantity. When the sauce is finished, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.