You can make tender, succulent Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with just 3 ingredients (chicken, salt and pepper) and 10 minutes of active time. The secret to it’s juicy, rotisserie like texture is to use bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves instead of boneless skinless chicken breast that can easily dry out.
There is no need to add liquid to your slow cooker or crockpot, though you’ll be rewarded with a cup or so of glorious, flavorful broth when your chicken is done. A perfect liquid to moisten this pulled chicken when reheating or adding to soups, stews and sauces.
Slow cooker pulled chicken is endlessly versatile. Add heft to green salads and pasta or grain salads, use to make Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Pot Pie Soup, toss into soup (like Chicken Noodle Soup) or stew, pile on to sandwiches, tacos and tostadas or make my favorite Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (made with homemade Green Enchilada Sauce)!
I typically stick with neutral seasonings, just salt and pepper. But if you know how you’re planning to use this pulled chicken, feel free to add appropriate spices to permeate the meat as it cooks.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
Step 1: Place 2 large bone in, skin on chicken breast halves in a slow cooker or crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high until tender and almost falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours, depending on size of the chicken breast halves.
Step 2: Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and, when cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones. Use two forks to shred meat to your desired consistency.
Step 3: Strain cooking liquid into a jar for another use. (see recipe notes for ideas)
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Recipe Video
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
- 2 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place chicken breast halves in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours (see recipe note #1) until very tender.
- Transfer chicken from the slow cooker to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
- Strain liquid from slow cooker into a jar for another use. (see recipe note #2)
- Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken breast halves. With 2 forks, shred chicken to desired consistency. Enjoy as desired!
- In my slow cooker, 3 hours on high is perfect for 2 1-pound bone in, skin on chicken breast halves. If the chicken breasts are larger, they can take up to 4 hours. Check for tenderness every 15 to 30 minutes once you pass the 3 hour mark.
- Use strained liquid to moisten pulled chicken when reheating or as you would chicken broth. You can also freeze it for a later use.
- The recipe states that this chicken serves 6 people, but it depends entirely on how you serve it. You'll end up with ~15 ounces of pulled chicken from 2 1-pound bone in skin on chicken breast halves.