BBQ chicken quinoa salad

Last week I read this recipe for Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken and got really excited.  I like chicken.  I like beer.  I like an appliance that does my work for me. My chicken didn’t come out nearly as delectable as Jessica’s (or so I can only assume) for reasons that primarily involve me being terribly impatient and deciding to do things at entirely incorrect times.  That and my refusal to go purchase the ingredients actually called for in the recipe.  Some people call that, well, wrong.  I call it improvising.  Or culinary genius when it goes well.  I don’t call it that often.

I did everything Jessica said to…sort of.  I used the same spices anyway. And I used boneless skinless chicken breast…though I did hack some of it off of the bone-in chicken breast we had in the freezer which may have led to an assortment of random sized hunks of chicken.  I can cross “butcher” off the list of alternate careers.  I also decided to do all of this at 4 in the afternoon…so I put it on high rather than low and hoped for the best.

Still looks good though, right?  Still tasted good too, just wasn’t the saucy, melt in your mouth awesomeness that should be pulled chicken.  I didn’t let it go to waste though. BBQ Pulled Chicken Salad to the rescue (that would be a really bad superhero name)!

I had this (which happens to be my favorite grain):

And these beautiful yellow heirloom tomatoes:

I mixed the quinoa, an entire bunch of chopped cilantro (I really like cilantro), the chopped tomatoes and some more BBQ sauce (homemade by B from the best recipe ever) and it made this:

Which was remarkably good.  I’m pleasantly surprised by my creation.  I’ll put this one in the culinary genius category.  Or at least the culinary finesse.  It would have been even better with some chopped red onion and fresh mozzarella cheese, but that would have involved premeditation.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken
(adapted – poorly- from www.

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large) (or a bunch of hacked up chicken pieces if you want to do it my way.  I wouldn’t if I were you.)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of beer (I used Sam Adams Scotch Ale)
32 ounces of barbecue sauce (I didn’t measure my bbq sauce.  I just poured a bunch in the crock pot)

Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to crockpot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce (or just cover the chicken if you’re as inaccurate as me). Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired (I did this on high for about 4 – avoid this, the chicken doesn’t come out as tender as it could and the liquid doesn’t reduce).  After 8 hours, shred.  If you’re making the quinoa salad, wait to add the extra BBQ sauce so you can judge how much you want in the salad.

Kick Ass BBQ Sauce
(adapted from the Big Green Egg Cookbook)

2 15-oz cans tomato sauce
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. Worcestershire sauce
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cloves (I don’t add this – not a clove fan)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 chipotle pepper in adobo

Place tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and mix well.

Whisk the salt, pepper, celery seed, cinnamon, paprika, cloves, garlic powder, onion powder, and chipotle together in a small bowl until completely blended.  Add to the saucepan and mix well.  On the stovetop, simmer the sauce over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has thickened.   Remove the chipotle before serving (unless you want to kill someone, then put it in their bowl).  We usually add some extra vinegar to make it thinner and tarter (that’s more tart for those of you who believe in proper grammar).  The sauce will save for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

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One Response to BBQ chicken quinoa salad

  1. Emily says:

    I know you’re not a fan of the chicken thigh, but I’m thinking you could get that melt in your mouth yumminess if you threw in a couple of thighs with the breasts. Just sayin’. Salad looks delicious though, good save!

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