Teriyaki Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Grilled Pineapple
I don’t think of my slow cooker during the warmer months. Once winter is over, it usually sits unloved until the fall. 🙁 I think of it for cold, lazy day meals, such as my Chicken Tortilla Soup, or my Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Smoky Orange Barbecue Sauce. Lately, I’ve been seeing loads of meals perfect for summer or quick week night variety that aren’t “wintery”, and they cook in a fraction of the time. While I love grilling, there’s something to be said about placing all of the ingredients in a pot for a little while, going about your business, and voila!…it’s done. You’re not going to believe how easy these Teriyaki Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Grilled Pineapple are. You’re just not. It’s so ridiculously simple AND delicious. They will definitely be on permanent rotation for dinner around here. 😀
I can’t say enough about this tasty stuff. Who doesn’t like that sweet and salty teriyaki thing? I adore it. When I go to a Japanese restaurant, I don’t order sushi. It’s all about the teriyaki for me. I must admit that the texture of raw fish is a bit off-putting to me, but I digress. We’re talkin’ teriyaki and chicken right now, not raw fish!
All this teriyaki pulled chicken requires is making your teriyaki sauce, placing your chicken breasts in the slow cooker, and pouring the sauce over the top of the chicken. That’s it. No fuss, no muss. You turn the slow cooker on low for about two hours until the chicken is cooked through, and remove it. Add some water and cornstarch to teriyaki sauce in the slow cooker, and turn it on high for 20 minutes so the sauce can thicken slightly. While the sauce thickens, shred the chicken, then add it back in and stir it into the sauce. Holy yum.
I happened to have pineapple on hand, so I grilled a few slices thinking it would be dee-licious. It was beyond that. The pineapple gets caramelized and the sweetness just intensifies. The grilled pineapple was the perfect compliment for the pulled chicken. I threw on some chopped scallions for some freshness. My picture, unfortunately, does not reflect that. Bummer. Oh well. I was over the moon happy that this meal was so tasty, so easy, and it pleased everyone. I don’t get that every day. 😉
My sandwiches were actually a bit on the small side. Not quite a slider, but not standard size either. I used King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns, which are a bit smaller than average. I like that, since it’s built in portion control. My pineapple was almost bigger than the bun. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That pineapple was sinfully good. You can eat this as a gluten-free or low carb meal by serving it in lettuce wraps. YUM. Regardless how you serve this teriyaki pulled pork and grilled pineapple, you’ve got to try this summertime slow cooker thing. I’m definitely hooked. 🙂
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (canola oil is fine, too)
- 1 teaspoon dry sherry (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
- pinch cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4-6 pineapple slices
- buns and sliced scallions, for serving
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, dry sherry, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker, then pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Turn the slow cooker on low heat and cook two hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- When the chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker. Add the water and cornstarch to the teriyaki sauce and stir. Turn the heat on high, and cook the sauce for 20 minutes or until slightly thicker. Shred the chicken and add back to the sauce.
- While the sauce is cooking, grill the pineapple. Lightly oil your grill or grill pan, and heat over medium heat. Add the pineapple and cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks form and the pineapple softens slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Serve the pulled chicken on the buns with extra sauce if desired. Top with the grilled pineapple and scallions. Enjoy!
These sandwiches taste great on King's Hawaiian hamburger buns! Go gluten-free or low-carb by serving these as lettuce wraps.
Very loosely adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures