Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Pulled Chicken

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Pulled Chicken

Preserves and peri-peri sauce does the heavy lifting here.
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 5 cloves garlic I actually used garlic in brine but fresh is fine too!
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 18 oz apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup hot peri-peri sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice


  • At least 3 hrs before you want to make the pulled chicken, place all ingredients in a resealable bag or marinating container. Refrigerate.
  • Add the contents of the marinating container to a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. When done, meat should shred easily with a fork. Shred chicken with a fork.
  • Toss to evenly coat with sauce.
  • Serve on rolls.


You can use store-bought or homemade preserves to great results.
Keyword slow cooker


It has been a long, long time since I’ve made pulled chicken in the slow cooker. Not for any particular reason but I got out of the habit. Maybe I made it too often years ago when I was testing my slow cooker cookbook? Who knows? 

I know slow cooker recipes that only take a few hours are a little controversial but I think they have their place. In this situation, I marinated the meat in the morning and threw it in the slow cooker at lunchtime.  The other advantage is that it uses ingredients that I nearly always have on hand. I had the apricot preserves for another recipe I was working on for my grant project and didn’t end up using it and we love peri-peri sauce so we try to have that on hand too. Chicken thighs have been a real staple of my still not-normal grocery visits so I keep picking them up because they are there and then trying to figure out what to do with them. This is my favorite way to eat them but way more time-consuming and hands-on. This is a very flavorful and worthy alternative that takes basically no time to make. 

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