Pumpkin Chipotle Pulled Chicken

TAGS: Pumpkin Chipotle Pulled Chicken, guilt-free, recipes, carbs, Hannah Johnson-Hill, protein

I’ve received several requests for a “pumpkin-y” recipe for fall, and because last year’s Coco-Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie was such a huge hit, I figured, why not?

You will need:

  • 2 pounds fresh boneless chicken breast
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • Garlic salt (to taste)
  • 1 jar roasted chipotle salsa
  • 2 finely chopped chipotle peppers with their adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 large spaghetti squash (optional)

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Let’s Get This Pumpkin Party Started

First off, if you want to serve this over spaghetti squash, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your squash and scrape out the seeds, leaving behind the stringy flesh. Your finished scraped squash should look like the half on the right (see below).

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Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for one hour. Take the pan out and let it cool on the countertop while the rest of this feast comes together.

Hose down your crock pot with some nonstick cooking spray and toss in your chicken breast. No need to do anything special—just flip it on low and start making your sauce. That chicken breast is like the girl in a red dress at the bar. It won’t be lonely long!

Get a skillet real hot, add your butter, and brown your sweet onion until it’s good and smoky. Get it as burnt as you’d like. It adds a nice roasted flavor. Go ahead and add in your coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage and garlic salt. Once that’s done, add in your chicken broth, making sure that you scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

If you like a hotter flavor, just dump in your chipotle peppers. I personally like the heat a bit more mellow, so I use a stick blender (or a regular blender will work fine) to process the peppers into the pumpkin before adding it. I feel like that disperses the flavor more evenly and prevents the atomic fireball explosion of biting a big chunk of pepper all at once. Stir in your heavy cream and chipotle salsa.

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Let everything mellow for about 15 minutes. Keep it just below a simmer to bring out the spices. We don’t want to hard boil the cream or the sauce will “break” and look ugly.

Carefully pour your chipotle pumpkin sauce over your crock pot o’ chicken breasts, stirring to ensure that all the chicken is submersed in the liquid. Pop the top on that bad boy and go do something fun for the next six hours.

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If you’re really pressed for time, you can cook this on high for three to four hours, but I wouldn’t recommend adding the cream in until the end to avoid curdling it. But hey, I’m always open to new ideas.

Ready, Set, Shred!

Carefully remove your chicken breasts and shred them, dropping the meat back into the crock pot o’ awesome flavor. It’s here that we add the chopped kale and let it marinate for thirty more minutes or so to soften and really get the flavor throughout. The sauce should really soak right in.

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Now grab your spaghetti squash and drag a fork along the strings to make long, spaghetti-like stands. Yay for guilt-free pasta!

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Serving Suggestions

I personally loved this over the scraped spaghetti squash, and it made for an incredible, nearly zero-carb dinner that Matt and I both couldn’t get enough of.

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Hungry husband approved!

I also had the idea of serving it over angel hair whole grain pasta or on a toasted whole grain bun like a pulled pork sandwich. Whatever you decide to do with it, I’d love to hear your serving suggestion.

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