Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pulled Pork & Pulled Chicken at the Same Time

Another semester of teaching at supper time is fast upon us so it's very fortuitous that lots of meat sales are going on. I had already bought a fresh roasting chicken at one store yesterday but today found both pork shoulder (Boston butt) and 10 pound bags of chicken legs on sale well less than a dollar a pound. In an attempt to save time and energy, both mine and the power company's, I decided to research slow-roasted chicken to see if I could cook it with the pork. Low and behold, 4 1/2 to 5 hours at 275°F works for both the pork and the chicken.
Ingredients for many meals worth of meat:
  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1 pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)
  • 1 cup of rubbing mix (made following your own whims)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cider vinegar, white wine, or other suitable acid
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F
  2. Wash the chicken and remove whatever is in the cavity
  3. Rub both the pork butt and the chicken all over with the rubbing mix. Throw some rubbing mix inside the chicken.
  4. Put the pork butt in a Dutch oven and cover
  5. Put the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan
  6. Roast the chicken and the pork for one hour
  7. Remove chicken and pork from the oven, flip the chicken and pour the vinegar and water around the pork
  8. Cover the pork and put them both in the oven for another hour
  9. Every hour, take them out and flip both the pork and the chicken over. Baste the chicken inside and out with the pan fat.
  10. At about 4 1/2 hours check the chicken to see if it is done. You don't want it to get too dry.
  11. Sometime between 4 1/2 and 5 hours, remove both the chicken and the pork from the oven and let cool.
  12. When cool enough to handle but not cold, shred the chicken and the pork and discard fat, bones, skin, etc. It is easier to separate the meat and the fat while they are still quite warm.
  13. Divide into meal size amounts and freeze.
So, this afternoon, while I was on the computer, 10 meals worth of meat got cooked! And for less than $1 meal for two.

Although famous barbecue experts live and die by their secret formulas for the spices they rub on their meats, exactitude is less important when you are not smoking things and especially when you are essentially braising the pork.

To make a rubbing mix, in the bowl of a food processor, dump
  • brown sugar
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika (smoked if you have it)
  • salt
  • pepper (of whichever type you prefer)
  • dry mustard
  • cumin
  • and whatever else strikes your fancy
Whir the mixture to thoroughly mix it and break up any lumps. Rub.

This time I "leaned heavy" on the brown sugar and added some lemon pepper that is too lemony to use straight. It added a sweet brightness to the meat this time. Another time I might go more toward aromatics like cloves and coriander.

You can purchase pre-mixed rubbing spices but you can be more liberal in your application with homemade because you can amass larger quantities of some of the less expensive spices like garlic powder and onion powder. Also, your home mix is likely to be less salty.

Enjoy! Now, let's think of something interesting to do with that 10 lb. bag of leg quarters!

1 comment:

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.