3 to 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, or a mix of thighs and breasts
1 large onion, diced
2 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 325°F. Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat it dry.
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot (with a lid) heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until quite soft. Add the smoked paprika and stir. Add the chicken one piece at a time, stirring to mix well with the onion. Stir in the salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Pour in the barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
Cover the pot with a heavy lid and put in the oven. Bake, covered, for 90 minutes, or until the chicken is extremely tender. Remove from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken finely.
While you're shredding the chicken, put the sauce, uncovered, back on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid in the pan to about half of its volume. Pour this thickened sauce over the chicken and stir.
Serve with buns, slaw, avocado, and extra barbecue sauce on the side. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Slow-cooker instructions: Follow the recipe as written above, but instead of putting the chicken and sauce in the oven, pour it all into a slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 7 hours on LOW. If desired, you can lift out the chicken and reduce the sauce in a separate pan on the stovetop, but this may not be necessary; it simply depends on your preference.
This recipe was originally published March 2012.