Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken is an easy meal to make while camping, and very customizable. Here's how to make it, and some ideas for use!
It’s my first time owning one, so I haven’t exactly developed a bunch of dutch oven recipes before.
Figured that turning some tender chicken breasts into pull-apart chicken - something I usually reserve for the Instant Pot - would be a great starting point!
This has quickly become one of my go-to easy Dutch oven recipes, and one of my favorite things to serve when camping.
It’s an easy recipe with very little effort involved, and is perfect for meal prepping.
Leftover pulled chicken can be dressed up in different ways - I’ll get to that in a bit - and served the following day... and the day after that!
Putting on a larger batch is the best way to get even more payout for the effort. You can use it in soups and stews, in sandwiches, and more.
Anyway, let’s get to this easy dinner recipe!
This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients for the base recipe itself, with options to choose from in terms of how to dress up the shredded chicken.
Boneless Chicken Breasts
I use a few boneless skinless chicken breasts for this “recipe” - but you can do it with more or fewer, as needed.
If you prefer dark meat, you can make it with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
While I’ve never made this with bone-in meat, it could work in theory - it would just be a bit more work, and kind of annoying to deal with, IMHO.
However you go with it, just make sure you use skinless chicken meat - the skin / fat won’t render down in the time it takes to cook chicken.
So, you’ll have to pick it all off after cooking. Too much hassle to be worth it, IMHO.
While some make pulled chicken with water, I like to use chicken stock with aromatics and seasonings.
I find it just gives a much better flavour to the chicken!
You can use whatever chicken broth, chicken stock, or even chicken bone broth - homemade or store-bought.
Just be sure to use something that you like the flavour of!
At the very least, I like to use celery ribs and onion (Yellow onion or white onions, it’s all good), along with salt and black pepper.
What you add from there is up to you, your tastes, and what you plan to use the pulled chicken for.
Add a few peeled cloves of garlic - or some garlic powder. For that matter, you can add some onion powder, to punch up THAT flavour profile a bit.
A squeeze of Dijon mustard, some fresh or dried herbs - just pick flavours that will work with whatever you plan to use it for.
When I’m making BBQ pulled chicken or chicken taco meat, for instance, I’ll usually slice up a jalapeno or two, and add it to the pot.
It’ll give it flavour AND kick!
Uses for Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken
Having some pulled chicken in the fridge is a great way to add some protein to all kinds of delicious meals, with very little effort.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use pulled chicken:
Chill pulled chicken thoroughly before use.
When you’re ready to make your chicken salad, add mayonnaise, chopped celery, chopped onions, and anything else that you like in chicken salad.
While pulled chicken won’t be smoky like SMOKED chicken is, you can use smoked mayo and make a version of my Smoked Chicken Salad.
See my Fancy Tea Sandwiches post for my Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe - just swap a batch of this dutch oven chicken in place of the rotisserie whole chicken in that recipe.
Leftover chicken salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or so.
Pulled chicken can be seasoned up to make the BEST chicken tacos - or taco bowls.
To do so, add pulled chicken to a pan along with a little olive oil or vegetable oil.
Season to taste with taco seasoning. (See my Camping Tacos, 2 Ways post for my own taco seasoning recipe. It’s spicy, smoky, complex, and amazing!)
Alternatively, just add some smoked paprika, chili powder, a pinch of dried oregano, maybe some cumin powder, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Add a splash of chicken broth, stir well and allow to cook until liquid is cooked off.
Spoon onto flour or corn tortillas, add your favourite taco toppings, sour cream, and/or hot sauce, and serve!
BBQ Pulled Chicken
In a small bowl, add your favourite barbecue sauce to a portion of pulled chicken, stir to combine.
Taste, add more bbq sauce if needed.
Season with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices that you may like, if desired.
Add pulled chicken to a hot pan, with a little oil.
Heat over a medium fire for a few minutes, allowing excess moisture to cook off.
Add your favourite BBQ sauce, to taste. Stir well and allow to heat through before serving.
This makes fantastic bbq chicken sandwiches - I’ll usually top with some extra sauce, a slice of cheese, and some coleslaw.
Serve a heaping portion of BBQ pulled chicken along some kind of starch (sweet potatoes, fries, mashed potatoes, etc.
How to Make Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a pictorial walk through:
Arrange your chicken breasts in the bottom of the Dutch oven or cast iron skillet, leaving as much space between as possible. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Add onion and celery to the pot, allowing for air flow between chicken and vegetable pieces.
Pour a cup of chicken broth into the Dutch oven, cover with lid.
Note: You don’t need to go with exact measurements. A cup, 2 cups - you want at least enough to cover the bottom of the pan - more is fine!
Note: The cooking time will vary based on the method used, the size of the chicken breasts, and whether they started as fresh or frozen. Fresh chicken cooks faster than frozen, larger breasts take a bit longer than small, etc.
It’ll usually be about 20-30 minutes, depending on method used. (15-20 minutes or so for stove top, 30 in the oven)
Use 2 forks - or an electric hand mixer, OR in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment - to pull the cooked chicken breasts apart.
When I’m camping, I let the chicken cool slightly on a plate or cutting board.
Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
More Camping Recipes
Looking for great ideas to cook on a campfire, or in an RV? Here's a few delicious recipes to start with!
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Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Fresh or frozen
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Onion Peeled and cut into wedges
- 2-4 Celery Ribs
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- Arrange your chicken breasts in a large Dutch oven, leaving as much space between as possible. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add onion and celery to the pot, allowing for air flow between chicken and vegetable pieces.
- Pour chicken stock into the Dutch oven, cover with lid.
- Cook over a low campfire, a camp stove set to medium, or in a 350 degree oven, until the internal temperature of each chicken breast registers 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer.It’ll be about 20-30 minutes, depending on method used. (20 minutes or so for stove top, 30 in the oven). Frozen chicken will take longer than fresh.
- Remove chicken breasts from the pan. Discard the celery and onion pieces.
- Use 2 forks or an electric hand mixer to pull the chicken breasts apart.
- Use immediately, or store in the leftover braising liquid to prevent it from drying out.