Famous Barbecue Pulled Chicken

by jenna on September 25, 2010

I’m feeling a lot better today. Thank you all so much for your sweet notes! Thank goodness for renter’s insurance (in regards to the stolen watch) although I do keep checking Craigs List to see if it’s been posted yet. It’s such a weird feeling to have something stolen like that….it’s not even really the watch itself; it’s more just the fact that it was mine and something I valued and wore every day for eight years.

Anyway. Last night we drank beer and ate pizza and then watched three episodes of Mad Men while I ate about seventy dark chocolate disks from Whole Foods.

It was a good night.

Now today, I want to post the recipe for my mom’s barbecue pulled chicken for many reasons. Number one is because I miss my mom. And her chicken. Number two is because this chicken is one of the top five most requested recipes on this blog and for some reason, I’ve never posted a recipe in the three years I’ve been making/eating it.

I have no idea why.

Number three is because it’s delicious.

I like to eat this pulled chicken with cornbread and baked beans, with a tall glass of sweet iced tea. The one minor detail to this recipe is that you have to have a slow cooker. I know…I know. I don’t even have a slow cooker. I wish I did! If you do have one though, this chicken is incredibly easy and fast to pull together. It’s perfect for a crowd, tailgate or weeknight. Just throw it all in the pot, go to work and when you come home you have delicious barbecue waiting! Simple.

Let me know what you think—this is one of my favorites!

My Mom’s “Famous” Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Serves 4-6

1 and 1/2 lbs. skinned and deboned chicken thighs (use dark meat here for most flavor!)
1 T olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T cider vinegar
1 T yellow mustard
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Brown chicken for four minutes on each side in one tablespoon of hot oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Remove from heat and place in a slow cooker.

Combine ketchup and next six ingredients. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce heat to low, and cook five to six hours.

Remove chicken from sauce and then shred it into a large bowl, using your hands. Stir shredded chicken into the sauce. Spoon mixture onto buns, serve over a salad, or coleslaw.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon @ Freshman Yr of Life September 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

Hmmmm that cornbread looks divine, as does the entire meal.

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grocery goddess jen September 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

Glad you’re feeling better today. I can’t believe your car hasn’t gotten broken into two times! What will you do if you find it in Craigslist, alert the police? I hope you get it back :)

I actually have a slower cooker! Maybe I’ll try this some time and feed it to the boyfriend, I’m sure he’d love it.

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Julie September 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

And here I was wondering about what to have for dinner….

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Natalia - a side of simple September 25, 2010 at 10:47 am

So happy you’re doing better today. And that barbecue pulled chicken looks like the perfect soul food for such an unfortunate start to the weekend as yesterday (although dark chocolate, pizza, and Mad Men are some pretty good remedies, too.) Keep your head up, girl!

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ida September 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

That whole meal looks great! Glad your feeling a bit better today. It might be worth checking out some pawn shops for your watch too.

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eatmovelove September 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

You don’t have a Slow Cooker? So, how do you make it then?…or do you leave that to your Mom? ;). I’m guessing though it could still be made in the oven like normal??…I mean, isn’t a slow-cooker really just to “slowly cook” food throughout the day?..really I’m asking because I don’t know!! LOL. – although I guess it gives the flavors a chance to “marinate” more maybe?

Pairing meat with beans is a Favorite of mine!

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Estela @ Weekly Bite September 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

I love pulled bbq chicken!! Its a favorite of mine!!

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S @ extremebalance.net/blog September 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

I just bought a slow cooker to make apple butter. It felt like a worthwhile purchase to make what’s essentially a condiment… why *not* make an actual meal with it? I wonder how “pulled tofu” would come out. ;)

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sherri September 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

is a slow cooker the same thing as a crock pot? i’ve made pulled pork in the crock pot and it was wonderful (well, my husband and friends thought so, i’m a vegetarian). your mom’s chicken looks yummy and i am going to try it out tomorrow. hope your watch comes back to you! ROLL TIDE!!!!

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Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies September 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

That recipe sounds like reason alone to go out and grab a slow cooker!!

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Jasmine @ Eat Move Write September 25, 2010 at 11:24 am

My husband would adore that recipe and we both love cornbread. Looks so good.

Again, so sorry about your watch and your car. I was just telling my friend about that whole situation today. Sucks big time. Hope you still have a good weekend.

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Marie-JourneyToBodyZen September 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

This sounds fantastic!!!!! Perfect for game-days!

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Dee September 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

Holy YUM! This looks divine!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) September 25, 2010 at 11:48 am

Too bad I don’t have a slow cooker. Bummer :(

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Lora September 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I don’t use a slow cooker because not matter what I try, I just don’t have success with it. However, my Dutch oven is my best friend. Any idea how long and at what temperature you would do this in the oven? Thanks!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

“.it’s not even really the watch itself; it’s more just the fact that it was mine and something I valued and wore every day for eight years.”–

Oh this sounds so lame but I had this sweater from Abercrombie of all places that I’ve had since high school! It was wool, blue, it zipped up the front with a hood, basically the perfect southern california “jacket”. I left it sitting out on a couch at my gym 24 Hr Fitness in San Diego right by the entrance, forgot about it for a half hour, went back, and someone had walked off with it. And I searched CL and the local clothing re-sellers for weeks for that sweater. I still keep an eye out for it. I want it back! It’s not the money, it’s that it was mine and I wore it nearly daily for like 15 years…

Sorry to ramble.

Baked beans. Omg your recipe looks amazing and I want to make those. Ive never made baked beans in my life but I think it’s time I start!!

:)

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Lindsay September 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

can’t wait to try this – sounds so easy! sorry about your car :(

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ANdrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) September 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm

YUM…looks similar to what I just ate at our county fair. :)

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I love BBQ chicken.My husband loves it more – he wants it everyday!

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Camille September 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I can’t speak for the pulled chicken because I’m a vegetarian, but the cornbread looks amazing!

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The Wife of a Dairyman September 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm

This recipe is perfect for Sunday football! I’ve only made pulled pork in the slow cooker…I’ll have to try chicken! Glad you having a better day today:)

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm

mmm my husband would love this! It looks delicious!

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sarah k. @ the pajama chef September 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

this looks delish! and you could also try pawn shops for your watch… :(

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I’m glad you’re feeling better today. Beer and pizza usually have that effect. :D

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Monique@She's Going The Distance September 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

bummer about the watch :( I hate losing things and I know what you mean about the fact that it’s not the value of the item, but what the item means to you.

If it’s any consolation, I’d give you a new watch if you made me that dinner :) looks amazing!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Funny that it’s the most requested thing because you’re not so much known for your meat eating and were even vegetarian for a while!

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Lauren at KeepItSweet September 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm

i finally have a slow cooker, i think my husband would be the happiest guy if i made this for him

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Susan@MomSwimBikeRun September 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Sorry about your watch. Even if it is a material thing it was still YOURS and you have a right to be angry and feel violated. Maybe it’s a good excuse to get a new one… NO?

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Rachael September 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Love the recipe for good Southern comfort food! I’ve never used my slow cooker to cook just meat, but I’m thinking it would make pork into a thing of pulled, shredded beauty.

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Cyndi September 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Barbecued pulled chicken! I can do that! It will be well received I’m sure. I have 2 cave men at my house.

Damn! on the car intrusion! That’s just not nice. I sincerely hope you get your watch back.

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Cynthia (It All Changes) September 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I pass that South Carolina sign all the time when I visit my dad. It is so southern to me :)

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MLT September 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I have a crock pot…is that like a slow cooker? I hope so, I want to make this!

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Daniella September 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

This looks simple and tasty! I’m bookmarking it now, can’t wait to try it!! My slow cooker rocks my life :)

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Katie September 26, 2010 at 3:00 am

I made this tonight for dinner for my American husband and I in Sydney, Australia. I’ve been craving barbecue sauce for a while and this certainly hit the spot. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) September 26, 2010 at 4:30 am

Look at that cornbread!! So crumbly and perfect.

The pulled pork recipe sounds so simple. I love how a slow cooker can make that magic happen, and I’m totally trying it this fall. :D

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Sara @ myfancytuna.blogspot.com September 26, 2010 at 6:18 am

Looks delicious, and what’s better is that it’s a crockpot recipe! Speaking of BBQ chicken, is it weird that my roommate likes BBQ pork, but thinks BBQ chicken is gross? I think it’s weird.

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Heather September 26, 2010 at 6:21 am

nothing better than a crockpot to make great pulled chicken. i know we were looking for easy bbq recipes for dinner this week…i think we found it :)

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Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle September 26, 2010 at 6:23 am

BBQ + Cornbread + Beans = one of my all time favorite meals!

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Exmodel September 26, 2010 at 6:48 am

Darn you and your bbq posts, might have to search some out tonight now!

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Kelsey September 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

I should probably invest in a slowcooker, I’ve seen a LOT of recipes this week that call for them.

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Liz September 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

Wow, definitely going to try that. I DO have a slow cooker (what is funny is that it’s actually my husband’s from before we got married, and he actually used it.) I need more recipes… I only use it to make turkey chili (pan-cooking some ingredients first.)

Would it work with boneless skinless chicken breasts? It’s not about the fat… I have to admit that I am creeped out by any chicken meat OTHER than boneless skinless breasts.

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Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) September 26, 2010 at 10:15 am

I love using my crockpot. I love chicken. I love bbq pulled chicken. I pretty much love everything about your Mom’s recipe. What I love most…? That it’s your Mom’s tried and true recipe – and she’s a real southerner ;) I hardly ever make other people’s recipes (not bc I don’t want to, but if I did that, I’d have nothing to blog about ;) ) and I am 100% trying this one. If you really want me to, I’d tell you how it turned out, but I think you know how good this recipe is! Nothing would make a big family dinner better than ‘Mom’s’ pulled chicken ! Am I right, or am I right ?

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wendy September 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Your mom actually shared this recipe with us a few years ago. (as a BBQ chicken sandwich) via your blog. It is wonderful, and I have been making it for years. :)

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JP September 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Um, that sounds so delish. I am going to have to try this ASAP! Thanks for sharing your Momma’s recipe!

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Deva (Voracious Vorilee) September 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Mmmm that looks amazing! Definitely filing this one away for soon

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Maggie September 27, 2010 at 7:25 am

I just brought a slow cooker friday night!!! :) I’ll try this one for my little ones! I’ll let you know how it turned out! Thanks to your mom!

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Mary @ stylefyles September 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

ooooo wow this all looks sooo good. Definitely going to have to give this a go, once the weather has cooled off enough to leave the slow cooker on all day. I must admit I’ve slow cooked one too many meals during the summer and the kitchen is BLAZING by the time the meat is ready. But it is oh so worth it for that falling off the bone meat.

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Amanda September 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Yum! I just made this. Threw in the ingredients before going out to run and swim. I’m excited to have a chicken sandwich for lunch tomorrow :) It tastes amazing! And insanely easy!

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Kim September 30, 2010 at 8:06 am

I just made this and it was amazing! Tastes great and SO easy! This is the first time I’ve made pulled BBQ sandwiches with non-bottled BBQ sauce. SO GOOD! Thanks for sharing!

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Ana October 2, 2010 at 6:21 am

i’m making this today for the Alabama-Florida game! my bf is obsessed with alabama football and BBQ and he’s insisted that it’s impossible to get BBQ here in Baton Rouge where we live. PLUS he’s the pickiest eater in the world, so i’m determined to score some good points with this recipe! :)

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Sammy October 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I just made this—mmmmm! Thank your for the recipe. I think my huge crockpot must be industrial strenght because I checked the chicken when there was still an hour and 50 minutes left on the timer, and it was done.

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amyloispie October 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm

This was amazing! Made it this weekend for my boyfriend and I in half the time the recipe called for – gotta love that!

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Cathy (Heritage Hollow) November 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

This sounds sooooo good! Thank you for the recipe I will be making it this week for supper :)

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linz0778 November 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Jenna – this chicken is amazing! I made it once before and am doing it again tonight. The kids (and the husband) devour it! Thanks for sharing!

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lisa November 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

Would it cook the same on low for 7 hours? I wanted to make it during the week but wont be home an hour into the cooktime to turn it down.

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Amy hyman February 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

if i am making this for 15 people that would be making mini sliders, would i be safe to just double it, or should i be my mother’s daughter and triple away?

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jenna February 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I’d triple..but that’s just me!

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Jean June 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

06-26-11
Boy, oh boy! — What a MEAL my workplace is MISSING in NOT allowing me to whip up the pulled bbq chicken to be served with cole slaw, doctored baked beans and warm home made corn bread! THAT meal is soul food THEIR soul would be pining for! The recipes sound G-R-E-A-T!!!

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Rachel August 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

So, can this be made faster in a regular pot rather than a slow cooker, or does it not taste as delicious? How long would you cook it for?

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Jessica October 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

I just made this last night and it was amazing. My boyfriend absolutely loved it too and we agreed that we will definitely have to make it again! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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Rose ( Magpie's Recipes) February 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Ooh I would love to know if any one has made this on the stove or in a dutch oven. No slow cooker but MAJOR craving for pulled bbq chicken!

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Lili February 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

i just made this and ate it on top of some Lay’s Ruffled BBQ chips. OMG, so delicious…

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sarah@spinachandspice April 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Have this on the menu for wednesday night “date night” this week! My brothers, sister, and I , and all of our significant others. May have to double.. eh, triple this to feed four hungry men plus four women but if it’s any where near as outstanding as your baked beans with kale, I know it’ll be hit :) Thanks, Jenna!

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Kelly April 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

Made your Mom’s bbq pulled chicken last weekend. It was delicious! Next time I will make it with the cornbread and beans! Yum! Thank you and your mom!

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Kessaccoups May 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm
Daman August 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm

MMM made this tonight after so many searches for the perfect pulled chicken. thanks for another keeper Jenna!

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Lisa February 3, 2013 at 10:54 am

I’m making this now, in slow cooker as we speak, thank you for the delicious idea!!!

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Ruth February 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

This is probably a silly question but I’ll ask because I would love to know:

When I double this recipe do I double the cooking time as well?

Thanks!

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Matt August 4, 2013 at 4:33 am

I made this yesterday for a family party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, and it turned out great — thank you for a wonderful recipe. I started with 2.5 lbs chicken thighs and 1 lb breast (all boneless, skinless) and cooked it entirely in a dutch oven. After browning the chicken in small batches, I added half of a yellow onion, sliced thin, and cooked until soft. I deglazed the dutch oven with 3T of vinegar, turned off the heat, and added the remaining ingredients (I used 2.5 cups ketchup, 3T Worcestershire, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1T dijon (I didn’t have yellow mustard), 1/2 t chipotle powder, and 1/2 garlic powder). I added the chicken (and juices) back to the dutch oven (nestling each into the sauce), covered, and baked in a 300 degree oven for 3.5 hours.

Lovely!

Thanks for the great recipe! I’ll definitely make this again!

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Kailin September 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Ilove your recipe and its not even done cooking yet. I don’t have a slow cooker so its on the stove in the dutch oven on low. just gotta keep an extra eye on it. =)

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Rhonda January 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

My family Loved your barbeque pulled chicken recipe. We are trying to eat organic and was able to use all organic ingredients as your recipe listed. Have really missed barbeque and this was fantastic since no bottled bbq sauce. Even a picky family member said they really liked it too – and they usually do not like barbeque! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Will definitely be making it on a regular basis.

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Alli February 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Do you think this would freeze well? I’m hosting A LOT of people for a lot of days in a row and am trying to get my freezer stocked for the nights where I don’t have time or haven’t planned well to cook.

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jenna February 25, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Yep, I think it would freeze just fine!

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fmed March 2, 2014 at 4:34 am

Thank you for feedback

It will be helpful.

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Erika April 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Is the ground red pepper the same thing as ground red (cayenne) pepper?

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jenna April 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm

It’s not – if you use cayenne, just use a bit less.

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