Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Easiest Way to Shred Chicken

This is truly amazing!  I can't believe I never knew this before now!

I plan our menus a week at a time.  It's a budget-saving habit that I learned from years of reading homemaking/financial blogs (my two faves are MoneySavingMom and TheHappyHousewife).  It not only saves our family money, but allows me to work ahead as I anticipate what we will need for the week's meals.

This week, we have three recipes with shredded chicken- Skinny Enchiladas, Chicken Enchilada Pasta, and Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta.    Some of these recipes actually require chopped chicken, but I prefer shredded because it's easier and stretches farther (in my opinion).

So, here's how to get a 3 lb bag of chicken breasts cooked and shredded with minimal effort in just a few hours:

You will need-

  • 1 bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts- I buy mine at Aldi (my favorite store!) for $5.99
  • crock pot
  • mixer
Put your chicken in the crock pot.  I find that the ice crystals add to the moistness of the chicken so I don't rinse it before cooking.  Cook it on high for about one hour, then low about two hours more.  Cooking times may vary depending on the size of your crock pot or the amount of chicken you have.

Put your chicken into a mixing bowl.

Turn on your mixer and watch the magic!  Start the mixer on low, gradually increasing speed.

After about 5 minutes, you will have perfectly shredded chicken!

That's it!

Use as needed in recipes for your week's menu!

Other random tips:
  • The chicken shreds best when it's hot or warm.  Hence the use of tongs to move it from the crockpot into the mixing bowl.
  • The mixing will start out rocky.  Just start slow so you don't throw a chicken across the room with your ferocious mixer.
  • Since this chicken was frozen, I wouldn't recommend that it be refrozen after shredding.  You may be comfortable with that, but I wouldn't do it.

And a bonus-

About 8 oz of broth was left in the crock pot!  Yeah for homemade chicken broth!

I originally found this idea on Pinterest but wanted to try it out first.  The original pin is here.
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  1. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Thank You! Worked perfectly!

  2. This is freaking amazing! I have spent so much time and energy shredding chicken for different recipes and had even gotten to the point where I would either chop the chicken, spring for the much more expensive pre-shredded, or avoid recipes that called for it. But I love the texture of shredded! This little trick made me literally laugh out loud at how obtuse I've been! What a simple, easy solution to the two fork method! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  3. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Great tip! Saved time and my hands. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous8:11 AM

    This was great! I've never laughed so hard shredding chicken and it really worked! I was skeptical at first but I was pleasantly surprised.

  5. Anonymous5:43 AM

    It's perfectly safe to re-freeze thawed meat after cooking it. I thought everybody knew that.

    They say it's safe to re-freeze it raw if you thaw it in the fridge but that's pushing the envelope for me.

    Women and my family have been doing the former for years. No catastrophes have been caused by it.

  6. Holy yes! You just saved me HOURS of work (cooking for 20+). Dance dance dance!

  7. My chicken turned to mush when I did this... I dont know what I did wrong. :(

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Mellissa. I think you may have run the mixer too long - I have had that happen on occasion when I walked away from the mixer for longer than I should. Try it again, but turn your mixer on a lower setting and keep an eye on it! Good luck!

  8. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I agree that if you don't watch it, it will turn mushy. It takes less then 5 mins! Also a side note, tiny bits of chicken fly everywhere so I try to do this on my balcony. Still totally worth it though. I always avoided shredded chixken recipes and now I fly through them!

  9. I dont have one of those fancy standing mixers but a hand held cheap one. I took two forks and seperated the chicken breast into smaller pieces so that my less stronger hand held mixer could handle the shredding, and it worked! I also used slow speed and I was done within minutes!! I love making chicken enchiladas now! It will probably ge useful for shredded pork bbq too.

  10. It was a bit messy as I tried this, but it definitely worked! Sooooooo much easier than making my hands sore with forks!



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