I want to share with you one of my most favorite, most used kitchen tricks: how to make perfectly shredded chicken! You know all those recipes that call for “cooked, shredded chicken breasts”? This is how I make mine, and it could not be simpler. The great thing about it is you can cook a lot of chicken at one time, shred it, then use it for a variety of recipes throughout the week or even put it in a freezer bag and freeze the excess.
First: cooking the chicken in the crock pot.
1) Spray your crock pot with cooking spray.
2) Put as many chicken breasts as you’d like in the crock pot. These can be thawed or frozen. If using frozen, simply adjust the cooking time.
3) Season with lots of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4) Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 3 hours. If using frozen chicken breasts, you will need to add an additional hour or two to cooking time. Keep in mind crock pots all heat up to different temperatures–test the chicken with two forks and see if it comes apart easily. If it does, then you’re done!
You may notice I did not add any chicken broth or water to the chicken–I have done it both ways, and it works out with or without the additional liquid.
Second: transfer the cooked chicken breasts into the KitchenAid mixer.
The first time I tried this method of shredding chicken breasts, I was so skeptical. It sounds crazy to throw cooked chicken breasts in your KitchenAid mixer and let it run, but it works perfectly every time. Simply turn it on low and let it run until the chicken is shredded. I typically add back several spoonfuls of the chicken broth left in the crock pot to ensure it does not dry out. Taste the chicken and add more salt/pepper/garlic powder if needed.
It only takes one to two minutes for the mixer to shred the chicken perfectly, and then you can use it for all kinds of things. Here are a few recipes and ideas:
-Add BBQ sauce and make BBQ chicken sandwiches
-Add salsa and create a Mexican flavored salad
-Add pesto and make pesto chicken paninis.
-Make baked chicken taquitos.
Stay tuned for the pesto chicken panini and baked chicken taquitos recipes very soon!