Pre-Cooked Chicken - Two Ways
Behold one of the best ways you can spend 10 minutes of your time. This one strategy alone opened up the door to SO many
15 minute meal possibilities! After all, cooking the meat is usually the most time consuming aspect of a dinner. From taco night to
sandwiches, bulking up salads and burrito bowls, the simplicity and versatility of shredded chicken really
can't be beat. We've created 25 recipes that use pre-cooked chicken - you'll see them when you get your 60 Recipes in
Note about Rotisserie/Frozen Chicken
We'll cover doing bulk chicken in the slow cooker below, but if you don't want to go through the simple step of cooking chicken
breast in a slow cooker and shredding it, you can buy pre-cooked frozen chicken.
Tyson Grilled & Ready® Fully Cooked Frozen Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast is a tasty options, but is significantly
more expensive than cooking your own breast in bulk.
Rotisserie chicken you purchase at the store is also an option, but we find it messy and time-consuming to shred.
Cooking Chicken in Bulk - the Easy Way
Thanks to the slow cooker and a fail-proof ratio, making a large quantity of shredded chicken at once is easy peasy. Here's how you
Get Started with Two Ingredients
It doesn't get much easier or more versatile than slow-cooker shredded chicken. It's a set-it-and-forget-it superstar, and requires
just two ingredients.
Start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and your choice of water or 98% fat-free chicken broth. We prefer broth, because it
adds a little more flavor, but if your forget to buy it, water works equally well. Adding some liquid to the slow cooker is an
essential step, and ensures that the chicken cooks up to be super-tender and juicy.
The Easy Way to Scale Up or Down
Whether you're making just a few servings or enough to feed a crowd, the effort remains the same. That's why we like to do 3
pounds of chicken at a time and store it in the freezer (we'll get to that in a minute).
Below are the instructions for cooking 3 pounds of chicken
(Makes about 4 cups of shredded chicken)
6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 cups 98% fat-free chicken broth or water
1 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash seasoning (Original or Garlic and Herb)
Add the ingredients to the slow cooker: Place the chicken and stock or water in the bowl of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. You
might have to layer the chicken in two layers. If so, sprinkle first layer of chicken with Mrs. Dash before adding second layer, then
season that layer as well.
Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook until the chicken is tender and registers an internal temperature of 165°F, 4 to 5 hours
on low, or 2 to 3 hours on high.
Shred the chicken: While the chicken is still warm, transfer it to a cutting board or large plate and use 2 forks to shred the meat.
|The important thing to remember is keeping the right ratio of chicken to liquid.
1/2 cup broth or water for every pound of chicken
While this technique is super-simple, the chicken
doesn't actually fall apart into shreds on its own
(wouldn't that be nice!). This seriously takes about 5
minutes tops. The most important thing to know is that
it's best done when the chicken is still warm, preferably
right after it's done cooking. Transfer the meat to a
plate or cutting board and use two forks to pull it apart.
The chicken will be so soft and tender that it will
practically fall apart with just a little prodding.
As the chicken cools, the muscle fibers start to tighten
up, which makes it a little tougher to shred. It's not
impossible and it still works, but it takes some more
effort and the meat tends to pull apart in larger chunks
rather than shreds.
Store in the Freezer
We recommend storing the shredded chicken in 2 cup portions. Quart freezer bags are perfect for this. Label and date your freezer
bags (before you fill them) and consider keeping them all together in a small bin. Squeeze as much air out as possible to prevent
freezer burn. I actually stick a straw in the corner, close the bag around the straw, and suck as much air out as possible, then quickly
close the bag. This makes the seal almost as good as a Food Saver seal.
All recipes contain directions for defrosting chicken. Obviously, it is best if you remember to put it in the refrigerator the night before.
But, if you forget, simply open bag slightly, cook at 50% power for 2 minutes. Dump into a microwave safe bowl, separate, then heat
on high for 1-2 minutes.