We guide you through how to shred chicken easily, with methods from poaching, roasting and instant pot or crock pot to produce shredded chicken.
Many recipes call for shredded chicken, but how do you shred it? Buying a fried chicken for your chicken noodle soup is an awesome hack, and these are tender enough to shred with your hands. And we recommend you look at the best chicken and rice recipes with Minute® Rice. Combining chicken and rice gives you a wonderfully balanced meal, with protein, complex carbohydrates and not an overload of fats to weigh you down. In fact, chicken is far too often overlooked as a healthy source of protein, and there is no doubt we could all benefit from eating less red meat than we consume!
But what about the nights you forgot to pick one up or the place was sold out when you got there? There is an easy and quick way to get shredded chicken quickly, and shredding it is not a pain at all. How to cook a whole chicken: oven, crock pot, instant pot or air fryer
How to shred chicken: The poaching method
- Poach your chicken.
Poaching (or boilng) is the best way to cook chicken to shred. It’s very quick and keeps the chicken moist so it’s tender enough to chop up. Put the boneless and skinless chicken breast in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Take out of the pot and let cool for a few minutes. Here is how to shred boiled chicken or poached chicken:
Once the chicken is cool enough, use two forks and pull the breasts apart. If you want smaller pieces of shredded chicken, you can use your hands to shred the larger pieces.
You can also use a stand mixer to shred chicken! Place cooked chicken in the bowl of your stand mixer and turn the mixer on with the paddle attachment on medium and release until all of the chicken is shredded.
Use a hand mixer to chop up cooked chicken breasts in no time. Instead of hand- chopping it, use a hand mixer to quickly shred chicken breasts (just make sure it’s still hot for easy). Check out how to shred a chicken breast in seconds here:
How to shred chicken: The roasting method
- Prepare the chicken breasts by mashing them to flatten them. If you want to grill them, you can marinate the chicken overnight using a marinade recipe. If you don’t want to marinate the chicken, just sprinkle olive oil on both sides and add a little salt and pepper before frying it. If you want to cook chicken breasts, there is no need to add seasoning.
- Roast the chicken breast. Preheat the grill to 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (232 to 260 ° C). Roast the chicken breast for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until the meat is no longer pink in the middle. If you want to cook them, put a large saucepan of boiling water and add the chicken breasts. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Make sure there are no pink parts. Don’t cook it too much or it will become elastic.
- Let the chicken cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the chicken on a plate and hold the chicken breast with a fork. Use a second fork to remove the chicken and chop it into small pieces.
Once you have the shredded chicken ready, you can add it to your recipe. If it is not to be cooked right away, it must be refrigerated to avoid spoilage.
How to shred chicken: The Instant Pot or crockpot method
We’ll show you how to cook instant pot chicken so you can make shredded chicken right away! Shredded chicken is great for meal prep as you can make a large amount and store it in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy eating all week long.
- Pour 1 cup od chicken broth into the insert of your instant pot.
- Mix the onion powder, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the chicken with onion powder, garlic powder and salt. When the chicken is frozen, you can simply mix this mixture with the broth.
- Place the chicken breast in the instant pot. It’s okay to stack them on top of each other. If they are frozen, separate them into pieces before adding them to the saucepan so they cook evenly.
- Lock the cap and turn the valve to SEALED. Turn off the high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When the timer expires, release the pressure for 10 minutes before turning the valve to VENTILATION and releasing excess steam.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and discard the liquid (I freeze mine to add to the chicken broth later). Let the chicken cool until done and shred. Use it right away or follow the instructions for refrigeration or freezing.
- Manual – place 1 cooked chicken breast on the cutting board and use two forks to chop the chicken. Place the forks on top of the chicken and separate them by tearing them apart and separating the meat into chopped pieces.
- Using a hand mixer – you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer to grind your chicken. For the hand mixer, place a piece of cooked chicken in a bowl, press the mixer against the chicken, and turn the mixer on. The chicken starts to crumble. Continue until it is completely crushed.
- Using a stand mixer – If you are using a stand mixer, place the bread hook or paddle attachment in your stand mixer, then place a piece of cooked chicken in your stand mixer bowl. Place the paddle in the bowl and turn on the blender. The chicken is lightly chopped up.
Can I freeze shredded chicken?
- Use immediately for a quick midweek dinner.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months. If you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before adding it to your recipe.
14 chef tips for delicious chicken
- Lay your chicken on a bed of rosemary for roasting. This gives a wonderful flavour and aroma.
2. Soak your chicken in salted water before cooking to prevent drying out. This is called brining. Fill a big bowl with lukewarm (not hot) water. Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves. Then add your chicken breasts for 15 minutes. Then rinse, pat dry, and grill!
3. Or rub your chicken with salt a few hours before cooking for a similar effect.
4. Place a piece of parchment/baking paper on your chicken breast to prevent it from drying out. This may sound ridiculously simple (because it is), but the parchment paper acts like a protective skin and prevents the outside of the meat from drying out. Here’s how to do it. Rub the pan and one side of the parchment paper with butter or olive oil; this prevents the chicken from sticking. Lay the chicken breast in the pan and cover them with the baking paper, butter side down. Tuck in the edges so the chicken is snugly covered. Bake!
5. Marinate your chickens in yogurt. So they are guaranteed to be tender.
Because of the lactic acid, yogurt is also great as a marinade and helps break down the proteins. (In fact, there’s a long scientific explanation why it’s such a great marinade.)
6. Poach chicken breasts in milk to make them super tender and flavourful.
Like yogurt, milk makes the chicken nice and tender even while it is cooking. Here’s how to do it.
7. To get such a nice golden brown color, simply rub mayonnaise on your chicken before frying it. Mayonnaise is perfect for rubbing in because the fat in the mayo contributes to crispy skin. Here’s how it’s done.
The mayonaise rub
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot chili paste (we used Sriracha sauce)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Brush chicken generously on all sides with the mayonnaise rub and sprinkle with herbs and more black pepper. Roast chicken for 50-60 minutes, brushing chicken with the white sauce every 15-20 minutes.
8. If you are roasting a whole chicken, remove the backbone and lay it out flat (called butterfly or spatchcock shape), it will cook faster. Here’s how to spatchcock a chicken the Jamie Oliver way.
9. If you are keen to experiment, just roast your chicken in a sandwich maker.
This gives you that wonderful sizzling taste without having to fire up the grill (and boneless chicken breasts work great too). Here’s how it’s done.
10. Before frying the chicken wings, toss them in salt and baking soda to make them super crispy. This pulls the excess liquid out of the meat and ensures that the skin becomes nice and crispy.
11. Cook chicken breasts in a pressure cooker in just eight minutes. This method speeds up the cooking time and also works great with frozen chicken breasts (in which case you only have to increase the cooking time to 10 minutes, defrosting is not necessary).
12. Fry chicken in a parchment or baking paper bag to intensify the flavor of the condiments.
13. Instead of drizzling your grilled chicken, you can soak a strainer cloth in butter and place it over it as it cooks. This will help ensure that the skin turns crispy brown without drizzling – you don’t have to worry about it a single time.
14. For super crispy chicken skin, start frying in a cold pan to drain the fat.
This will heat the chicken and pan together, leaving enough time to drain the fat while the meat cooks.