How to Make Shredded Chicken ~ 3 Easy Ways

June 18, 2018
Keep running across recipes that call for shredded chicken and not sure what to do?  Making shredded chicken is actually quite easy!  Just follow these steps on how to make Shredded Chicken and you'll have some ready in a flash.  Here's 3 easy ways to do it ~ I wonder which way you'll like best?  

How to Make Shredded Chicken Image ~ 3 Easy Ways


Shredded chicken pops up as an ingredient in so many recipes - from the ever-popular chicken enchiladas, to chicken tacos, pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, and countless casseroles.  We love it in simple chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, or in our very favorite chicken & spinach enchiladas.  But there are oh so many ways to enjoy it.

Keep running across these countless recipes that call for shredded chicken and not sure what to do?  

The first step in shredding chicken is to cook it. Raw chicken does not shred well, so it's important that it first be fully cooked.

Never fear.  Preparing this versatile recipe staple is really quite easy.  With these three simple techniques for shredding chicken, you'll have a pile of shredded chicken ready in a flash.

But first, the first step in shredding chicken is to cook it.  

Raw chicken does not shred well, so it's important that it first be fully cooked.  

Any cooking method is fine, whether baking, boiling, or cooking in the slow cooker.  My favorite method is to pan simmer boneless chicken breasts or thighs, as this produces tender and moist chicken that shreds beautifully.  

And pan simmering is easy ~ I love easy. 

Cooking Chicken to Make Shredded Chicken Image

To pan simmer your chicken, simply heat a couple tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Generously salt and pepper boneless chicken breasts or thighs on each side. Then place in the hot sauté pan and brown both sides.  You want to get a nice golden color on the chicken pieces.  

Next, pour in hot water until it reaches about halfway up the chicken pieces.  Cover the saute pan, and simmer the chicken until it's cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces.  (When it's done, the chicken will read 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.)


Let your cooked chicken cool slightly before shredding. Shredding chicken while it's hot will let too many of the wonderful juices out, resulting in dry shredded chicken.


Then it's time to shred away!

Let your cooked chicken cool slightly before shredding.  

Shredding chicken while it's hot will let too many of the wonderful juices out, resulting in dry shredded chicken.  And cold chicken doesn't shred easily.  So warm is your best bet!



1. Shredding Chicken with a Fork

The most common technique for shredding chicken is with a fork.  This method is so quick and easy!  

But you'll need two forks, actually.

To fork-shred your chicken, simply place one fork in the chicken piece to hold it in place.  Then turn the second fork over and place it near the edge of the chicken piece.

How to Make Shredded Chicken with a Fork Image

Use the tines of the second fork (the upside-down one) to pull chicken pieces away, creating shreds.  The first fork should stay still, while the turned over fork does all the shredding work.


Continue until all the chicken is shredded.

Easy, right?  

This fork-shredding method works with both boneless and bone-in chicken pieces.  For bone-in chicken, simply use the same technique to pull the chicken away from the bone.

How to Shred Chicken with a Fork Image



1. Shredding Chicken with a Stand Mixer

Well, want to know what's even quicker and easier than shredding boneless chicken with a fork?  Shredding boneless chicken with your stand mixer!  

Yes, you can indeed shred chicken with your handy-dandy stand mixer.

Simply place your warm fully-cooked boneless chicken in the bowl of your stand mixer and snap your paddle attachment in place.

How to Make Shredded Chicken with a Stand Mixer Image

Turn the mixer on at low speed, a 1 or 2, and let it do its thing for about two to three minutes.  

Believe me, you'll have a bowl full of shredded chicken in no time flat.

The stand mixer is my favorite way to shred chicken.  It's just so quick, so easy, so non-labor intensive, and creates very little mess.

How to Shred Chicken with a Stand Mixer Image



1. Shredding Chicken with a Hand Mixer

Don't have a stand mixer?  No worries!  Can you believe a hand mixer will shred chicken, too?

To shred boneless chicken with a hand mixer, tear the cooked chicken into big pieces with your hands and place the pieces in a deep mixing bowl.  You don't want the bowl to be too full (hello, flying chicken pieces!), so work with no more than two chicken breasts or thighs in your bowl at a time. 

Press the beaters of your hand mixer down onto a piece of the chicken, turn the mixer on to low speed, and let the beaters pull the chicken through them, creating shreds.

How to Make Shredded Chicken with a Hand Mixer Image

Continue pressing the beaters down and shredding the chicken until it's fully shredded.  

Repeat the process with any remaining boneless chicken breasts or thighs you've got, again, working with only two breasts or thighs in your bowl at a time.

How to Shred Chicken with a Hand Mixer Image

And that's all it takes to shred chicken!

Whichever shredding technique you choose, the result is beautifully shredded chicken that can be used in a variety of tasty dinners for your family. 


With these three simple techniques for shredding chicken, you'll have a pile of shredded chicken ready in a flash. 

So get shredding and whip up that pan of chicken enchiladas, or pop some shredded chicken in the freezer to use for later.  It freezes very well, and will be at-the-ready when you need it.  

Who knew this versatile recipe staple could be so quick and easy to prepare?  And with three easy ways to choose from, you can have a bunch ready in a flash.

Making Shredded Chicken Image
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How to Make Shredded Chicken ~ 3 Easy Ways
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
  • 2 T. canola or vegetable oil
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
Directions
  1. COOK THE CHICKEN: Heat a canola or vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Generously salt and pepper boneless chicken breasts or thighs on each side.
  2. Place chicken in the hot sauté pan and brown on both sides. You want to get a nice golden color on the chicken pieces.
  3. Pour hot water into the saute pan until it reaches about halfway up the chicken pieces. Cover the pan, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces. (When it's done, the chicken will read 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.)
  4. Allow chicken cool slightly before shredding.
3 Ways to Shred the Chicken
  1. TO SHRED CHICKEN WITH FORKS: Place a warm chicken breast or thigh on a cutting board. Place one fork in the chicken piece to hold it in place, then turn a second fork over and place it into the chicken near the edge of the chicken piece. Use the tines of the second fork (the upside-down one) to pull chicken pieces away, creating shreds. The first fork should stay still, while the turned over fork does all the shredding work. Repeat until all the chicken is shredded.
  2. TO SHRED CHICKEN WITH A STAND MIXER: Place warm fully-cooked boneless chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer and snap the paddle attachment in place. Turn the mixer on at low speed, a 1 or 2, and let it run for about two to three minutes or until the chicken is shredded.
  3. TO SHRED CHICKEN WITH A HAND MIXER: Tear warm cooked chicken into big pieces with your hands and place the pieces in a deep mixing bowl. You don't want the bowl to be too full, so work with no more than two chicken breasts or thighs in your bowl at a time. Press the beaters of the hand mixer down onto a piece of the chicken, turn the mixer on to low speed, and let the beaters pull the chicken through them, creating shreds. Continue pressing the beaters down and shredding until the chicken is fully shredded. Repeat the process with any remaining boneless chicken breasts or thighs you've got, again, working with only two chicken pieces in your bowl at a time.
Use shredded chicken immediately in your favorite recipe, or freeze or refrigerate to use later.

Enjoy!


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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

1 comment

  1. I love this post. I usually shred my chicken with a fork, but I like the idea of trying a mixer. Thank you for sharing at Nifty Thrifty Sundays.

    ReplyDelete

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