For every recipe I post, I will also provide a song to capture the vibe of the cooking experience. For this very versatile shredded chicken recipe (can be used in tacos, chicken salad, stuffed jalapeños etc.) I’m recommending you throw on some Herman’s Hermits, specifically I’m Into Something Good.
Shredded chicken isn’t too tough to make, but it takes patience, attention, timing and preferably a meat thermometer.
– Chicken breasts (about 2 breasts, but you can make as little or much as you want)
For spices, I recommend any combination of salt, pepper paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder or cayenne pepper. I don’t use all of those every time, but rather a combination of what is right for the intended dish.
For the shredded chicken I made today, I used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika.
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a pot. They can touch, but personally, I prefer them not to overlap too much. Season both sides of the breasts with the combination of spices that you’ve chosen. Do one side and then flip and do the other.
Next, add water to the pot. I try to add about 2 inches of water over the chicken. Often when boiling, some water will evaporate and you want to try to make sure the whole breast will be covered the whole time that it is cooking.
Turn the burner on high and wait for the water to begin boiling. Covering the pot will bring it to a boil faster. Once it begins boiling, I generally set a timer for 8-10 minutes, at which point I remove a breast from the water to check the temperature. Even if it is not done, this will give you a good idea of how close the chicken is to that magic 165° temperature. If the chicken has reached 165° (make sure to measure at the thickest point of the breast, as this will take the longest to cook) it is done, but if not, just return it to the boiling water for a few more minutes and check again. Be careful that it doesn’t overcook, as this will make the meat tough.
Finally, when all chicken is up to 165° it is time to get shredding. If you have either a hand mixer or a standing mixer you can go ahead and use that to shred the chicken. With a hand mixer, place the chicken in a bowl and apply pressure to the chicken and it will begin to shred. In a standing mixer, throw the chicken in the bowl and start at a low speed, increasing speed until the desired consistency is reached. If you do not have a mixer, you can use two forks to shred the chicken by pulling it apart, but this will take quite a bit longer.
This will leave you with shredded chicken, ready to be used in whatever dish you may need to make.
Today, I used this shredded chicken to make stuffed jalapeños, a recipe I will be posting later this week!
The best part about making bases like shredded chicken is that there are so many possibilities and often many leftovers as well that can be used to make completely different dishes. During the quarantine I have found that having ready-to-go bases that I can use for multiple dishes really helps me to cook every night and make healthy lunches too. It’s easy to make a healthy lunch when the hardest part is already done and just needs to be heated up. With this, I can make sandwiches, chicken salad, quesadillas and a whole lot more.
In any case, I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great time making it.