How to Cook Shredded Chicken

How to Cook Shredded Chicken

Knowing how to cook shredded chicken is a skill every aspiring home chef needs to know. There are many recipes that require chicken to be precooked and shredded before they are added to the recipe. Think burritos, fiesta chicken salad, or Mexican street corn chicken tacos.

Now some recipes will talk you through the steps of how to prepare the chicken or suggest buying a rotisserie chicken from the store. These are great options but let’s be honest, canned chicken can be gross and rotisserie can have additives like sugar or salt.

Often the healthier option is to bake or poach your own chicken.

If either of these processes are new to you here is a crash course:

Baked Shredded Chicken:

Can be cut or shredded, added to salads, sandwiches, or burritos.  Super easier. But slightly more time-consuming option than poaching.

Place whole skinless chicken breasts on a greased sheet pan in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F.  Sprinkle with seat salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the juices run clear, the inside is no longer pink. The internal temperature should be a minimum 165 degrees F. Let cool and shred for later use.

Poached Shredded Chicken:

In my opinion more juicy and tender, great for all the same uses as baked chicken.  Really poached chicken is just a fancy term for boiled chicken. Place whole skinless chicken breasts (typically about two breasts will fit on the bottom of a stockpot).  

Fill with water until chicken breasts are completely covered with about one inch of water. Cook on medium-high to maintain a slow simmer, not a roaring boil. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is opaque, the juices run clear, and the internal temperature reaches 165.  Let cool then shred for latter use.

raw chicken breasts
Chicken breasts ready to go in the oven.

Baked chicken breasts
Baked Chicken breasts cooling before shredding.

Store cooked and shredded in the fridge for up to four days after cooking.

I hope this cooking tip helps to speed up your dinner routine. If you have a question or a favorite way to precook chicken I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Until we cook again!

~ Chloe M.

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