What is Kat eating? Vol. 3

Shredded Chicken: How to Make It & What to Do With It?

Shredded chicken is easy to make (in a variety of ways) and even easier to add to your favorite meals for quick and tasty meals.  In this month’s edition of “What is Kat Eating?” we are going to talk about the different ways you can prepare shredded chicken, how to store it and some of my all time favorite meals to use it in.

How to Make It.

You can roast it. You can boil it. You can Instant Pot it. I am sure there are even more ways, but these are my favorite and the ones we’ll be talking about today. No matter how you make it, it will be tasty. The “make it” recipes below are with chicken breast and assuming 1-2 pounds of chicken

To Roast It.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the chicken out in a single layer, not touching each other.
  4. Drizzle with avocado or olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Feel free to add other seasonings – you’re the boss!
  1. Bake until cooked through, about 20 mins.
  2. Allow the chicken to cool until comfortable to handle. Shred with two forks.
  • You can also do this in a standing mixer on high or use your hands or even chop it up with a knife.
  1. Allow the chicken to cool completely and then store.
  • Recommend splitting into 1-pound increments
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Freeze for up to 3 months

To Boil It.

  1. Bring a pot of chicken stock and/or water with chicken to a boil. Ensure your chicken is fully submerged in the liquid.
  • Feel free to add seasonings to the liquid – onion powder, garlic powder, and/or marjoram are some of my favorites
  1. Cover, turn heat to medium, low boil for about 15-20 mins.
  2. Turn heat to low and let it slow simmer for another 30-60 mins. The longer the better.
  3. Allow the chicken to cool until comfortable to handle. Shred with two forks.
  • You can also do this in a standing mixer on high or use your hands or even chop it up with a knife.
  1. Allow the chicken to cool completely and then store.
  • Recommend splitting into 1-pound increments
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Freeze for up to 3 months

To Instant Pot It.

  1. Add chicken, 1 cup of chicken stock, salt and pepper to the instant pot.
  2. Cover and set to “sealing.”
  3. Cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes followed by a 5 minutes natural release.
  4. Allow the chicken to cool until comfortable to handle. Shred with two forks.
  • You can do this in a standing mixer on high or use your hands or even chop it up with a knife
  1. Allow the chicken to cool completely and then store.
  • Recommend splitting into 1-pound increments
  • Store in the fridge or up to 5 days
  • Freeze for up to 3 months

**Note: you can use frozen chicken with this recipe, just add two more minutes to the cook time.

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How to Store It.

As noted in the “How to Make It” notes above, you can either store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. You can also use it right away.

As far as food safety is concerned, I am no expert. I typically stick to what I understand to be true and my gut. I’d recommend the same for you. It is recommended that food be consumed or tossed within 5 days of it being made. Example: if you cook the chicken on Thursday it should be tossed by Friday even if you decide to cook it (again) in a meal on Thursday. The same rule applies if you’re using thawed pre-cooked meat; you should only keep it for 3-5 days after it’s thawed.

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How to Eat It.

Soups:

You can’t go wrong with shredded chicken in soups. Have a favorite soup? Add shredded chicken to it. I have found that more often than not you can sub your proteins in your soups and still end up with something enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to try it!

Chicken Salad:

I love a good chicken salad sandwich. Whenever I think of chicken salad, I am immediately transported back to when I lived in DC and would regularly pop into Jetties for their Steps Beach sandwich. (Granted, it was turkey salad, not chicken salad, but anytime I made chicken salad, I use this sandwich as inspiration.)

To prepare:

  1. Add chicken with mayo, sliced apples, sliced green onions, salt and pepper into a small bowl until desired flavor and consistency is achieved.
  • Note: amounts may vary on all ingredients depending upon how you like your chicken salad.
  • Also, feel free to include other toppings such as sliced grapes, raisin, cranberries, etc.
  1. Serve on your favorite bread with lettuce and tomato.

Stir Fry:

Stir fry dishes are my favorite ‘clean out the fridge’ type meals. Easy to prepare, super versatile and extra tasty. It’s even easier when you also have your shredded chicken already prepared.

Nom Nom Paleo has a fantastic stir fry sauce that we use quite often. You can find it here. I am a big fan of spice so I usually add 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes. You do you, it’s good without the spice.

My favorite stir fry ingredients are:

  • Protein (in this case, shredded chicken)
  • Onion, sliced thin
  • Carrots, sliced thin
  • Mushrooms, sliced thin
  • Baby carrots
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Water chestnuts

To prepare:

  1. Sauté veggies until soft but still crisp.
  2. Add chicken to warm it up along with some stir fry sauce. Toss everything around to get coated and let it simmer for 3-5 mins.
  • Amount of sauce added will vary depending upon whether you are a sauce person or not.
  1. Thicken up the sauce with a 1 tsp arrowroot or corn starch to 1 tbsp water slurry, if required.
  2. Serve over rice, noodles, or cauliflower rice.

Tacos

This is an obvious no-brainer from my perspective. You definitely can’t go wrong with tacos. Ever.

To prepare:

  1. Add chicken with ¼ chicken stock or water and 1-2 tbsp of your favorite taco seasoning.
  2. Simmer until chicken is warmed throughout and liquid is evaporated.
  3. Add chicken to soft or hard taco and add your favorite taco toppings.

How to Make It Happen:

Basically, the possibilities are endless. Once you make the chicken, you positioned yourself to make some simple meals throughout the week. If you make something with raw chicken, you can make it with your pre-cooked shredded chicken. Cooking your chicken ahead of time makes meal prep during the week easier, giving you some time back each night as you’re making dinner.

Happy shredding!