Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
This ridiculously easy, tender, and juicy slow cooker shredded chicken is perfect for so many recipes and the shredded chicken can be frozen for later!
Polar vortex, arctic cold, wind chill factors, these are all things I know almost nothing about. Here I am, enjoying myself in mild Phoenix weather where the lows have been around 37°F and the highs around 70°F. I have no idea what one-digit temperatures feel like, let alone negative temperatures. I seriously can’t even imagine that. In my life I’ve lived in California, Australia, and Arizona. No where that I would need to shovel snow. Cold is foreign to me and right now I feel pretty lucky. I wish I could teleport all of my friends trapped by blizzards and record-breaking cold into my warm and cozy city. I’ll be changing my tune once it reaches 117°F this summer, though. Then I’ll be dreaming about arctic weather.
Regardless of what the weather is like where you live, you need to make this slow cooker shredded chicken. Why? Because it will become a staple recipe in your house. Not only is the recipe itself super simple, the shredded chicken can be frozen and used for recipes in the future. Having portioned baggies of shredded chicken in the freezer can be a godsend for those crazy weekday nights when just the thought of getting dinner is a source of stress.
Note that every slow cooker cooks differently, mine tends to cook quickly. I love my slow cooker because I almost always use the temperature probe setting when cooking chicken to ensure it stops heating exactly when the chicken is cooked through. I like to set the temperature a little below the USDA recommended internal temperature for chicken because I know that even when the slow cooker shuts off when it’s programmed to, the heat won’t immediately disappear. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken until I remove it from the slow cooker and I find that if I set the slow cooker to stop heating once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155°, it ends up perfectly cooked once I’m ready to use it. If you know you will remove your chicken immediately, go ahead and set it to 165°F.
Taste: Like chicken, with a savory aroma.
Texture: Amazingly juicy and tender.
Ease: This recipes takes less than 5 minutes to prep and the slow cooker and stand mixer do all the hard work.
Appearance: Shredded chicken isn’t exactly awe-inspiring but I think you can see how tender it is.
Pros: Super easy staple recipe that can be frozen and used for future meals. This recipe is also easily doubled.
Cons: None whatsoever!
Would I make this again? I’ve made this recipe quite a few times already.
Quick Ideas for Shredded Chicken:
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
If using frozen chicken breasts, you will need to cook for up to 8 hours. Be aware that using frozen chicken in the slow cooker may increase the likelihood of food-borne illness, be careful to cook to 165°F if using frozen chicken.
Yield: About 6 cups shredded chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour the stock over the chicken then sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook on low heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155°F, about 2 1/2 to 4 hours.
Place the whole cooked breasts in a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On low speed shred the chicken. Alternatively, shred the chicken with two forks or let cool and shred with your fingers. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker to absorb any remaining juices. Use in a a recipe or portion and freeze the remaining chicken in airtight containers for up to 6 months. Defrost before using.