Plain, Simple, Versatile Cooked Shredded Chicken

Shredded-Chicken“This is a recipe?” you may ask. Well, no, but it’s a favorite technique of mine to tackle a few things simultaneously on a leisurely Sunday, my happy cooking day.

Chicken parts were a very good price this week, frugal friends. Sunday morning, I threw two pounds of them into the crockpot with two bay leaves, half teaspoon of salt, fresh cracked pepper, and enough water to reach an inch below the rim. Turned it to HIGH.

Just after lunch (about 4 hours of cooking), I scooped the chicken pieces out with a slotted spoon to a plate. Using two forks, the fall-off-the-bone meat came away easily.  The carcass and remains then went back into the crockpot stock. Put the shredded chicken into a container in the fridge. Turned the crockpot to LOW and we decided to hit a late afternoon movie (that means, the bones & stock continued to cook on LOW for another 5 hours or so).

Back home, first I dealt with the 9 cups of fresh stock by scooping it into a colander over a large bowl to catch the scraps, then portioned the liquid into storage containers and put in the fridge (the next morning, scraped off the fat and froze). Well-cooked scraps were then tossed.

For dinner, burritos! In a small sauté pan with a lid, heated 1/4 cup green salsa, 2 Tbsp. water and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded chicken.  Whole wheat tortillas, cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream and avocado.

Remaining shredded chicken was parceled into storage containers in two-portion sizes for soup, sandwiches, salads. Do you make your chicken this way?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk March 26, 2018 at 9:10 am

Hello Mum, this was just my process. Certainly you can cook on low, I just wanted quicker results.

2 Mum to four March 23, 2018 at 1:45 am

Why do you have to cook it on high? I always thought that cooking meat on high made it dry out. Could you get the same effect cooking on a simmer?

3 Worth The Whisk December 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm

No, Angelica, because you will have a pot full of bones. You need to have boneless meat.

4 Angelica December 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

Can I make a whole chicken this way?

5 Worth The Whisk July 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

Angela, sorry I wasn’t clear (and thank you, I added more info to the post). HIGH for 4 hours to cook the chicken for shredding. Then LOW another 5+ hours with the bones and stock to get richer.

6 Angela Regan July 20, 2012 at 7:03 am

How long do you cook the chicken on high?

7 Nancy July 20, 2012 at 3:05 am

I like this because the only way I have cooked chickens is a whole roasting bird. Way too much for me to use up. And everytime I have tried freezing chicken, it seems to dry out. This way I can use my new small 2 quart crockpot and cook just a small amount to make chicken salad or burritos. Thanks for the tip! Oh, and broth enough for my spinach soup. yeah!

8 CJ McD July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

Oh. This is perfect for the scorching hot weather we’ve been having. No heating up the litchen. Actually, this is perfect for anytime. Healthy, economical and easy. How great is that? :-)))

9 Cooking Like Mom October 31, 2009 at 10:42 pm

You’ve got more than a darn good technique for chicken here… you’ve got a darn good menu planning lesson.

Planning ahead, cooking a basic ingredient like chicken, and preparing it to use in several dishes is a great way to save time AND money. Especially,like you said, you found a good price on chicken. So, a person is smart to cook up a batch and spread it out between several good meals like you did.

I think this is a part of our fast paced lives that seems to get missed. In modern homes we just don’t see the concentrated meal planning like we used to in the “good ol’ days.” My Grandma and Mom always planned the shopping and menu for at least a week at a time. We knew if there was a big chicken roasting in the oven, that we would have chicken soup later that week made from the carcass and leftovers.

Thanks for the clear and concise illustration about cooking smart and frugal!

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