Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken | Easy Recipe
How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Shredded chicken is an easy "set it and forget it" dish that you can whip up to use in several meals throughout the week. You can stick to the basics with just a little chicken stock, making the chicken versatile in a variety of dishes. Alternatively, you can flavor the chicken in the pot, making taco meat or barbecue chicken, both of which make a great addition to any meal.
Basic Shredded Chicken
1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of chicken
1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Chicken for Tacos
2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3/4 cup to 1 cup (177 milliliters to 237 milliliters) of liquid
6 tablespoons (88 milliliters) of taco seasoning
Barbecue Shredded Chicken
4 pounds (about 2 kilograms) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2-1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of smoked paprika
1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) of barbecue sauce
Making Basic Shredded Chicken
Place the ingredients in the slow cooker.Add the chicken, liquid, and a dash of salt and pepper to the slow cooker. It's best to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, but you can really use any cut. You can scale this recipe up, too, as long as you keep the ratio of chicken to liquid the same.
- You can also add any seasoning you like, such as a dash of garlic powder or a sprinkle of seasoned salt.
Cook the chicken.Set the slow cooker to high or low, and leave the chicken to cook. It will take three to four hours on high or five to six hours on low. You can cook chicken from frozen, but keep in mind it will take longer for the chicken to cook.
Shred the chicken.Take the chicken out of the slow cooker while it is still warm, as it is easiest to shred then. Put it on a plate and use two forks to shred the chicken into pieces. It should be tender enough to shred easily.
- If you didn't use a boneless, skinless cut of meat, take off the skin and bones.
Cooking Shredded Chicken for Tacos
Add the rub to the chicken.The taco seasoning acts as a rub for the chicken. For a more flavorful chicken, consider making your own taco seasoning.However, store-bought seasoning will work. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work best for this recipe because they have more fat. Coat them in the seasoning.
Add the liquid.Add the seasoned chicken to the slow cooker. Pour in your choice of liquid. You can simply use chicken broth or water.However, for more flavor, you could try a combination of 3/4 cup of pineapple juice and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.Another option is a jar of salsa.
Cook and shred the chicken.The chicken should cook on low for three hours or on high for six hours. You'll need to cook it longer if it's frozen. Check to see if it's done by poking it with a fork. It should be tender enough to fall apart. Use two forks to shred the chicken in the slow cooker or on a separate plate.
Creating Barbecue Shredded Chicken
Prepare the vegetables.Peel the onion, then grate or dice it. Either way is fine; it just depends how big you want your chunks of onion.Peel the garlic cloves. Finely mince the garlic, so the flavor spreads throughout the meat. You can omit the garlic cloves if you wish.
- If you want, you can brown the chicken in a skillet first for a bit more flavor.
Add the ingredients to the slow cooker.Place the vegetables in the slow cooker. Throw in the the spices, Worcestershire, and barbecue sauce. Stir the ingredients together to get them ready for the chicken. Add the chicken in piece by piece, making sure to coat it in the mixture.
Cook and shred the chicken.Let the chicken cook on high for three to four hours or on low for six to seven hours. The chicken is done when it is easy to shred with a fork. You can either shred the chicken in the pot or remove it to a plate to shred with two forks.
Using Shredded Chicken
Add to salads or casseroles.Basic shredded makes a great addition to salads or casseroles. You can make a big batch of the chicken, and freeze it in smaller portions. That way, you have cooked chicken ready to go whenever you need it for a recipe.
Make wraps, tacos, sandwiches, and burritos.Another option for shredded chicken is to let it serve as the protein in your wraps and sandwiches. You can use the chicken just as it is, or you can toss it with your favorite dressing to create a chicken salad.
- Barbecue shredded chicken makes a great sandwich on a toasted bun with coleslaw on top.
Use a flavored shredded chicken as an entree.With flavored shredded chickens, such as the barbecue or taco flavored varieties, you can use the chicken as an entree on its own. Just pair it with a vegetable as a side, as well as a whole grain for a complete meal.
Video: Slow Cooker: Shredded Chicken
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