If you like to cook, chances are you have run into a recipe calling for shredded chicken. If you have ever wondered about the best way to go about shredding chicken, you have come to the right place.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy, and not too time consuming as well. Shredding chicken can make white meat, or chicken breasts, a lovely addition to soups or stir fries, or even curries such as Indian or Thai.
A plus is that shredded chicken usually means white meat, which is leaner and more healthful, as well as fewer calories and fat than dark meat.
Since shredded chicken is usually poached before shredding, it is a cooking method that adds not extra oils and calories. This is the most low calorie way to prepare chicken.
So it’s a tasty way to adding filling chicken protein to your meals. Did you know that chicken breasts are actually a zero point food on the new weight watchers diet plan?
That means that it is a food that is allowed in unlimited quantities on their diet. So add as much shredded chicken to your favorite recipes, and eat as much as you like, without worrying about weight gain.
Before we break down shredding chicken for you, here is a quick and easy hack. If you are looking to save time, just buy a rotisserie chicken from your local market.
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You can easily use your fingers to shred the breasts, which will be extra juicy from the roasting process, which retains moisture as well as absorbing the fats from the skin and the fat-rich dark meat.
This is a delicious way of getting shredded chicken with a minimum of effort, if you will be in the store anyway, and are short on time.
Adding shredded chicken to a pot of consummen with a handful of noodles is more or less instant meal. But, if you want a leaner, low fat meat, here is how to make that happen:
Poach the chicken
The best way to prepare chicken for shredding is poaching. It's fast and it will keep your chicken moist so that it's tender and easy to shred.
To poach, just place boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a large pot with water and bring to a boil. The general rule with poaching is less water, more moisture.
The flavor will remain in the chicken instead of leaching out into the water. So just enough water that will keep the chicken below the water level so that it doesn’t dry out. And keep it covered!
Covering the pot will keep in the moisture and flavors as well. This is the difference between boiled chicken (not tasty), and poached chicken.
Boil for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pot and let cool for a few minutes.
Yet another option is to bake your chicken. If you are not on a strict diet, you can rub your chicken breasts with a little oil, and bake in the oven. If you place them in a covered baking dish, the result will be even juicier and more delicious than poaching.
Or, roast a whole chicken, and remove the white meat for shredding. This is the most delicious way of preparing chicken for shredding.
Feel free to bake with garlic and other spices, depending on what you plan to do with the shredded chicken.
Shred Your Chicken
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle easily, use two forks to pull breasts apart. To achieve smaller pieces of shredded chicken, you can use your hands to shred the larger chunks.
It’s best to do this while the chicken is still warm, as it will be more flexible and easier to shred than if it is cold and overly firm
Another option is to use a stand mixer to shred your chicken. Just put the cooked chicken into the bowl of your stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until shredded.
You can also shred chicken in a food processor, which literally takes seconds. Use a low setting, and pulse the mixer.
Stay with the process the whole time or you run the risk of blending the chicken to a paste; an unappetizing outcome that you want to avoid.
Pulse carefully until you reach the desired consistency, then remove from the mixer. This should not take more than about 45 seconds. Avoid grinding.
Grinding meat can be good for baby food, but it will lose its texture and all distinction from other ingredients when ground.
When shredded chicken is called for in a recipe, it usually refers to white meat. However, it is possible to use a combination of white and dark meat in shredding to achieve a richer and more delicious result.
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Cooking with Shredded Chicken
Add shredded chicken to your favorite stews and curries. The richness of the sauces in these foods will soak into the shredded chicken and make it more delicious.
For example, a Thai green coconut curry made with curry paste and coconut milk is a rich and delicious treat. With the addition of shredded chicken, the dish gains delicious texture and protein without becoming overly oily, keeping calories to a minimum.
Another use for shredded chicken is coating it in corn flour and frying. This makes an absolutely delicious, crunchy treat to add to stir fries, or as a last minute addition to an otherwise simple soup, like a hot and sour, or miso based soup.
Other uses for shredded chicken is as a stuffing for chicken pot pie (drool), or any kind of fried or steamed dumpling.
So now you have all the information you need to conquer the world of shredded chicken. Good luck!
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