Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Shreds

Like most people I am a busy gal. Between the kids (one being a sleepless baby), the part-time job, and a big house to clean there are never enough hours in the day. I really feel like family dinner is one priority I just can't scrimp on. That time together without any distractions is priceless. To make this happen I have had to find ways to get dinner on the table QUICK. A couple of years ago I can up with this idea and it has hands down been the best time saver for me.
Whenever boneless skinless chicken is on sale I stock up. It is good to generally have on hand. I use part of it to grill but most of it I make chicken shreds with it to keep in the freezer.
To make your shreds take your chicken and put it in the crock pot. Seriously...that is it. I have had e-mail after e-mail asking if you salt it, put water in...etc. Nope, nopey, nope. You can add seasoning in your recipe. As for the water chicken has so much in it you don't need to add any. If you are worried throw 1/2-1 cup water in the bottom. It really won't matter. Let it cook on low for about 8 hours. You will know it is done when it shreds easily with a fork. I have bought some tough tough birds in my time. If you cook it long enough they all shred.
Once it is done and you have a mound of shredded chicken let it cool for a moment. I then bag it up (I use plain old ziploc sandwich bags. We use them fast enough I don't worry about freezer bags). Don't pack your bags too full. About a cup is all you need for most recipes.
Once you have these in your freezer the possibilities are endless for getting dinner on the table in a hurry. Enchiladas, chicken soup, chicken and dumplings, tacos, wraps, panini's, casseroles...all are made easier by having your chicken pre-done. My favorite is that I don't need to worry about defrosting. I can throw it in a soup frozen or defrost it in a minute in the microwave.
Try just might be an answer for you too!

***Please note: I have heard you can throw your chicken in the crockpot frozen. I am always a little nervous about getting sick from chicken. I once heard it wasn't a wise idea and have pretty much stuck with that.


  1. Thanks for the info!

    I tried doing this with hamburger and it worked fine in terms of cooking it - the only thing is by the time it was done cooking it was swimming in grease - I did about 4 lbs. My husband was helping so I didn't pay attention to it & had him bag it up - yuck - so if you do it drain it and rinse it well before bagging it up.

  2. You are a genius about figuring out efficient ways to do things.

  3. Why fix something if it's not broke... but I did just try something new for my cooked chicken in a crockpot- it's from the "101 Things to do with a Slowcooker" cookbook. You put your chicken breasts (6-8 however many will fit) in the crockpot and add:
    2 tsp. garlic powder
    4 cups water
    1/2 tsp. crushed dry bay leaf
    1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
    Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from water, shred, freeze (the usual).
    I was extremely happy about the added flavor of the chicken, and it made our kitchen smell delicious!!

  4. I tried it with frozen chicken and it worked great! I did cook it on high for about half the time then switched in to low.