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How to cook and shred chicken fast

Are you looking for how you can cook and shred your chicken? Shredding chicken is a great addition to thousands of recipes. It stands out in any recipe due to its delicious taste. Shredded Chicken can be used to spice up any dish and shredding it ahead of your cooking is a great way of saving time and enjoying the flavour that comes with it.

Why People Like Me Love Chicken

Chicken is the world’s largest source of meat. It is a very popular food of all meat products, no wonder I find myself eating chicken every time, it is my favourite food alongside beans. One major reason chicken is special to me is because of the several ways it can be cooked, either by frying, grilling, broiling, sauteing, baking, roasting or stir-frying. It is highly proteinous with a little amount of fat and it is relatively cheap.

Chicken is very delicious and nutritious food. It is a very safe and healthy food for everyone of all ages due to its low cholesterol and saturated fat.

It is a healthy food depending on how you cook it and how long it has been stored.

What types of chicken are best for shredding?

Chicken are of different types and sizes. Choosing the type of chicken you want will depend on how you intend to prepare it or the type of dish you want to make with it. 

When you want to make any shredded chicken recipe you should use a boneless skinless chicken, especially the chicken thighs or chicken breast. 

The chicken breast is commonly considered for shredding because they are lean, tender, boneless, usually skinless, flavourful, easy to cook and versatile.

Using chicken thighs are also a good option for shredding, some of them may be skinless or boneless. This part of chicken have succulent meat, they can be easily shredded and stuffed.

Read also: How To Cook Tomato Fried Rice

How to perfectly cook your chicken breast or thighs for shredding

Before you shred your chicken, you will need to cook it. Cook the chicken and shred it way before using it in your recipe, this will help to save lots of time while cooking.

The different ways you can cook your chicken before shredding is cooking on the stove (poaching), grilling, baking, and barbequing. 

How to perfectly cook your chicken on a stove

I use this method every time whenever I want to add chicken to any dish. It is the most common method to cook and shred chicken because it is simple and cooks faster. This poaching method makes the chicken become tender and very moist.

The ingredients you incorporate in the chicken broth will go a long way in enhancing the flavour. The method is not always as flavorful as other methods of cooking chicken.

To get an evenly cooked chicken on the stove, make sure you don’t overcrowd the saucepan, cook a little at a time.


  • Chicken breast or thighs (you can use a combination of both)- 3 ½ pounds

  • Onions- 1 medium size

  • Bay leaf- 2

  • Seasoning cubes-2

  • Curry- ½ tsp

  • Thyme- ½ tsp

  • Garlic powder- ½ tsp

  • Grounded black pepper- ½ tsp


  • Wash and clean the chicken breast or thighs
  • Marinate the chicken with salt and pepper, 1-2 hours before cooking
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  • Transfer the chicken to a large saucepan and add water to cover the chicken, just at the same level as the chicken. Turn the heat to high-medium heat.
  • Cook the chicken in a broth that contains water, onions, bay leaf, seasoning cubes, curry, thyme, garlic and pepper.
  • Cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast or thighs is soft, perfectly cooked and the juices run clear. Cook it for about 25-30 minutes. Use an internal thermometer to read the temperature while cooking, it is ready if it is about 160ºF. 
  • Allow it to cool slightly and place on a board for shredding.
  • Note- Do not discard the chicken leftover broth it can be added to any dish as broth and it is very delicious

How to perfectly grill your chicken

Grilled shredded chicken is very good when you desire a very flavourful shredded chicken in your recipe. This method is also very fast and easy to make. It is can be very great in some shredded chicken recipes because of its extra flavour. 

Read also: How To Cook Rice ( Long grain, Medium grain and Short grain)


  • Chicken breast or thighs (you can use a combination of both)- 3 ½ pounds

  • Olive oil or butter- 2 tbsp

  • Salt- ½ tsp

  • Grounded black pepper- ½ tsp

  • NB- You should keep the ingredient simple as the grilling process will still add its own flavour to it.


  • Preheat your grill at 470°F for about 5 minutes
  • Using a brush, coat the chicken with olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
  • Place the chicken thighs or breast on a grill rack in a rimmed baking pan.
  • Grill the chicken for 25 minutes, check if the top surface of the chicken is golden brown before turning it to the other side. Grill again for another 20 minutes. Remove if the grilled chicken internal temperature has gotten to 180°F. Allow the chicken to cool before shredding.

How to perfectly bake your chicken

The texture and the taste of baked chicken are top-notch. This method is great but ensure it is not left to bake for too long as it can easily be overcooked.


  • Boneless skinless chicken breast- 3 ½ pounds

  • Butter or Olive oil- 2tbsp

  • Ground black pepper- ½ tsp

  • Paprika-½ tsp

  • Salt – ½ tsp

  • Garlic powder- ½ tsp


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the oven rack on the upper-middle area of your oven
  • Brush the chicken breast with melted butter, do this on both sides.
  • In a small bowl, combine your seasoning, salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and rub it into the chicken breast and make sure it touches every part of the chicken.
  • Arrange the chicken in a baking pan and bake for 15-20minutes before turning it to the other side for another 15 minutes. Bake until the chicken crust is golden brown. You can insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, once it reads 170°F. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before shredding.

How to perfectly Barbecued chicken

Barbecued chicken is very delicious and it just stands out in any recipe. Chicken breast is faster than chicken thighs when barbecuing. If you want to combine both in a grill, add the chicken breast at the coolest part of your grill and add the thighs at the hotter part.

Pre-cook your chicken before barbecuing, it will help the process to be shorter.


  • Chicken thighs and chicken breasts -4 pounds

  • Salt- ½ tsp

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil- 2tbsp

  • Barbecue sauce- 1 cup


  • Preheat the grill while the chicken is precooking.
  • Coat the pre-cooked chicken with olive oil and salt
  • Toss the barbecue sauce and place it on a baking tray, reserve a little barbecue sauce for basting.
  • Prepare the grill rack by rubbing some oil on it before placing the chicken. After greasing the rack put the chicken on it. Let the chicken skin be on the side down to properly sear the skin.
  • Grill the chicken, when the sear on one side is good enough turn it to the other side. Note-don’t place the rack directly on the heat, at least 3” apart. Once the sear is okay place the rack on the coolest part of the grill.
  • Cook for about 20minutes, baste with the sauce, turn it over again and cook for additional 15-20 minutes. Repeat the basting and turning process up to 3 times. Once you notice the surfaces are dark brown, the internal temperature reads 170°F and the juices run clear, the chicken is ready. 
  • Allow it to cool slightly and shred

How to shred cooked chicken

Shredding perfectly cooked chicken thighs or breast is pretty easy and there are several ways to do it. The method to use depends on the size of the chicken you are shredding. Your desired texture of the shredded chicken and the recipe you intend to use it for also matter. We have simple methods of shredding chicken; By hand, Using two forks, a hand mixer, and a stand mixer.

Shredding Chicken with hands

This works for shredding either chicken breast or thighs. It is usually very easy and faster to shred with hands. Shredding a bone-in chicken with this method is really good. Ensure the chicken is cold enough to handle. Place it on a cutting board or a wide plate and start pulling the chicken apart with your clean hands into desire sized pieces. 

Shredding Chicken Using two forks

The fork method of shredding chicken is another easy way to shred cooked bone-in or boneless chicken breast and it works just like the hand method but is a little modernized. Place your chicken on a cutting board with two forks in your hands directly on the chicken breast. Start pulling apart into pieces.

Shredding Chicken with a hand mixer

A hand mixer is used for only a boneless chicken breast or thighs. It shreds the chicken very fast than the two methods that were earlier mentioned. Put your chicken in a deep ceramic bowl. Place the hand mixer at the centre of the chicken and start pulling apart at a low speed.

Shredding Chicken with a stand mixer

A stand mixer can be used when you have a lot of chicken to shred at the same time, it saves time and energy. Just like the hand mixer, this method also works for only boneless chicken breast. So, if you have a bone-in chicken, find a way to remove the bones before shredding with it. Put your cooked chicken in the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, shred your chicken at a low speed.

Source: Boulder Locavore

How to store shredded chicken

It is best to prep everything that involves shredding chicken way before using it in any recipe just to save time whenever you are ready to use it.

You may be wondering how to store it for a few days or even months before using them. It is even possible not to finish your shredded chicken at a go. If you are intending to use the rest in another recipe. What you need is to store them. Store them in a freezer or refrigerator with a ziplock bag or a container that is safe to use in the freezer. 

Use within 3-4 days if you intend to use the refrigerator and use within 3-4 months if stored up in a freezer. You can just reheat it whenever you are ready to use the shredded chicken.

Health benefits of chicken

  1. High in protein: Chicken is very rich in protein, which helps the growth and development of our body’s bones and muscles. 
  2. Helps to maintain healthy body weight-  It aid weight loss and helps to reduce the risk of any heart-related problems.
  3. It helps to get a good comforting mood- Chicken contains an amino acid called Tryptophan that can serve as a natural anti-depressant.
  4. It is highly nutritious- Asides from having a high-quality protein, it is also rich in vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Niacin, tryptophan, phosphorus, selenium, choline, zinc, iron, Vitamin A, and copper.

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