When I need chicken meat for a recipe I have two alternatives to prepare it. I can boil the chicken pieces in salted water or I can use this simple method from America’s Test Kitchen which is actually faster.
Yield: 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- Sea salt
- 3/4 cup water or chicken stock
1. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot and rippling.
2. Pat the chicken dry and season with the sea salt on both sides. Place the chicken top-side down in the hot skillet and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Flip the chicken, add the water or chicken stock, cover the skillet and let the chicken simmer gently over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (it will register 160 degrees on a thermometer). Don't overcook or it might be dry. While the chicken is simmering, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid evaporates too quickly.
3. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Let it cool slightly before shredding. The cooked chicken will keep well-covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
If the chicken meat is for a dog treat recipe I need to shred it. I used to use two forks to pull the meat apart until I came across this amazing tip using my KitchenAid mixer to shred the chicken in under 30 seconds!
1. Place the cooked, skinned, and deboned chicken into the bowl of the mixer. (It must be warm since cold chicken is hard to shred).
2. Using the paddle attachment, mix the chicken on medium speed for 20-30 seconds until it’s shredded.