How to Shred Chicken

Shredded chicken is in a lot of the foods we love and eat such as a chicken sandwich, tacos, chicken soup, chicken salad and more. But do you know how to shred chicken? Or at least have an idea of the process?

Many meat shops sell shredded chicken but what if you're making it from scratch? What if one night you have an appetite and craving for a chicken sandwich and you only have a whole chicken available in your fridge?

Worry not, there's a fast and easy way to shred chicken without putting too much effort!

How to Poach Chicken?

The best way to shred chicken is by poaching. Place the boneless chicken into a bowl with boiling hot water covering all areas of the meat for about 10 minutes and let it cool.

Once it settles or cools, it can be easily torn apart using a fork or other sharp instrument to separate the meat.

This is one of the best options for shredding chicken fast and easily.

How to Shred Chicken with a Fork?

You need to either poach or boil the chicken for about 10 minutes for the meat to be soft and tender before you can shred it with a fork.

Baking the chicken is also an option to make it easier to shred chicken with a fork.

It would be hard to just shred raw chicken using a fork without poaching, so it is recommended to boil or bake it first so the meat is still hard and intact.

How to Shred Chicken with a Stand Mixer?

Either boil, poach or bake the chicken in order for the meat to become soft and tender before shredding with a stand mixer.

The stand mixer, provided it has enough power, can shred through raw chicken but it takes longer for it to shred through all the meat. Not to mention that it messes up the meat once you start cooking it.

How to Shred Chicken with Bare-Hands?

You can shred chicken with your bare hands by boiling it first for about 10 minutes or so to make it soft and tender. The best way to do so is to cut the chicken into cube sizes so that it can easily be handled by your hand as you tear them apart.

Some might think that it's hard and messy but it is actually much faster than using a fork and less hassle using a hand-mixer because there's not that many kitchen tools used - less cleanup is always a great thing!

How to Boil Chicken to Shred?

You can boil a chicken using a large pot for about 10 minutes at 165 degrees depending on the size of the chicken you're using.

To make sure, you can simmer it down and take a piece out to check if it is cooked, soft and tender.

What Liquid to Use?

The usual is water, but for an added flavor punch, try using other liquids such as chicken broth or other types of broth. 

This is a great way to add lots of great flavor to your shredded chicken and have people asking why your shredded chicken is always the best tasting one!


Boiling your chicken usually requires seasoning. Adding salt and pepper usually does the trick to add some flavor and aroma to your chicken; but you can also add other leaves such as rosemary, oregano or thyme.

Some might prefer adding the seasoning after shredding but it depends on what you prefer.

How Long to Boil Chicken to Shred?

Boiling chicken to shred only takes a short amount of time, about 10 - 15 minutes at 165 degrees. It will be enough to soften the meat and allow you to shred through.

However, different recipes may indicate time differently. It also depends on how large your chicken is.

How to Cook Chicken to Shred?

Apart from poaching, boiling or baking the chicken, you can actually cook the chicken and shred it after.

You can fry it in order for the meat to get cooked and soften. Once it cools down, you can shred or tear it apart using a fork, hand-mixer or bare hands.

Chicken Parts you can Shred

The best part of the chicken to shred is the breast, but you can also use chicken thighs, legs, drumsticks, and wings. You can also add some skin into your shredded chicken recipe to add a bit more moisture and flavor, depending on your preference.

Parts that are hard or not ideal for shredding are the chicken neck and feet as there is barely any meat in those areas of the chicken.

How to Shred Chicken Breast?

Chicken breast is also the easiest part of the chicken to shred. You can use all kinds of methods such as poaching, boiling, cooking or baking.

You can also use all types of shredding techniques such as using your bare hands, a fork, or a hand mixer.

It goes without saying that chicken breast is one of the most tender parts of the chicken and that it's not that thick.

How to Shred Chicken Thighs?

Cut the meat into smaller pieces so that it will be easier for you to soften the meat using different cooking methods. It will also be easier and faster to shred the chicken if it's already cut in smaller pieces.

Shredding chicken thighs requires you to boil it for about 10 - 15 minutes on a temperature of 165 degrees. You can also choose to poach, bake, cook, or fry the chicken to soften the meat and make it tender.

Use a fork, hand-mixer, stand-mixer, bare hands or any pointed kitchen utensils you can use to cut through and tear the chicken thigh meat apart.

Chicken thighs have excellent flavor, since they are the dark meat portion of the bird, and will be much more moist and flavorful than the breast.

How to Shred Rotisserie Chicken?

To shred a rotisserie chicken, simply pull out the chicken meat while it's still warm and freshly cooked, then take the bones out.

Separate the bones from the meat so it's easier for you to shred through.

Once all the bones have been removed, you can now shred or tear the chicken apart using a fork, a hand-mixer. (Or you can also use your bare hands for less cleanup).

Ways to Use Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken is such a fast way of preparing and cooking a meal.

It is also a great way to make use of any leftover chicken you have from your previous meal.

The usual recipe where shredded chicken is used is for sandwiches, but there are several other ways to use shredded chicken:

Chicken Enchiladas

Shredded chicken is the main ingredient in chicken enchiladas. The recipe is usually a customizable, Mexican dish that utilizes the famous Mexican Tortilla.

There are countless varieties of Chicken Enchiladas ranging from cheesy, super spicy, and everywhere in between.

Other common ingredients used are tomatoes, onions, beans, and leafy toppings.

Chicken Nachos

Nachos usually use ground beef in the recipe but if you're trying to make use of shredded chicken or your leftover chicken, chicken nachos are light, delicious snack or even a meal.

You can use your usual nacho recipe but instead of using ground beef, simply replace it with shredded chicken; you can expect a difference in taste but it still as delightful as the original nacho recipe.

Below are 7 leftover shredded chicken recipes you can try:

It's a great snacks for you and your family to make.

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of the best recipes for making use of your shredded chicken. The chicken will perfectly blend in with the sour, sweet, and/or saltiness of your salad theme.

It's also great to pair with some hot garlic bread or whatever bread you prefer.

The recipe is not only great for making use of leftover chickens but it could also be prepared using fresh new chicken as your main meal for the day. 

Chicken salad also does very well at family occasions, parties, celebrations, or just any events.

How to Store Shredded Chicken?

Placing the chicken in an airtight container or bag and refrigerating it can extend it to about 3 days to a maximum of a week depending on how cold you set your fridge.

For a safer option if you need to store it for some time, you can also freeze the shredded chicken to ice-cold and just defrost it later on before using.

What's the Best Chicken to Use for Shredding?

Chicken breast is the best choice for shredding chicken. However, other parts can also be used and would just vary in difficulty to shred and length of time to boil or poach.

Other parts of the chicken can be used for shredding especially if you're trying to shred leftover chicken.