How To: Shred Chicken
A lot of recipes call for shredded chicken, and technically I think you can purchase pre-shredded chicken from the grocery store. I know I've seen it at HEB, but it's not cheap. Shredding your own chicken is a lot easier and more financially efficient. You just have to know how to quickly shred the chicken breast.
If you're thinking that you'll need to pull it apart with your hands then you're going to love the next piece of information. There is an easier way! Please do not waste your time pulling a chicken breast apart with your fingers. Instead, there are two ways to easily, efficiently, and quickly shred your chicken breast. One is a little more effective than the other but honestly, it boils down to personal preference.
First and foremost you are going to need to cook the chicken. This is always the first step. You can cook it any way you choose. I personally prefer to boil chicken if I am shredding it. Other options include baking it in the oven, roasting in a crockpot, grilling, etc. The chicken will not shred as easily if it is undercooked. If you find that you are struggling to shred it with either method you may want to recheck the internal temperate. Remember, the chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Once you have your chicken breast, and you're sure it is cooked to an appropriate and safe internal temperature, you will need two forks to shred it. It's pretty simple, stab the chicken breast with one fork about an inch from the end of the breast. Use the second fork and drag the points across the breast in a horizontal motion. You'll need to apply pressure. Once you've shredded an inch or so then move onto the next inch. The more you practice this your hands will know the motion and you'll be able to shred a larger amount at a time.
It's also a personal preference on how fine you want to be shredding your chicken. You can leave it more chunky and in larger pieces or you can shred it into fine pieces. This is totally up to you and may depend on the recipe.
Another method, and probably the faster way, to shred your chicken breast is to use an electric hand mixer. Place your cooked chicken breast in a large bowl. Get out your electric mixer and turn it on to the lowest setting. Let the mixers shred the chicken breast. The finer you want it the longer you will keep the mixers in.
Again, depending on the recipe you may not want to choose this method. For example, one of Fork & Spoon's recipes calls for shredded chicken. Our shredded chicken bake with corn tortillas is cooked in a crockpot. There are many other ingredients and flavors in the crockpot along with the chicken. I do not stick my electric mixer inside the crockpot to shred the chicken. Instead, I remove the breasts and shred them and then place them back in to simmer into its full flavor.
Before choosing a method for a specific recipe you should be mindful of what other ingredients are involved and the process you will take for cooking it.
Good luck! Let me know how it goes in the comments. Do you know any other ways to shred a chicken breast?