Ever go to make supper and realize you forgot to thaw the chicken? Now you don’t have to and you can already get one step out of the way if the recipe calls for shredded chicken.
I have several recipes I use shredded chicken in: paella, chicken tetrazinni, chicken chili, and quesadillas. At the beginning of every month, I usually cook a decent amount of chicken breasts in the crock pot, tear up the cooked chicken, and then freeze them so I can grab them when it is supper time.
I love this time-saving tip! Suppertime isn’t near as daunting if the chicken is all ready to go and all I have to do is combine ingredients and do some additional cooking.
1. Pour in one cup of liquid. I have just been using water but I want to experiment with other liquids to add some flavor to the chicken, such as apple juice, beer, broth, etc.
2. Turn crock pot on low and cook frozen chicken breasts for 8-10 hours until all the way cooked through to get rid of all bacteria.
Obviously, cut a chicken breast open to check before you turn it off.
Also, you can place the chicken in tupperware the night before and let it thaw out. Then in the morning you won’t have to cook it near as long and you won’t have to worry about any bacteria. I unfortunately never seem to plan this far ahead.
3. After chicken is cooked through, remove it from crock pot and then shred it using two forks.
Rachel Ray recommends using two forks to shred up chicken and I have to agree it is the best method I’ve come across. It is very easy to shred up the chicken because it just kind of falls apart after being cooked in the crock pot.
4. Do any additional prep to the chicken for your individual recipes.
For quesadillas, I cook some bell peppers in a skillet with some chicken taco seasoning and water. Once it thickens up a bit and the peppers are cooked, I pour it over the shredded chicken and toss it all in a plastic bag to coat it.
I also add cooked bell peppers to the chicken I will use in paella.
For the other recipes, I simply just salt and pepper the chicken before freezing.
5. Put prepared and shredded chicken in a freezer bag with the appropriate labeling.
6. Set it out the night before you plan on using it, and if you forget, just defrost if for use in one of your recipes.
What liquid do you cook your chicken in to add flavor?