This tutorial will teach you how to boil chicken breasts to use in your meals as needed. Boiled chicken can be shredded, diced, cubed, or sliced and use during the week as needed. This easy healthy recipe will yield a moist, tender and flavorful chicken, let Me show you how to make it in easy steps.
Today we are going back to the basics and I will be showing you how to boil chicken breasts, you can also use this method for any other cut of chicken including the thighs, chicken wings, drumsticks, or even a whole chicken.
Boiling chicken is very easy and a faster way of getting food to the table. You don't need to go out of your way to get rotisserie chicken for shredded chicken, boiled chicken can also be flavorful if cooked right. In fact, you get more from boiling your chicken yourself at home to shred than buying from the shops. Growing up, the only way I knew to season meat or poultry is boiling it first, regardless of how the end result would be.
Boiling also helps build flavor into the meat and the chicken broth can be used as a base for many other dishes such as rice, soups, gravy, and more. You can boil chicken on the stove or pressure cooker such as an instant pot or a slow cooker.
Related post: Instant pot shredded chicken
Why boil your own chicken
Simple, easy, fuss-free, and a great way to cook a large batch at once
It is economical: you save money especially if you buy in bulk and it's less expensive than buying shredded chicken. Boiled chicken is handy and perfect for meal prep. It can be shredded, sliced, or cubed and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for later use during the week. Cooked meat will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months.
You can customize to taste: great tasting meat with better quality, more importantly, When you boil chicken at home, you can use healthy ingredients and avoid any additives, msg, or other preservatives often found in store-bought meat.
It is faster than roasting: this is probably the number one reason to boil your own chicken. It doesn't take as long as cooking a whole chicken breast or roasted chicken. And if you are in a hurry, you can even shred the meat while it is still warm.
What you will need
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Whole peppercorn: sub with ground black pepper
Garlic cloves: sub with garlic granules or garlic powder
Chicken stock powder: this is optional but highly recommended if you have the seasoning at hand.
Can I add other seasonings to boil the chicken
Yes, you can totally customize the seasoning to your taste. You can also use garlic salt, onion powder, curry powder, and dried herbs like thyme, oregano, parsley, or basil.
How to boil chicken breasts to shred
Place chicken breasts in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven.
Cover with enough cold water, about an inch above the chicken
Add salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and chicken stock (if using) and mix to combine.
Place the pan on medium-high heat, partially cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the chicken simmer until fully cooked and the internal temperature register 165F/73C.
Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the broth and transfer on to a plate so that it doesn't continue to cook in the residual heat.
Leave the chicken to cool for about 5-10 minutes, shred, slice or cube and use as desired. Enjoy
How do you know when the chicken is cooked
The best and most foolproof way to test if the chicken is cooked through is using a digital cooking thermometer. For perfectly cooked chicken, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken and the internal temperature should read 165F/73C.
To test without a cooking thermometer, cut into the thickest part of the meat and check that the juices are no longer pink and the meat is cooked through.
If you accidentally overcook the chicken, don't worry, it will still be safe to eat but might be a little dryer than desired. In this case, I would recommend slicing or shredding the meat and serving it with a sauce or gravy.
How long to boil chicken breast
It depends on the size of your chicken breast but generally speaking, it will take about 15-20 minutes for boneless skinless chicken breast and about 20-25 minutes for bone-in chicken breast. If you are cooking a whole chicken, it will take about 1 hour or less.
Can you boil frozen chicken
Yes, according to the USDA you can boil chicken directly from frozen. Allow about 50% time more for the chicken to be fully cooked. Check that the chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165F/73C before consuming.
How to shred chicken breasts
The easiest way to shred boiled chicken breast is using two forks. Let the chicken breast fillets cool slightly, and remove the skin if there is any. Use one fork to hold the chicken in place and on the other hand use the second fork to pull the chicken apart to shred.
Another method is to use a food processor or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. This method is fast and easy! Add the cooked chicken to the bowl of the mixer, turn the mixer on low speed and let it do its thing for about 15 seconds or until the desired texture is achieved.
How to use shredded chicken
Shredded chicken can be used in a variety of recipes such as salads, pasta dishes, rice dishes, soups, sandwiches, wraps, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, pizzas, and more.
How to store
Cooked chicken will keep fresh in the fridge if stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Portion the chicken into desired weights and store in freezer-safe bags or containers. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge and use as desired.
More chicken recipes you will love
Marinated chicken in the air fryer
Air fryer boneless chicken thighs
More how-to tutorials
How to cook sausages in the oven
I hope you enjoy this shredded chicken recipe. Please let me know how it turns out for you if you try it! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox
How To Boil Chicken Breasts
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- few whole peppercorn sub with ground black pepper
- Garlic cloves sub with garlic granules or garlic powder
- ½ Tablespoon chicken stock powder optional
- salt to taste I used 1 teaspoon
- Place chicken breasts in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven in a single layer.
- Cover with enough cold water, about an inch above the chicken.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic, and chicken stock and mix to combine.
- Place the pan on medium-high heat, partially cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the chicken simmer until fully cooked and the internal temperature register 165F/73C.
- Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the broth and transfer on to a plate so that it doesn't continue to cook in the residual heat.
- Leave the chicken to cool for about 5-10 minutes, shred, slice or cube and use as desired. Enjoy
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
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