I have blogged about this before two and a half years ago…and then refer back to it a lot…but today, I thought I would reiterate how to get the perfect chicken for busy weeknights.
Here’s the thing…if I’m preparing dinner for my family on a weeknight, I don’t have time to boil and poach chicken, then let it cool a bit, shred it and then use it in the recipe. No way. Way too many steps. I want to jump straight to the recipe with my shredded chicken ready and waiting on me. So, what do I do? I let my chicken cook all day in the slow cooker and then jump right into the recipe when I get home.
It’s so simple! All you do is put your uncooked chicken in the slow cooker with just enough water to cover it, set the temp on low and let it cook 6 to 8 hours. If you’re using frozen chicken, let it cook more like 8 hours. You can also stick it in there and place the heat on high and cook 3 to 4 hours.
When you get home from your busy day, you just remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker and it will shred right up with 2 forks. It’s always moist and always ready to be used in a variety of dishes.
Here’s the fun part…you can cook your chicken all day in just water or you can use some chicken stock, salsa, Sprite, BBQ sauce, marinara sauce, a package of taco seasoning, a package of dry Ranch dressing mix…go nuts. Whatever you flavor your chicken with will add more flavor to your final dish. The perfect chicken will be waiting on you at the end of the day. Simple.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that call for cooked chicken. Once you have your chicken, you just whip up one of these recipes really quickly!
Mother Henn says
I just tried this method and loved it! So easy, and we made 2 meals plus lunch leftovers out of it! It was the perfect plan for partially thawed chicken. Will definitely be using this method on repeat. Thanks for sharing!
Danielle Rigg says
Can't wait to try. I LOVE your meals. Thanks for sharing them. Don't forget to update your profile, you are a mommy of three now. Just like me. CONGRATS,
She's a big star says
Just did this and it was SO easy…why have I never thought of this before?! It will definitely make my meals a lot easier this week! Thanks, Shay!
I've got my chicken in the slow cooker right now. I can't wait to make the citrus chicken tostadas you posted today!!!
Since having my daughter, I've become pretty well-versed in "make ahead" items, not only meals but also ingredients. Shredded chicken in slow cooker is one of my favorites, and I will quite a bit, divide it out into portions and freeze in freezer bags for future use.
I also do the same with quinoa. I cook it in a rice cooker, then divide it out into portions and freeze. It's such a great thing to have in the freezer for weeknight side dishes. One of my favorite things to do is roast cubed pieces of eggplant, saute some minced garlic and baby spinach in olive oil, then add the cooked quinoa and eggplant to the spinach, along with some crumbled feta cheese. Even my 22 month old will eat it!
I have a few questions. The recipes you have that call for the pre-cooked chicken are you using the chicken for the recipe as soon as you take it out of the slow cooker?
If you are making the chicken a day or more in advance how do you store the chicken?
Sorry I'm new to this pre-cooked chicken thing but it sounds like it's worth learning.