5 from 2 votes
Shredded Poached Chicken
Shredded Chicken Master Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This workhorse is the foundation for many super-tasty, quick, easy weekday recipes.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 14 cups (7 meals)
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 6 pounds chicken breasts or thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion - sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic peel and lightly crushed
  • 1 (32 ounce) box chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Special equipment
  • 8 (1 quart) freezer bags
  1. Add all ingredients to a large stockpot on the stovetop and bring to a very gentle simmer.
  2. Simmer for 12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Let chicken sit in pot off heat for 7 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large bowl.
  6. While chicken is cooling, strain cooking broth, discard solids and set broth aside (you should have about 4 ½ cups of broth).
  7. When chicken is cool enough to handle, using two forks, shred meat. (Or, if you own a stand mixer, my favorite way is to use the dough hook, adding the hot chicken in 3 batches to the mixer, turn on to low and run until chicken is shredded.)

  1. Note date and contents on 8 quart-sized re-sealable freezer bags.
  2. Divide the chicken into 2-cup portions (12 ounces) and transfer to 7 of the freezer bags. You want to fill your bag about ¾ of the way full. Pour 1/4 cup chicken cooking liquid into each, squeeze out the air and flatten.

  3. Pour remaining juice in remaining freezer bag to use for chicken stock.
  4. Seal and store quart bags flat in a 2-gallon freezer bag.

  5. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  1. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  In a hurry? Use the defrost setting on the microwave.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Can also use bone in, skin on chicken. This will reduce the yield of cooked chicken to about 12 cups. If you use skin-on chicken, simply remove and discard the skin before you shred the chicken. You may also find that you need to skim some of the fat from the cooking broth before spooning it over the chicken.