Slow Cooked Chicken for the Week (or to Freeze)
Yield: 8-12 servings
Use this tender, all-purpose chicken in soups, salads, casseroles, quesadillas, sandwiches, and more. I like to freeze it in one- or two-cup portions for convenient use whenever a recipe calls for cooked chicken. You might just find it’s easier than picking the meat off a rotisserie chicken—and more economical, too! Yield: About 9 cups shredded chicken


  • 6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts halves (about 3 pounds; may substitute thighs)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place the chicken in slow cooker. (For this amount of chicken, a 6-quart cooker is recommended. Feel free to adjust the recipe down to accommodate a smaller model.) Sprinkle the spices overtop, and then pour the chicken broth over all. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. (Newer slow cookers will typically cook on the shorter side; check a little early until you know how long it takes in your cooker. Chicken should shred easily and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.)
  2. Shred the chicken with two forks. This can be done right in the slow cooker (see tips), or you can remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred or chop it. Cool completely if you’re planning to freeze it, and then divide among zip-top bags or airtight containers. I like to freeze a few 1-or 2-cup portions and save the rest for the week ahead.


  • Tips:
  • Drain the chicken if using in a recipe for which the added moisture is not wanted, like quesadillas. However, if this isn’t an issue, I recommend stirring the shredded or chopped chicken back into the flavorful cooking liquid until ready to use. You can store leftovers in the broth, too. This will make them even more flavorful and tender—it’s sort of like marinating after cooking.
  • I haven’t tried this, but some readers have reported that they like to place the cooked chicken in a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment to quickly shred it.
  • You can absolutely use additional spices to taste. Italian herbs are a nice basic addition, and spices like cumin and chili powder work well if you’re planning on using the chicken in Tex-Mex recipes.

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