A Food Processor Is The Key To Hands-Free Chicken Shredding

Shredded chicken is the ultimate versatile ingredient. Whether you roll it into enchiladas, stir it through a creamy pasta sauce, or simply mix it with mayo for a simple sandwich filling, this prized protein is always a firm favorite. The only downside to using shredded chicken in family recipes is all of that annoying shredding, particularly if you're batch cooking and have a giant pile of poultry to prep. The good news is that we've got a tip to make shredding your next serving of chicken as easy as (chicken pot) pie: Use a food processor.

Shredding chicken by hand is a common practice but is slow, even more so if you've just cooked your protein and need to let it cool first before you can handle it. This is especially irksome if you need to get dinner on the table fast. Alternatively, using two forks to shred the chicken means you can work with it while it's hot, but this process again takes time and effort. Using a food processor eliminates all of the leg work, particularly if you got a good deal on chicken at the supermarket and want to prepare a series of servings for meal planning throughout the week. You can even employ this hack with cooked rotisserie chicken or the leftover meat from a weekend roast.

How to shred chicken with a food processor

To shred your chicken at speed, use the paddle attachment (also known as the beater) and place your protein in the bowl. Then turn the power onto a low setting and watch the machine do its magic. In just a few seconds, your boneless chicken pieces will turn into chunky shreds. If you want finer strands, simply leave the processor on for a little longer. Once the chicken is textured to your liking, you can add it straight into your recipes, refrigerate it, or seal it in a freezer bag for later.

The beauty of shredding your chicken this way is that it can be done while the chicken is still steaming hot. And, instead of spending oodles of time standing at the counter using two forks to separate the meat into strands, you'll be able to get the other elements of your recipe ready to go in the meantime. The only hard work required is giving the processor attachments and bowl a quick wash in the sink after you're done with them. 

If you don't have a freestanding processor, a hand mixer works just as well, so there's no excuse not to try this trick. A hand mixer will also give you greater control over the thickness of your shredded chicken strands. Simply turn the power off at the right moment for the perfect chicken every time.