Has this ever happened to you? You’re excited to try a new chicken salad recipe, but you begin to dread the harrowing ordeal that awaits you: shredding a giant pile of poultry.
You stand around for what seems like an eternity waiting for the breast meat to cool. You spend your afternoon hacking at it with a fork, scalding your fingertips, getting chicken juice over your hands, convinced that there must be a better way.
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Okay, maybe shredding chicken isn’t the worst thing in the world...but we can all agree that it’s super, duper annoying. Luckily, our resident Mad Genius and Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple is back with a tip that will cut your shredding time down to seconds.
Justin begins with gently poached chicken—but rotisserie chicken, baked chicken, or any kind of boneless chicken will do! Put your chicken into the bowl of a stand mixer (like this one) and begin mixing on the slow setting, gradually turning up to medium until the meat is shredded.
You don’t have to wait for the chicken to cool—no hands!—which means it’s ready to serve in dishes like a warm salad or pulled-chicken sandwiches. And it takes a matter of seconds—no labor-intensive tearing and no forks to clean. We’ll never shred our chicken the same way again.
The best part? Pulled chicken is such a versatile ingredient, you’ll be set for a week’s worth of recipes. If you, like Justin, identify as a chicken salad connoisseur, check out Food & Wine’s Best Chicken Salad Recipes. Use it in tacos, like these Pulled Chicken Tacos with Spicy Black Beans or any of your favorite taco recipes. And, as Justin mentions, this staple ingredient is a favorite of meal prep devotees.
For more kitchen hacks, check out the rest of Food & Wine’s Mad Genius Tips.