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Old 08-31-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
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"Cooked chopped/shredded chicken"

I see so many recipes that call for "cooked chopped [or shredded] chicken." It usually makes the assumption that you just have a piece of cooked chicken in front of you to chop/shred and put in the recipe, few if any of them actually provide guidance on preparing the chicken. If I want to prepare chicken for general use in these types of recipes, what would be the best/easiest way to do so? I'm assuming that I wouldn't want to do much seasoning with the chicken because it might interfere with the recipe, so I'm wondering what is best. I usually steer clear of chicken just because it seems to have such a fine line between undercooked (which is obviously not acceptable) and overcooked (in which case it doesn't really seem worth eating). So, if their is a foolproof/easy method, that would be highly preferred.

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Recipes that start with cooked chicken should call for no more than reheating the chicken in the new recipe. Otherwise, you are right, it'll be dry.

Recipes such as these are typically to use up leftovers. So have a roast chicken dinner and use the leftovers for a shredded chicken recipe.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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" I see so many recipes that call for "cooked chopped [or shredded] chicken." It usually makes the assumption that you just have a piece of cooked chicken in front of you to chop/shred and put in the recipe, few if any of them actually provide guidance on preparing the chicken. "

Well, yes I frequently have an extra piece of chicken right at hand. I often grill an extra( s) just to have ready for a next meal recipe. If I am able to plan in advance what that might be, I may season the chix accordingly, eg if I am going to make a Mexican dish. If it's going to be used in a stir fry, then I may just cook it plain. It only takes a minute to season it, or alittle longer if it needs special marinade. Usually if its marinaded, then all my chickens get put in a marinade zip lock bag.

And, I may not know what I am going to use it for. I just make extra and decide when it comes time to dice and chop and what I am hungry for and what else there is to go with it.

I think it does matter how you prepare your chicken for future use, but whether I bake it, poach it , grill, even fry it, it can be used succcessfully in a different dish, or as a chix salad etc. I agree the next meal may not require a longer cooking, just heating up. That's one of the good things about having some chix ready to use. Ease and versatility. Something that has a sauce, like a pot pie, then the chicken can withstand the heat and longer cooking.

One can get a rotisserie chicken at the store. And there you have it. I seldom do this. ,
I think its up to the cook what chicken parts you like to use.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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I buy whole chickens on sale (they are cheaper than chicken parts). Then I either roast them in the oven or boil them in a large pot. Let it cook like you're going to serve it. Then remove it and let it cool. I then remove all the meat and throw the carcass and skin into a pot with some water to make stock. The meat that is removed ends up kind of shredded. I can then package it up in 2 cup portions and freeze. When I have a recipe that calls for cooked chicken, I can pull out a package.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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Same as Jabbur. You buy them at your supermarket already roasted, or you roast them yourself (about 350-375 for 45-60 minutes, use a thermometer to test doneness) or simmer it (not boil) until it's "fall off the bone."

Then whichever method, strip off the skin, remove the meat with your fingers (if it's sufficiently done this will be easy) and tear any large pieces into small pieces. (You can use the skin and bones for making stock.)

When you get right down to it, "cooked chopped/shredded" chicken is a euphemism for any chicken you have laying around. Or make it from the methods outlined above.

The chicken is a substrate which you hang the rest of the recipe off of. It doesn't matter where it came from. The flavor is added by your specific recipe. The chicken just provides the protein, in a mild tasting way that can be shaped by your specific recipe.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:19 AM   #6
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Gently poaching or simmering (never actually boil chicken) in salted water is a very easy way to cook chicken for recipes.

But, like everyone else says, usually those recipes are designed to use up leftovers.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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My supermarket sells yesterday's day old rotisserie chickens along with cold cut ends at more than half the cost of today's rotisserie chickens. Sometimes they break up the chicken into parts. I get the legs for chicken salad. My son gets a whole day old one to remove from the carcass for Teddy. Sometimes I will buy a whole one, remove the meat, separate the dark from the white and put it in the freezer.

I prefer to buy the day olds. I am not heating up my home making it, and I am not using any energy to cook it. And they cost a lot less than if you buy one, prepare it, and cook it. And you have the bones for stock. The work and the initial cost has been done for you.

I don't pay for my utilities. But that doesn't mean I can't be mindful of the cost.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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I do mine like jennyema. I have a bag of Costco chicken tenders in the freezer and in just a few minutes what ever I need is ready to go. I can shred it with a couple forks, toss the shreds around in a frying pan and in minutes ... tacos or what ever. There's just two of us and our old dogs (they get a dab of shredded chicken wrapped around their medicines) so our system works.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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I know I said "boil" but in my family that is the term we use for putting a pot on the stove with water and whatever is to be cooked. I don't do the rolling boil on my chicken. Guess I need to watch my terms here!
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