Easy Chicken Broth + Shredded Chicken

Learn how to cook chicken breast to make shredded chicken & broth to use in a wide variety of recipes – this is an easy tutorial with step-by-step photos!

A white bowl with shredded chicken and two forks on the side.

Chicken Broth & Pulled Chicken

Making your own shredded chicken and broth at home is easier than you think! Once you make them, you’ve got the main ingredient for some delicious recipes like Chicken Tinga, Ensalada De Pollo, Flautas and more! All that is required is a tiny bit of time, the most basic of equipment (a pot and two forks), and, of course, chicken!

Benefits of making your own:

  • Use it for meal prep. Preppers know that chicken breast is a versatile blank canvas for so many meals. Plus, it lasts three to four days in the fridge.
  • Add protein to meals. Because shredded protein is so versatile for soups, salads, tacos and one-pot meals, you can use it to bulk up a simple lunch or make a quick soup easily
  • Learn a basic cooking technique. 
A white bowl with shredded chicken and two forks on the side.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken breasts: This recipes uses boneless skinless. But bone-in breasts is actually better as the bones give more flavor. The cooking time is a little longer but the wait is worth it.
  • Veggies & Herbs: Even though you’re making plain shredded chicken, using herbs during the cooking process is very important. The herbs infuse the plain chicken with so much flavor! For this recipe, you’ll need onion, celery, garlic, dried oregano, bay leaves and fresh parsley (optional but highly recommended).
  • Seasonings: Salt & black peppercorns.
The ingredients for this recipe placed on a metal tray.
A branch graphic for posts.

How To Make Shredded Chicken

Cook

  • Place chicken breasts in the pot and add 5 to 6 cups of water over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, cover with lid and bring to a boil.
  • Immediately reduce heat to low heat and skim the foam off the top. Discard foam.
  • Add the spices & herbs: salt, pepper, dried oregano, bay leaves and parsley .
  • Simmer gently (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals), covered until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Boneless breasts for about 25-30 minutes or bone in chicken breasts for 40-45 minutes . Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer or is no longer pink in the center.
A white stock pot with raw chicken breast, celery, carrots and onions covered in water.

Shredded chicken

Remove the chicken from broth and let rest until cool enough to handle if shredding by hand. Shred by pulling apart with your clean fingers or using two forks.

It can also be shredded with a hand mixer on low speed but since I don’t like to clean extra equipments I don’t go for this option 😉

Two forks shredding a piece of cooked chicken breast placed on a white plate.

After the chicken has been shredded, add about 1 cup of the cooked broth to prevent it from drying too much.

Now is ready to be used in your desired recipe or store in the refrigerator once is cooled.

Pouring chicken broth from a measuring cup into shredded chicken on a white bowl.

The Broth

  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, using a spoon, scrape off the accumulated fat from the top of the broth and discard.
  • Pour and fill – pour the broth into plastic jars, leaving about 1” of space from the top to allow room for the broth to expand as it freezes.
  • Store – store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
One mason jar and two measuring cups with chicken broth.

Chef's Hat Icon.

Chef’s Tips and Notes

  • Keep it simmering. Keep an eye on the pot so that it does not boil over. Simmering the chicken is the best way as it prevents that and also the protein in the chicken will cook in a relaxed way, staying tender. Adjust the heat while you cook the chicken to maintain a slow simmer with just a few tiny bubbles.
  • Shred while still warm. Shredding the chicken while warm is easier than when it’s cold. Allow the chicken to cool enough to handle but know that cold, refrigerated chicken will be harder to shred. Warm shredded chicken comes apart easier.
  • Don’t forget! Add some of the cooking liquid on top of the chicken. The cooking liquid helps to keep the chicken moist and flavorful.
A white bowl with shredded chicken and two forks on the side.

How to Store

The Shredded Chicken

  • In fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Place in freezer zip lock bags into frequently used portions (1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 quart) for easy usage. Freeze for up to 2 months.

The Broth

  • In fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freezer: Fill your containers or zip lock bags into frequently used portions (1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 quart) for easy usage. Freeze for up to 2 months.
A white bowl with shredded chicken and two forks on the side.

💫 If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below on the blog. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. I’m so grateful you’re here! 🙏🏼

Print Recipe:

A white bowl with shredded chicken and two forks on the side.

Easy Shredded Chicken and Chicken Broth

Servings 2 cups shredded chicken
Ana Frias
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Learn how to boil chicken breast to make shredded chicken and broth to use in a wide variety of recipes – easy tutorial with step-by-step photos!

Equipment

  • 5 qt dutch oven or large stock pot
2 cups shredded chicken

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large skinless chicken breast with or without bones
  • ¼ white or yellow onion
  • 1-2 carrots, cut into big chunks washed and stem removed
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 large garlic cloves peeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • A few fresh parsley leaves optional
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions
 

Cook

  • Place chicken breasts in the pot and add 5 to 6 cups of water over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, cover with lid and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low heat and skim the foam off the top. Discard foam.
  • Add the spices: salt, pepper, dried oregano and bay leaves.
  • Simmer gently (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals), covered until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Boneless breasts for about 25-30 minutes or bone in chicken breasts for 40-45 minutes . Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer or is no longer pink in the center.

Shredded chicken

  • Remove the chicken from broth and let rest until cool enough to handle. Shred by pulling apart with your clean fingers or using two forks. It can also be shredded with a hand mixer on low speed.
  • Add 1 ½ cup of the cooked broth to prevent the chicken from drying too much.
  • Use in your desired recipe or store in refrigerator once is cooled.

The Broth

  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, using a spoon, scrape off the accumulated fat from the top of the broth and discard.
  • Pour and fill – pour the broth into plastic jars, leaving about 1” of space from the top to allow room for the broth to expand as it freezes.
  • Store – store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

*Ana’s Notes:

This recipe makes about 2 cups shredded chicken and 7 cups of chicken broth. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 100grams chicken breast | Calories: 165kcal | Protein: 31g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 256mg

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Hello beautiful,
    Never disappointed in your amazing recipes. My abuelito was born in Sanora.

    By coincidence, I’ve always made by chicken by creating the same broth sans parley, great tip! I’ve noticed a 🥕 in your photo (I always add one) but not called out in your ingredients. Do you use a carrot in your broth?

    Thank you.
    P. S. Omg, love your Flan- cake.

    1. 5 stars
      Definitely muy delish. Forgive my typos in my comment above. Spell check got me, no edits button. Mom’s father was born in Sonora! My family name is “Navarette” 😁

      1. Hola Miss Katherine! Thank youuuu so much for the question and for the heads up on missing the carrots in the recipe! I corrected the post and recipe card. I really appreciate it!

        How great is that your family came from Sonora! It’s just an amazing state with so much biodiversity. You may be used to good food then ha! Love the last name Navarette! I hope you’ve had the chance to visit some parts in Sonora?

        Stay well and thanks again for stopping by.
        XO,
        Ana