Slow Cooker Summer – Shredded Chicken
I always prefer to buy a whole chicken than individual pieces. Sure, it’s a bit more work, but you get way more food for your $, and a base for soup or stock. Even better if it’s from the farmer’s market.
In the winter, I’ll take the chicken and roast it (see this previous post), but as the temperatures continue creeping upwards in Sacramento, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven. So I was pleasantly surprised when, as I was browsing the fresh chicken selection at the Midtown Farmer’s Market, the vendor shared her favorite crock-pot recipe for shredded chicken.
It seemed so easy, I was a little skeptical. But lo and behold, I gave it a whirl and it turned out perfectly. It almost doesn’t even feel like a recipe, but I’m posting it here anyway. The next time you want to make shredded chicken (perfect for adding to tacos, quesadillas, salads, or just served on it’s own with a side of your favorite summer vegetable), look no further.
1 small whole chicken, fresh from the farmer’s market if available (I have a very small crock-pot, so I used a 2 lb chicken. Use whatever size fits in your slow cooker)
1 bottle beer, pale ale or other light wheat beer (I used Blue Moon)
Chop the onion and lay 2/3 of the onion pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the remaining onion inside the cavity of the bird, then lay the chicken on top of the onion layer, breast side down. Pour the beer over the chicken.
Turn your crockpot on the lowest setting, then cook for 8 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 deg F.
Remove the chicken from the crockpot and set aside on a platter to cool. Wait at least 20 minutes, until you can pull the meat off the bone without burning your fingers.
Slowly pull the meat from the bones, setting the bones aside to make soup/stock later. Most of the meat should fall apart as you remove it, but for the larger pieces you may need to shred it manually.
Voila! You have several meals worth of shredded chicken ready to go!