One 12-ounce (raw) chicken breast will give you roughly 2 cups shredded chicken.
- 1 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (roughly 12 ounces each)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional seasonings: smashed garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, sliced ginger, sliced lemons or oranges, sliced onions or celery, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme
1 Place the chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a pan. It's ok if the pieces overlap a little.
2 Cover with an inch of water. Add the salt and any seasonings you'd like to use.
3 Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As the water comes to a boil, foam will start to collect on the surface. If you're planning to use the cooking liquid for something else, you can skim the foam off the surface. Otherwise, it's fine to just leave it.
4 Cover and simmer for 8 to 15 minutes: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 8 minutes, then begin checking the chicken to see if it's done. Thin cutlets will cook in about 8 minutes; large chicken breasts will need up to 15 minutes.
The chicken is done when it registers 165F in the thickest part of the meat with an instant read thermometer. You can also cut into the chicken to see if it's cooked through. Continue cooking and checking the chicken every minute or so until the chicken is cooked.
5 Cool briefly, then shred or slice: Remove the chicken from the broth and place on a plate or cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred or slice the chicken, as needed. Use immediately, or cool completely and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Shredded or sliced chicken can also be frozen for up to 3 months.