Lots of recipes call for shredded chicken breasts. It is the key ingredient to meals such as enchiladas and chicken salad. Seeing as I had to Google my life away to figure out how to / how long to cook the chicken breasts before I could shred them for my creamy chicken salad (blog post coming soon!), I figured that there had to be others out there who were clueless to this process as well. It is really simple.
Step 1: Start out with raw, boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Figure out how much shredded meat you need before you start to cook the chicken. I usually buy chicken breasts in 1 lb frozen bags from the grocery store, so while the water was boiling in Step 2, I made sure to defrost the chicken quickly in the microwave.
Step 2: Boil water in a large pot. Amount of water depends on how much chicken you need to cook. Generally, just know that you only really need enough to just barely cover the chicken breasts once they are dropped in the pot. I added a little bit of salt, onion powder, and garlic powder to the water pre-boiling. This is not necessary, but it does add a little bit of flavor.
Step 3: Drop chicken in boiling water. Let cook for about 20 minutes. Make sure you check around the 15 minute mark to see if chicken is cooked through yet. (Cut at the thickest part of the meat. If it is still pink, drop it back in the water for the remainder of the time. You want to make sure it is cooked through, but you don't want to overcook it. According to the source I found, it will become rubbery in texture, thus making it harder to shred.)
Step 4: After confirming that chicken is no longer pink whatsoever, carefully take it out of the boiling water and place on cutting board. Let chicken cool for about 5-10 minutes. Next, hold the chicken breast with one fork. Use a second fork to pull at the chicken and it will shred off in small pieces.
And there you have it! Easy as pie.