Boiled Chicken

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Boiled chicken makes meal prep a breeze and is the perfect way to get tender juicy chicken. This method of cooking chicken is fast and easy to shred and use in so many recipes like salads, soups, and casseroles.

I love how convenient it is to boil chicken for weeknight meals. It cooks and shreds perfectly every time, and my meals come together so quickly when I have them cooked, shredded, and ready to go! My favorite recipes to use boiled chicken are chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, and this yummy broccoli chicken casserole.

Overhead view of cooked and boiled chicken in a large blue and cream colored pot.

Boiled Chicken

Boiling chicken at home is the best way to cook chicken for recipes that require it. Learn how to cook tender and moist chicken breasts over the stove in chicken broth. With just two ingredients, boiled chicken is simple and easy!

There are endless ways to use boiled chicken in recipes, and I can’t wait for you to see how versatile it is! Other ways I love to use boiled and shredded chicken is in dips like this chicken alfredo dip. I also love to use the shredded chicken in chimichangas and enchiladas because it makes assembly of the recipes so easy!

First process photo is the chicken broth and chicken breasts added to a a pot.  Second process photo is the chicken boiling. Third process photo is the chicken being shredded with a hand mixer.

Ingredients Needed for Boiled Chicken

Boiling chicken is so easy and only requires two ingredients… chicken breasts and chicken broth! I also love to use the leftover broth in soups or to cook rice because it adds so much flavor. So make sure to keep the broth for other recipes!

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Choose breasts that are the same size and thickness so the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Chicken Broth: I LOVE to use chicken broth because it adds so much flavor! Water also works, but you may need to add a little salt.

How to Boil Chicken

You no longer need to buy a rotisserie chicken to shred for recipes because cooking and shredding your own chicken is so easy! The chicken breast cooks gently in the chicken broth and retains so much moisture. You are going to love how simple this method is to shred your chicken.

  1. Add Boneless Skinless Chicken Into a Pot: Place the chicken in a large stock pot. Make sure all the chicken breasts are the same size and thickness. If the chicken is too thick, feel free to cut it thinner so the chicken cooks evenly.
  2. Add the Chicken Broth: Pour the chicken broth over the chicken making sure to completely cover the chicken. The broth should be 1 inch above the chicken. Add more broth if needed. You can use water instead of chicken broth, but the chicken broth adds great flavor!
  3. Bring to a Boil: Bring the chicken and broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce Heat to Low: Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to a low boil and cover it with a lid.
  5. Cook the Chicken: Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit. This takes approximately 15-20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. You can remove one of the chicken breasts and use a thermometer to check the temperature. Be careful not to overcook the chicken because the texture will become rubbery.
  6. Remove the Chicken and Shred: Remove the chicken from the broth and shred using two forks. My favorite way to shred chicken is in my stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer. It works wonders and is so fast! You can also slice the chicken if you prefer.

Add More Flavor

Feel free to any of the following items to your pot of boiling chicken! As the chicken boils it will take on the flavors infused in the broth. Here are some delicious ideas for you to give a try.

  • Whole Garlic Cloves
  • Sliced Onions
  • Peppercorns
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Dried Herbs
  • Sliced Lemons
Close top view of shredded boiled chicken in a rustic green and brown bowl.

How to Store and Freeze Leftovers

I love to boil extra chicken to use throughout the week! Shredded or sliced boiled chicken is great to make ahead. Here are some tips on how to store and freeze boiled chicken.

  • In the Refrigerator: Shred or slice the cooled chicken before placing it in the refrigerator. Place in a sealable container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • In the Freezer: Cool and drain the boiled chicken, then shred or slice before freezing. Place in a ziplock bag, seal tightly and freeze for up to three months.

How to Boil Chicken

4.50 from 2 votes
Boiled chicken makes meal prep a breeze and is the perfect way to get tender juicy chicken. This method of cooking chicken is fast and easy to shred and use in so many recipes like salads, soups, and casseroles.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken in a large stock pot. Make sure all the chicken breasts are the same size and thickness. If the chicken is too thick, feel free to cut it thinner so the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Pour the chicken broth over the chicken making sure to completely cover all of the chicken. Add more broth if needed. You can use water instead of chicken broth, but the chicken broth adds great flavor!
  • Bring the chicken and broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to low boil and cover it with a lid.
  • Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit. This takes approximately 15-20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. You can remove one of the chicken breasts and use a thermometer to check the temperature. Be careful not to overcook the chicken because the texture will become rubbery.
  • Remove the chicken from the broth and shred using two forks. My favorite way to shred chicken is in my kitchen aid or with an electric hand mixer. It works wonders and is so fast!


Nutrition

Serves: 8

Serving4ouncesCalories136kcal (7%)Carbohydrates1gProtein25g (50%)Fat3g (5%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat0.5gMonounsaturated Fat1gTrans Fat0.01gCholesterol75mg (25%)Sodium567mg (24%)Potassium441mg (13%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A36IU (1%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium10mg (1%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner
Keyword how to boil chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I never thought of using chicken broth for boiling chicken….it was perfect! Will never use water again. Thanks for posting

  2. 4 stars
    I always use bone in, skin on chicken breasts or, more often, a whole chicken. It is a bit more labor intensive but it is healthier and has a ton more flavor.

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