by Kate Heyhoe
Mexican Shredded Chicken
Yield: About 4 to 5 cups shredded chicken, plus broth
Traditional Mexican poached chicken uses water as the sole poaching liquid, but it also uses a whole bird with white and dark meat. The dark meat gives the broth a richer flavor than white meat alone. Because I use convenient chicken breast halves in this recipe, I add a can of low sodium chicken broth to the poaching liquid to make it more flavorful. After the chicken is shredded you can use it in all sorts of Mexican dishes, as described in my column Mexican Shredded Chicken & Toasted Corn Soup.
3 to 4 chicken breast halves,
with bone and skin (about 3 pounds)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 bay leaves
Pinch of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14.5-ounce) can low sodium chicken broth
Arrange the chicken breast halves snugly in a large, deep saucepan or pot. Sprinkle on the onion, garlic, marjoram, oregano, bay leaves, thyme and salt. Add the can of chicken broth and enough water to just cover the chicken.
Bring the liquid to a boil on high heat. Partially cover and reduce the heat to low, so the liquid just simmers. (Make sure the liquid does not boil again.) Cook for 7 minutes, then cover the pot completely and remove from the heat. Let the chicken cool in the broth for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
At this point, the chicken and broth may be refrigerated until ready to use. Once cold, the fat will solidify on top and can be easily discarded. The chicken and broth will keep 2 to 3 days.
Or, you may use the chicken immediately. Remove it from the broth and shred into small pieces, discarding the bone and skin. Reserve the broth for moistening the chicken shreds or for another use. (Discard the bay leaves.)
Uses for shredded chicken:
Serve in warm tortillas with salsa and lettuce. Pack into bolillos (Mexican rolls) with strips of pickled jalapeño and seasoned cabbage. Roll it into burritos, enchiladas or tacos. Mix it into a salad.
Uses for the broth:
Turn it into tortilla soup or Toasted Corn Soup, or use it as the cooking liquid for beans or rice.
Kate's Global Kitchen for May, 2000:
Mi Casa Es Su Casa Month:
Celebrating Mexican Home Cooking
Also visit Global Destinations: Mexico for more Mexican Recipes.
Copyright © 2000, 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
Modified August 2007