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Pulled Chicken

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 5 to 6 cups chicken and about 1-1/2 cups broth

Making a large batch of pulled chicken on the weekend is a genius way to have plenty of options for quick weeknight meals. Seasoned with garlic, bay, and paprika, this versatile chicken is delicious in a number of dishes, from sandwiches to lettuce wraps. You can shred it as soon as it cools and refrigerate it for up to four days so that it’s ready to go for weeknight meals; or you can refrigerate whole pieces and shred them as you need them, which keeps the meat a little juicier.


  • 3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or 3lb. bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 3/4 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 160
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 30
  • Fat (g): 3.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 300
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 29


  • In a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan or a slow cooker, whisk the broth with the tomato paste and paprika. Add the garlic and bay leaves. Season the chicken with 1-1/2  tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper and add to the pan or slow cooker.
  • If cooking on the stove, bring to a simmer over medium heat, occasionally nudging the chicken to keep it from sticking, about 5 minutes. Flip, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until very tender, about 35 minutes for boneless or 45 minutes for bone-in, nudging every 10 minutes or so.
  • If using a slow cooker, cook on high until very tender, about 2 hours for boneless or 3 hours for bone-in, flipping after 1 hour.
  • Transfer the chicken to a large flat storage container or cutting board; strain the broth. Let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Using your fingers or the tines of 2 forks, gently shred the chicken into thin strips, discarding any fat, cartilage, and bones as you go. Refrigerate the meat and broth separately in airtight containers for up to 4 days.


Rate or Review


  • LArcher | 06/13/2017

    Made this again today because it is rockin hot outside. I wanted to add a comment that 2 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts is about 5 boneless chicken breasts.

  • LArcher | 04/08/2017

    Oh so easy tasty chicken where have you been all my life!!! I made this today for a brunch I am having tomorrow and decided to make some quesadilla's today for lunch for my daughter. My daughter at age 21 thought it was so delicious and is excited to be able to easily be able to make it for herself.

  • FreddieFlea | 07/06/2015

    Very, very easy on stovetop and really good. I use this chicken for tacos, in quesadillas, and tonight, I made a succotash with butter beans, fresh corn, onions and tomatoes and served with the chicken over lettuce.

  • User avater
    khavasutra | 10/26/2014

    This is pretty good. I prepared it for the Spicy Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I used thighs instead of breasts and it resulted in almost a pate texture. The flavor isnt bad and Im looking forward to trying the other recipes. Im very busy so I like the idea of having this through the week.

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