Lemony Garlic Shredded Chicken (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Stove Top!)
A lot of you have been asking me about the Instant Pot for two reasons: 1) you have it and you’re intimidated by it and have no idea what to do with it or 2) you’re interested in getting one but you don’t understand it or how you would potentally use iti. Well, I am here to hopefully help you understand the Instant Pot a litttttle more, plus give you a recipe that you can make with it right away. First thing’s first. No, (to my dismay) Instant Pot is not paying me for this, nor did they send me this Instant Pot to play with :(. And yes, this is a totally honest review. I received the Instant Pot to work with during my Amazon LIVE stream, and I decided to do some meal prep with it in order to train myself on how it works. I ended up making this lemony garlic shredded chicken and was really impressed with the product. Full tutorial and Instant Pot 101 below!
As much as I enjoy the Instant Pot, you can use any pressure cooker for this recipe. You can also use a slower cooker or just pop everything in a dutch oven on the stove and let it simmer. The only thing you will change is the cook time and possibly the amount of liquid if you are using a pressure cooker that requires certain measurements. There’s not one way to achieve this shredded chicken, however I will say, pressure cooking is the fastest way.
Now let’s talk about the flavors of this chicken because if you’re meal prepping, well, you want to like the chicken. It would suck to use 4 chicken breasts and just think it’s “ok.” So, if you enjoy the following you will like this: garlickiness, tanginess, lemon juice, white wine sauces and broths. I personally love using wine when I’m cooking because in my opinion, it adds such a depth of flavor to cooking liquids. If you don’t like using wine, just skip it and sub for extra chicken or veggie broth. I also want to note that I used a low sodium chicken broth because that’s all I had in my fridge. If you are using regular sodium, half the salt in this recipe and gradually add it, then taste before you add more.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR STOVE TOP OR SLOW COOKER:
If you are using a slow cooker, sauté the garlic and onion in a pot on the stove top, then deglaze the pan with the broth, wine and lemon juice. (Deglaze basically just means add the liquid so it gets all those brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.) Once the pan is deglazed, transfer the liquid to the slow cooker. Add the chicken breasts and let them cook on low for up to 8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours until the internal temp of each chicken breast is 165 and you can shred the chicken breasts easily with a fork. If you are doing this on the stove top, follow the above instructions in a large pot with a lid, or a dutch oven. Let the mixture simmer and add the chicken breasts. If using frozen chicken breasts, let them simmer for 2-4 hours. If using fresh, you can make this in 1-2 hours. If you really want to speed it up, you can boil the water and they should be cooked within an hour, however, the chicken will be a little more chewy.
Lemon Garlic Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker (please see notes for instructions on stove top or slow cooker)
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more if needed during sauteeing
- 1/2 cup onion diced (red or white, doesn't matter really)
- 4 cloves garlic smashed with the back of a knife
- 1 tsp salt use 1/2 tsp salt if using standard sodium broth or stock
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth or stock can sub for vegetable stock or broth if that's all you have
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry rosé (optional) skip this if you don't have any cooking wine and just add more stock or broth
- Juice of one lemon plus zest for topping
- 4 chicken breasts frozen or fresh
- Fresh herbs for topping (I used parsley but dill also goes well here)
- Turn on the sauté function and season the pot with olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes or so, until lightly golden brown.
- Add the garlic and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onion and garlic mixture. Sauté another 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and also slightly golden brown.
- Turn the sauté function off and add the broth, wine and lemon juice to the pot. Mix and season with the rest of your salt. Remember, if you're using full sodium broth, slowly sprinkle the salt into the liquid and taste as you go until the salt levels reach your desired preference.
- Place the chicken breasts into the liquid and seal the lid onto the pot.
- If using the Instant Pot, use the poultry setting and set the timer to 25 minutes. If using another kind of pressure cooker, make sure to read the manual on chicken cooking times. From my understanding, you would probably cook for 25 minutes on high pressure.
- When the chicken is done, let it naturally release for 5-10 minutes, then adjust the seal so it vents the rest of the steam.
- Take the internal temperature of the chicken breasts and make sure they are at least 165 degrees F. With two forks, shred the chicken breasts and once it's all shredded, adjust to the "Keep Warm" function and put the lid on. Let the shredded meat sit in the liquid for at least 10 minutes. If the chicken breasts are under temperature or appear pink, continue to shred the chicken, then turn on the sauté function so the liquid begins to boil. Let the chicken cook in the liquid until it's white in color (5-10 minutes.)
- Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 4 days.