Update

The chicken is STILL “cooking” on high. Roommate hasn’t realized that it’s not cooking properly because the lid isn’t on right. You see, that’s how these slow-cooker things work: you throw your food in there, put the lid on tight, and everything heats up together. If the lid is off, the heat escapes and nothing cooks right. It’s like trying to bake cookies with the oven door wide open.

It usually takes like 4-6 hours to cook a chicken on High in a slow cooker. Like, a whole chicken. We’re coming up on the 24-hour mark, and the roommate just left for the day.  So this thing isn’t getting turned off any time soon.

That’s Not How This Works!

I just walked out of my bedroom and saw this. I think it’s supposed to be a chicken cooking in a crock pot.

I think.

How the hell is this supposed to cook? I mean, the bird is sticking out of the damn crock pot. The lid doesn’t close over the bird. All the heat is escaping before it gets a chance to cook the chicken.

This is dangerous, Sunshine. If you cook meat wrong, like my roommate it doing here, you’re basically just hanging a sign up that says “Bacteria wanted here”.

Salmonella. E.coli. These things live in improperly cooked meat. I’ve had E.coli before, and it is the opposite of fun. It’s fever and chills and crapping your insides out until you feel so weak you might pass out. It’s bloody poop, and bringing stool samples to your doctor. It’s pain and nausea weakness.

The worst part of that chicken “cooking” in my kitchen is that it is spreading germs all over the area it’s cooking in. When he’s done cooking that thing, I have to sanitize the counters, stove, surrounding appliances, everything. 

And this isn’t some young kid who has never lived on his own before who is doing this. My roommate is a 46 year old man who has lived on his own for years.

Do yourself a favour Sunshine: learn how to cook safely. Watch a little Gordon Ramsay or John Taffer and listen to their food safety rants. Google how to cook things. Clean up after yourself properly. 

You don’t want food poisoning. And you really don’t want to randomly be called out on your roommate’s blog either.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Ok, so this recipe is sort of a pre-recipe to other great recipes. If you have a slow cooker, and you eat chicken, then this is definitely something you need to try. I read a dozen shredded chicken recipes, and the best one I found is this one from the wonderful folks behind Love Grows Wild. What I love best about this recipes is the simplicity of it. It’s so damn easy to make, and you can make a whole lot of it too.

The recipe is:

Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed or frozen will work)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Then the instructions are so simple!
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Carefully remove the chicken onto a cutting board and dice or shred into bite-size pieces.
And that’s it! That is the entire recipe!
But wait, you’re saying. Surely that can’t be it. You can’t expect me to just munch on shredded chicken as a meal!
And you’re right. That’s why I call it a ‘pre-recipe’. Once you make this, you can freeze it for later. You can throw some in the fridge to use tomorrow. And you don’t have to worry about shredding chicken in the middle of a recipe (which I always somehow mess up).
So what can you use this for? Well,how about sandwiches? I love sandwiches, and shredded chicken takes them to the next level. Since you haven’t seasoned the chicken much, you can add whatever you want to it. Mix some shredded chicken with buffalo sauce or the hottest spices you like, throw down on some bread with some spicy mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, and a bit of lettuce, and you’ve got a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Or try just regular mayo, some diced celery and carrots, and make some chicken salad.  Basically, pick a sauce, mix in chicken, spread on bread, add some other toppings, and you’ve got your sandwich!
This works great for wraps too. Too often, using big chunks of chicken in a wrap means I’m pulling chicken out, which pulls out more of the other filler, which then falls down my top. Shredded chicken eliminates that problem for me, making my wraps boob-food-free!
You can use this with salads too. Chicken Caesar salad is as simple as scooping a little chicken into a Caesar salad (yes, it’s almost too simple). Why not substitute the fried bacon chunks in your cob salad with a little shredded chicken? Or just add some to a regular garden salad for some added protein.
And it doesn’t stop there. The chicken in your freezer, thaw it out for other recipes. Throw some in with a can of refried beans, some green chillies, and some enchilada sauce. It’s your own take on a chicken and bean burrito!  Add shredded chicken to pasta sauces, homemade (or even canned) soups, or use it to make homemade chicken burger patties. The options are damn near endless!
Basically, if you have a slow cooker, and you like chicken, then this is definitely something you need to try for yourself. You can do so much with a bit of shredded chicken, and it makes cooking on the fly so much easier when you have what you need pre-cooked and right in front of you.
So go ahead, have a little fun with chicken, sunshine!