Today I am sharing with you my new favorite way to make shredded chicken that is perfect for sandwiches, chicken salad, tacos or casseroles.
While I made this recipe with skinless chicken thighs, you could easily do this with chicken breasts or leg quarters, and even skin-on chicken parts too.
I’m a big fan of cooking with beer, and love the conveniences of crock pot cooking. This recipes combines the these two things…so it really can’t go wrong.
Don’t like beer? Try this recipe instead that uses just water and spices and still has a ton of flavor.
Crock Pot Beer Shredded Chicken:
2 lbs skinless chicken parts (thighs, leg quarters or breasts)
12 oz beer
1 tsp minced garlic (dried)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
I was recently at the store and just couldn’t pass up the sale on a jumbo pack of skin-on chicken thighs for 99¢ per pound. I bought a 4 lb package even though I live by myself and used half of it for this recipe.
After cooking, the chicken can be split into small portions and frozen for easy meals in the future.
To make the recipe healthy, I removed the skin from the chicken thighs by just pulling it off with my hands. I didn’t worry about trimming all of the fat off…a little fat makes the chicken tastier.
While I haven’t tried it with the skin on, I’m sure it would taste great that way too. You go with whatever you prefer.
Start by placing the chicken in the bottom of your crock pot or slow cooker.
The next step is choosing a beer. I used a Coors Light Summer Brew.
I bought this beer for a summer float trip. Only canned beer is allowed on the rivers in Missouri. There aren’t a ton of choices for canned beer here and I thought this might taste like a Blue Moon with an orange. It seemed like a fun beer for a hot day on the river. It turns out that it was much too fruity and sweet for me, so the leftover beer has been just sitting in my fridge.
When I decided to make this recipe, I thought this sweet beer would be perfect for this recipe.
I was right…it turned out great.
This recipe is so easy…just pour the beer over your chicken.
Next, mix together the spices into a small dish, and then distribute them evenly over the chicken.
That’s it. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
When it’s finished, lift out the chicken onto a plate or dish and shred while it is still hot using two forks.
The meat will just fall off of the bones!
As you can see from my picture above, only the top piece got a good coating of spices since I used a round tall crock pot. If you have an oval slow cooker, you should be able to distribute the spices more evenly.
Once I shredded all of the chicken, you really couldn’t tell that the spices weren’t even.
There is also a lot of liquid left over that is a mix of beer, chicken fat and juices. Save it and use it for soup or stock or gravy.
Mine is still sitting in the fridge…
Share your ideas of what to do with the chicken juices and beer in the comments below!
If you refrigerate the liquid, you’ll be able to lift off the extra fat from the top once it is cold to discard or use in a recipe that calls for chicken fat.
Use the chicken plain with some sauce or the liquid from the crockpot, or turn it into a sandwich like I did. You can also use this chicken for chicken salad, tacos or any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
The chicken has an amazing flavor that should win over everyone…even if they aren’t beer drinkers. Experiment with the type of beer you use to totally change up the flavor.
Printable recipe card below…click on the + sign for nutrition information for this chicken recipe.
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This was a wonderful way to cook chicken! I usually poach chicken to use in salads and casseroles but sometimes it can get a little dry. This method produced really moist flavorful chicken. I used chicken tenders and Corona in my small crockpot (for 2 of us) and used this in a Tex-Mex chicken enchilada casserole. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Karen. This is the way that I’ll cook chicken from now on for salads and such. Made for For Your Consideration tag.
I agree that one of the things I liked about this was how moist the chicken was. It picks up some of the flavor of the beer too. I used a citrus sweet beer (too sweet for me to drink) and it made amazing chicken.
I used about 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless breasts. Like you, I used an orangy beer that was too sweet for drinking. This made a very tender portion of shredded chicken. We had about half of it straight out of the crockpot with a little Carolina BBQ sauce – delicious! I’ll use the rest in another dish.
PS. There were no extra juices – everything got absorbed.