Shredded Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
It’s the night before my kids go back to school and I’m thinking about what a fun summer it’s been! We moved from Massachusetts to Michigan this summer, vacationed in Cape Cod and Costa Rica and spent most of the summer with our families in Southeastern Michigan. One thing was for sure, we had a blast! But another thing that was sure was I didn’t cook as much as I normally do. That’s supposed to be a good thing, right? Well, it is. And I love getting a break from cooking on weekends. But that summer break usually means eating out at restaurants, not monitoring my sugar intake and basically having a cheat treat anytime a friend texts me to hang out. It’s coo….it’s coo…there’s always a reset button, and there’s always time to get back on the clean-eating-wagon. When I’m looking for clean eating solutions I think super simple like this Shredded Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli.
You can cook the chicken in a crock pot/slow cooker, or in a saucepan. I use a saucepan and I usually make a big batch of shredded chicken to use in main entrees like this, or in soups, salads, sandwiches…whatevs! This method makes it so moist and juicy, you’ll want to just eat it alone! And then I like to pair it with steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes for a rich and flavorful meal that’s Whole 30 and paleo-friendly. Yay for back-to-school and back to clean-eating for this mama!
- 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 large carrot, chopped
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups water
Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into large cubes
- 6 oz broccoli florets
- Place the chicken breasts in a large bottom-heavy pot, then season them with salt and pepper.
- Add the celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves to the pot and then cover with water. I like to add about 6 cups of water because I use the broth to make soup, but you can just enough water to cover the chicken.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Remove any foam or scum that floats to the top.
- Once the broth starts boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer until the chicken cooks through, and is no longer pink on the inside. I usually just give it 30 minutes and it's perfectly cooked and tender. You can also use a thermometer and check that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
- Drain the chicken using a coriander in order to save the broth and separate it from the chicken and vegetables.
- Allow the chicken to cool enough to handle, then shred the chicken using your hands or two forks to desired thickness.
Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
- Place the sweet potatoes in a small saucepan, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add enough water to cover the sweet potatoes.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat to medium. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes
- or until fork tender.
- I like to add the broccoli to the sweet potatoes during the last 3 minutes, or just blanch it separately afterwards.
- This recipe makes more shredded chicken than used for my serving size because I generally make a large quantity all at once.
- You can store leftover shredded chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- The leftover cooking broth makes for a wonderful base for any soup. You can also store some of the broth to add extra moisture to the chicken if you are storing it in the refrigerator.
- If you prefer to cook the chicken in a slow cooker, you can use all the same ingredients and cook on Low for about 3-4 hours.