This chicken takes slow cooked deliciousness to a whole new level. Packed full of proper Chinese flavours, super juicy with the added bonus of glorious brown crunchy bits, it takes just 5 minutes to prepare this Chinese Shredded Chicken. Serve it on rice with a vegetable side, toss it into a stir fry, a salad or even load up a bun with it. Instructions included for making this in a slow cooker or on the stove.
“Slow cooked juicy shreds of chicken soaked with Chinese flavours with brown crunchy bits? Yes please!”
I think this is a great example of a dish that uses just a few ingredients and can transform into something sensational and quite unique. This chicken is braised in classic Chinese flavours, the base of which is Chinese cooking wine. Chinese cooking wine is available in large supermarkets in Australia but I really recommend you go to an Asian grocery store because it is far cheaper. I bought a 750ml/25oz bottle for just $0.99!
If you don’t have Chinese cooking wine, you can substitute with sherry. Be sure to use a dry one, not a sweet one, otherwise it will be far too sweet!
In addition to the Chinese cooking wine, the braising liquid has other classic Chinese flavours, including garlic, ginger and sugar. It also has vinegar in it, to balance out the sweetness. I used black vinegar, which is a Chinese vinegar (you can also get it at supermarkets but is much cheaper at Asian grocery stores!) but you can substitute with any other vinegar other than balsamic vinegar. Preferably a brown vinegar but white will also work.
The braising liquid is fantastic as it is infused with the flavour of the slow cooked chicken so is essential an incredible stock. Serve it on the side with the chicken or use it as a stir fry sauce which is what I did for a Crispy Shredded Chicken Noodle Stir Fry. If you add a splash of vinegar, it is also brilliant used as a salad dressing.
“One chicken will serve 10 to 12 people. Shredded meat always goes so much further than I expect.”
This recipe makes ALOT. Any recipe where the meat is shredded seems to make more than you expect. Ordinarily, I would say a 4 lb / 2 kg roast chicken would serve 6 people. But when you shred it, it will easily serve 8 to 10 people, or up to 12 if you use it for things like stir fries and salads.
My favourite way of serving this is simply piled high on a plate, scattered with shallots / scallions, with plain rice and some steamed vegetables on the side.
This Slow Cooker Crispy Chinese Shredded Chicken freezes extremely well and is very versatile so it’s really handy to have on hand for quick meals. Here are some other ideas for things you can make and ways to serve it:
- Stir fried noodles – stir fry the chicken with noodles and vegetables using the braising liquid as the sauce. Like this Crispy Shredded Chicken Noodle Stir Fry;
- Serve with rice and a side of vegetables, like this Restaurant Style Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce;
- Fried rice;
- Salad – toss with leafy greens and/or vermicelli noodles. Add a splash of rice vinegar (or any other vinegar) to the braising liquid and use it as the dressing;
- Pile onto steamed buns, drizzle with braising liquid; and
- Roll up spring roll wrappers, spray with oil and bake until golden.
Love to hear what you think! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to answer them.
Happy cooking! – Nagi
Slow Cooker Crispy Chinese Shredded Chicken
- 3 - 4 lb / 1.5 - 2 kg whole chicken , skin on
- 2 1/2 cups Chinese cooking wine (or sherry) (see notes)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (or substitute with white sugar)
- 1/4 cup black vinegar (or substitute with malt vinegar, or white vinegar. Don't use balsamic)
- 1 1/4 cups light soy sauce (or substitute with 3/4 cup ordinary soy sauce + 1/2 cup water + 1 tsp salt)
- 3 tbsp coarsely chopped ginger (no need to peel)
- 4 garlic cloves , crushed (not minced - see notes)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable, peanut or canola)
- Place all ingredients except the oil in slow cooker.
- Slow cook on low for 8 hours.
- Place all ingredients except the oil in a pot in which the chicken fits quite snugly but not tightly (you don't want the sides of the chicken pressed up tightly against the wall of the pot).
- Put lid on and bring to boil over high heat. Turn heat down to low and let it simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.
Shredding and Crisping
- Remove chicken from braising liquid.
- Shred with your hands or two forks, including the skin. The meat should fall off very easily.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil over high heat in a large heavy based fry pan.
- Add chicken (enough to cover the pan without crowding it) and drizzle over braising liquid.
- Cook until the underside is browned and crispy (about 1 1/2 minutes), then remove from the pan. Don't flip the chicken (see notes).
- Repeat with remaining chicken (it takes me 3 batches).
- Serve with rice, on rice stick noodles or on a salad with the remaining braising liquid on the side. It is also great in fried rice.
- This freezes really well, before or after browning the chicken. Just divide into freezer bags, label then freeze. If you froze it before browning the chicken, then brown it after thawing.