Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cinco de Mayo 2014: Shred Your Beef Or Chicken Early

If you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo dinner or party on May 5, 2014, it pays to plan ahead.  Especially when it comes to two main ingredients essential to making enchiladas: shredded chicken and beef.  Both meats should be cooked, shredded, and seasoned the day before Cinco de Mayo.

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Many people often ask, "How do you shred chicken or beef for enchiladas?"  There are two very different processes for each meat.

How to shred chicken for enchiladas:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Add chicken breasts into pot

Cook chicken until no longer pink in the center of the chicken breasts

Remove to a plate and let chicken cool until bearable to touch

Chicken can be pulled apart by hand or shredded with two forks

Discard bones, skin and fat 

How to shred beef for enchiladas:

Beef will need to be slow cooked in a crock pot or pot of water until medium rare.

The best roasts to use for enchiladas are chuck or bottom round roasts.

Remove roast to a plate.  

Unlike chicken, beef is a bit tougher and will be better shredded with two forks.

If properly slow cooked, the beef should be able to shred with two forks.  

If the meat is too tough to shred by fork, use a knife to cut with the grain in 3 to 4 inch widths.

Pull apart the cut portions by hand.

Season your shredded chicken or beef the day before Cinco de Mayo:

Place your shredded chicken or beef in a skillet.

Add the seasonings to your shredded chicken or beef according to your enchilada recipe, include the amount of water that the recipe calls for. 

Let simmer according to your recipe.

Place your seasoned shredded chicken or beef in a Tupperware or similar storage container.

The extra day of refrigeration will allow the seasonings to fully penetrate the meat filling to use for the enchiladas on Cinco de Mayo plus it gives you more time to work on other dishes on Cinco de Mayo.