Make this Air Fryer Meal Prep Chicken in just 18 minutes that is perfect to stock up the freezer. Pull out the shredded chicken when you want to make all of your favorite Mexican dishes, Casseroles, Risotto, BBQ Sandwiches, Cobb Salads, and more.
Spray each of the chicken breasts with olive oil spray and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Set the Air Fryer temperature to 360 degrees. Once it has heated up, place the chicken inside and set timer for 18 minutes (turning at the 9 minute mark) unless your chicken breasts are pounded thin, then you will set yours for 10 minutes and check at 5 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the chicken when it has reached 160 degrees and tent it with foil as it will keep cooking for a couple minutes and reach the 165 without the risk of drying out.
Once the chicken has been tented for 5-10 minutes, shredd with two forks as mentioned in the notes below or with a stand up mixer.
Divide up into one cup servings (we got four cups for this batch) and place in quart sized freezer Ziploc bags for the freezer. I like to double bag mine into a gallon sized freezer Ziploc bag as well. They will keep in the freezer like that for up to six months.
Cooking Time: You will be cooking these from 18-22 minutes depending on your Air Fryer, how THICK the chicken breasts are and how LARGE they are. They can be smaller, yet thick and they may take an extra minute or two to reach the 160-165 degrees you are looking for. Chicken Thickness: This is going to determine a lot of how long it will take to cook these. If you want a quick and fast version, pound down the chicken between two pieces of parchment paper to make them thin and they will cook in about 9 minutes total. The key is to watch it so you don't over cook. Temperature: Chicken is done at 165 degrees. For this recipe, remove from the Air Fryer at 160 degrees and cover with foil for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to remain in the chicken (just like you do when you are grilling) so all of the moisture can remain in the chicken. This also allows the chicken to reach from 165 without overcooking. Shredding: The two methods of shredding we like are to shred it with two forks and pull AGAINST each of the forks to pull the chicken away from each other or to cut the chicken in half or quarters and put in our KitchenAid Mixer to with the paddle attachment and shred for one minute, starting out at the lowest setting and then bumping up a notch or two and letting it shred until it's all done. Storage/Freezing: Store these in ONE CUP portions into Quart size Ziploc Freezer Bags. Portion one cup into the bags, shake to lay flat and zip up. Take each bag and place inside a Gallon size Ziplock Freezer Bag. That may seem like overkill to a lot people, but it will ensure that your chicken will stay ultra fresh until you pull it out of the freezer to use in your favorite recipes.