The Easiest Way to Shred Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken—According to an Employee

Here's how to perfectly pluck everybody's favorite $5 chicken.



Of all the unbeatable deals Costco has to offer, one will always reign supreme among big-box shoppers: the $4.99 rotisserie chicken. It’s a Costco cart staple (even if it’s recently been under fire) and although it’s a single dish, it can provide countless dinner options.

The weeknight routine is sacred—first, you bring the rotisserie home, then, turn to us for hundreds of ways to use the juicy shredded meat. But, in between being a whole, beautiful bird and tender, shredded chicken, there’s not too much instruction to be found.

Thankfully, a viral video is here to demystify the deboning of a rotisserie chicken, and the instructions come from none other than a Costco employee herself.

Creator abountifulkitchen answered the burning question we didn’t know we had: What’s the best way to shred a rotisserie chicken? When she visited her Costco counter, she decided to ask the pro, and lucky for us, caught the whole tutorial on camera. Melissa, “the friendly Costco worker,” demonstrates exactly how to "harvest" the chicken with just her hands—and with expert-level efficiency.

Warning: this video might make you hungry for chicken tacos and buffalo chicken dip.

The Best Way to Shred a Costco Rotisserie Chicken

Everybody has their own method and tools to use, but if you want to shred a chicken like a Costco butcher, here’s what to do (get ready to use a little bit of elbow grease).

To start, take the ties off the legs, then use your thumbs to locate the joints in between the breast and the thighs. “Stick your thumbs down between the thighs there, and just kind of pop those bones out of their sockets there,” Melissa says in the video.

If the bird is still hot, you can slide the skin right off (but don’t toss it—it's full of flavor). From there, you can take your thumbs and slide them right up under the breastbone. Grab the breasts on either side and pull them out in one handful.

“You want to be careful, there’s a couple of teeny tiny bones in there you gotta watch out for,” she instructs.

Next, use your fingers to pick off all the rest of the meat from around the bones and sockets.

Once all the meat is out, move it to a large baking sheet and use your hands to swiftly rip the meat between your fingers. After just a couple of pulls, the meat will be completely shredded.

How to Use Shredded Rotisserie Chicken

If you need some inspiration, we have plenty of recipes to feed a family with shredded rotisserie chicken, from white bean chicken chilis to fabulous fajitas. The freshly shredded meat is also perfect for meal prep: store it in the fridge, and it’s ready to add protein to any salad, rice bowl, or to-go lunch.

Shredded rotisserie chicken will make enchiladas easy and casseroles even more convenient. And don’t toss the bones, either! That picked chicken carcass may look useless, but it can add a ton of nutritious flavor to a homemade stock, broth, or soup.