Poached chicken is fantastic to have on hand for salads, pastas and sandwiches. Use it now or freeze extras for later. This tutorial will show you how to poach chicken breasts in minutes!
Poaching chicken breasts is a great way to add protein to your meals without adding extra fat. It’s a simple technique that produces tender, juicy and delicious chicken that you can use in a variety of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to pasta and soup. Plus, you can cook several breasts at once and store them in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy meal prep.
When I first started cooking, my idea of poaching chicken breasts was to throw them in a pot of boiling water and cook them. Efficient? Yes. But he turned chicken breasts into rubber poultry frisbees. Not exactly what I had in mind for the perfect summer salad.
The beauty of poaching several chicken breasts at once is that you’ll have meat for several meals. Slice or shred the cooked chicken and leave it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Alternatively, divide the chicken into meal-sized portions, wrap in plastic wrap and freezer bags, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw the packets as needed and serve the chicken in pasta dishes, on salads or in sandwiches. Simple meal preparation!
So what’s the right way to poach a chicken breast?
If you read various cookbooks or cruise the Internet, you will find as many ways to poach chicken as there are cooking websites. Some require you to place the pot in water, while others suggest removing the pot from the heat completely.
My favorite method is to put boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large pot with various spices and flavorings, such as lemon wedges, fresh or dried herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Pour cold water over the chicken breast, let it boil, then gently simmer for about 15 minutes.
You’ll be rewarded with tender, juicy and delicious chicken breasts that are perfect for tossing into a variety of dishes. Perfect for summer entertaining or quick weeknight meals!
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How to poach a chicken breast
Here is a simple and delicious recipe for poached chicken breast that you can use as a base for a variety of dishes. You can customize it with your favorite spices and flavorings, such as lemon wedges, garlic, herbs and spices.
COMBINATION OF CHICKEN AND SPICES: Start by placing boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large pot. Add any seasonings, flavorings, and liquids (such as chicken broth or white wine) that you like.
COOK AND CURE: Pour cold water over the chicken breast and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the chicken for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
COOL, CUT AND STORE: When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it cool for a few minutes. Then slice or shred the chicken and use it in your favorite dishes or store it in the fridge or freezer for later.
See the recipe tab below for a complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.
Tips for Poaching Chicken Breasts:
• Use a large pot to give the chicken breasts enough space to cook evenly.
• Cover the chicken breast with cold water before boiling. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from drying out.
• Gently simmer the chicken breasts, instead of boiling them hard. This will keep the chicken soft and juicy.
• Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. It should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat.
• Allow the chicken breasts to cool slightly before slicing or dicing them. This will make them easier to handle and prevent them from falling apart.
Storage and use of poached chicken breast:
After cooking the poached chicken breast, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To store in the fridge, simply slice or shred the chicken and place in an airtight container. To store in the freezer, divide the chicken into meal-sized portions and wrap each portion in plastic wrap or freezer bags.
When you’re ready to use your poached chicken, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave and use it in your favorite dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
▪️Make a delicious chicken salad by mixing poached chicken with chopped celery, red onion, mayonnaise and a little lemon juice or add to it my family’s favorite Thai chicken salad.
▪️Add poached chicken to your favorite pasta dish, such as Skillet Chicken Penne Pasta.
▪️Make a quick and easy chicken wrap sandwich (turkey sub) by rolling the chicken in a tortilla with cranberry sauce and vegetables.
▪️Use poached chicken as a base for soups and stews, such as light chicken and corn soup or hearty chicken stew with butternut squash.
Frequently Asked Questions:
It usually takes about 15 minutes to poach a chicken breast. However, the exact time will depend on the size and thickness of the breast, as well as the temperature of the water.
To make sure the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, you can use bone-in chicken breasts for poaching. However, keep in mind that the cooking time will be longer, as the bones will take longer to cook.
You can add salt to the poaching liquid if you like, but it’s not necessary. The chicken will release some of its own juices during cooking, which will add flavor to the liquid. If you want to add salt, start with a small amount and taste the liquid before adding more.
Yes, you can use chicken broth instead of poaching water. In fact, many people prefer to use chicken broth because it adds extra flavor to the chicken. Just keep in mind that chicken broth is often high in sodium, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt you add to the liquid.
Yes, you can add other ingredients to the poaching liquid to give the chicken extra flavor. Some common options include lemon wedges, garlic, herbs and spices. You can also add white wine or other liquid to the pot, but be sure to adjust the amount of water or broth accordingly.
How to: Poach chicken breast
Poached chicken is fantastic to have on hand for salads, pastas and sandwiches. This tutorial will show you how to poach chicken breasts in minutes!
Portions: 8 Portions
- 4 (6 ounces each) skinless and boneless chicken breast
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons ground pepper
- 4 lemon slices
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 spoons i am a willow
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Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of a large pot. Season with salt and pepper. Top with lemon slices and fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
Fill the pot with cold water until it reaches 1 to 1 ½ inches above the chicken breasts. Stir in soy sauce.
Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer gently until the chicken breasts are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the chicken breast.
Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool. Slice or shred the chicken. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 3 days.
Please note that I am not a medical or nutritionist. I provide nutritional information for my recipes as a courtesy to my readers. Calculated by LoseIt! calculator. Although I try to provide information that is as accurate as possible, you should calculate the nutritional information on your own before relying on it.
Serving: 0.5Chicken breast | Calories: 106.1kcal | carbohydrates: 0.2Mr | proteins: 18.9Mr | Fat: 3Mr | Saturated fats: 1.1Mr | cholesterol: 0.2mg | sodium: 142.7mg
This post was originally published on April 17, 2015. Updated on December 9, 2022.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites.