Simple, versatile, and juicy Poached Chicken that is a perfect addition to your sandwiches and salads or as a main dish itself. This poaching method is quick, easy, foolproof, and introduces flavor to your chicken meat the best way possible!
Oh how I love poached chicken! Just hearing the word makes me feel fancy already, not to mention the flavors added in every inch of this meat.
I know what y’all might be thinking “that’s just fancy boiled chicken”, but trust me, it’s totally more than that.
So what is poaching and why are so many people using this cooking method? Well, let’s dive a little deeper. And I’ll tell you, your chicken breast will always come out juicy, and tender while taking a little to no effort at all!
Poaching vs Boiling
Let’s clear out some of those questions on your head before we head down with the recipe.
Poaching is a cooking technique that uses relatively low heat to cook food slowly while preserving most of the moisture. This method is often used for fragile food such as eggs, poultry, fish, fruits, and alike.
Using the right kind of liquid is also crucial for adding flavor to your food. You can use herbs, spices, and other natural flavoring.
Boiling, on the other hand, uses a higher temperature to cook more durable food such as pork and beef. This technique tenderizes the meat but draws out the oils, collagen, and most of the flavor.
It’s a good method to use if you’ll use the liquid, which is broth by then, at a later time.
I really love a fresh taste profile for all my chicken recipes so we’ll do the same here. We’ll season our water later with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, rosemary, and thyme.
Imagine all those flavors in your dish. I like a little soul in my dish so I’ll be putting a bay leaf in as well. Lastly, celery for freshness.
At the end of this blog post, you’ll be able to learn how to poach chicken breast perfectly that’s also packed with flavors.
I know you have your reservations about using white chicken meat for this because it’s usually bland. I assure you that there are benefits to using this part of poultry. It’s a leaner meat for one, this means that it has less fat content which is healthier.
And if you’ve been eating heavily during the holidays, then this one is a must-have on your recipe box.
How Long to Poach Chicken?
The cooking time for poached chicken varies depending on its size and the fat content. It would take about 10-15 minutes to fully cook medium sized cuts poultry. Some of the fats in the meat will start to melt that’s why you’ll see some oil in the water.
But just to be sure, you can check on the doneness of the chicken by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. It should read at 165 degrees F.
Ways to Use Poached Chicken
There are tons of ways to use this poached chicken breast. For one, you can eat this as it is for a low-carb and protein-based diet drizzle with gravy or any of your preferred sauce. But you can also use this chicken for any recipes that calls for cooked chicken as…
- Sandwiches – use sliced or diced poached chicken in a mayo-based sandwich like this Chicken Salad Sandwich HERE together with celery, mustard, green onions, among others.
- Add it on Salads – use this on salads that call for cooked chicken like these Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad and Curry Chicken Salad.
- Use as Add-ins – or you can always add this chicken dish to any of these recipes as toppers or add-ins, Chicken Alfredo Pizza, Chicken ala King, or this Chicken and Rice Soup.
And a few final ideas to repurpose this foolproof poached chicken…
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Sausage Egg Casserole
- Egg Fried ice
- Chicken Pasta Bake
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
The best way to enjoy poached chicken breasts is just to eat it right away, if you ask me. You can, however, store the whole chicken breast in airtight containers before refrigerating. These should last for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer.
More Versatile and Delicious Chicken Recipes
How to Poach Chicken
Place chicken in a large Dutch oven, saucepan, or pot, then pour enough water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Add garlic cloves, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns. and salt. Place on medium heat and bring to a simmer. As soon chicken starts to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Cooking times would vary depending on the thickness of the chicken. For accurate results, you may use an instant-read thermometer. To check for doneness, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and place on a plate or chopping board. Let it cool, slightly, if serving at once. Then slice or chop and serve. If saving for later use, let it cool completely and store it in the fridge. It can keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. You may freeze for up to a month. It is best to freeze the whole breast. Enjoy!
Watch How To Make It
How to Make Poached Chicken
- 2-3 pounds (906g-1359g) skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1-2 medium onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon (3g) peppercorn
- salt to taste
- lemon slices to serve, optional
- Place chicken in a large Dutch oven, saucepan, or pot, then pour enough water to cover the chicken by an inch or so.
- Add garlic cloves, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns. and salt.
- Place on medium heat bring to a simmer.
- As soon chicken starts to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes. Cooking times would vary depending on the thickness of the chicken. For accurate results, you may use an instant read thermometer.
- To check for doneness, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and place on a plate or chopping board.
- Let it cool, slightly, if serving at once. Then slice or chop and serve.
- If saving for later use, let it cool completely and store in the fridge. It can keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- You may freeze for up to a month. It is best to freeze the whole breast. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.