Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; 15 minutes for chicken parts and 45 minutes to a hour for a whole chicken.
Poaching a chicken (either whole or in parts) is a good way to get juicy, tender chicken without additional fats. Although I've personally never tried this, some people claim that poaching a chicken before roasting it gives you the moistest meat and crispest skin. I find that poached chicken works best for chicken salad, and makes a great cold chicken lunch the next day.
What You Need
Chicken, either whole or in parts
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tsp. salt
15 black peppercorns
A pot big enough to hold the chicken so that it is submerged in liquid
1. Place all of the ingredients in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
2. Cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer. If cooking chicken parts, 15 minutes is enough. For a whole chicken, simmer for 45 minutes to a hour.
3. Check the chicken for doneness; it should be white, not pink. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the poaching liquid and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
(Images: Kathryn Hill)