How To Poach Chicken Breasts
How to Poach Chicken
- To poach chicken, cover chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts with water (for added flavor add 1 cup of white wine), bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover the pot with a lid.
- Check the chicken every 8 minutes with an instant-read thermometer until it registers an internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of the meat.
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes
Makes 1 to 4 cups
Serves 2 to 8 servings
- 1 to 4
skinless chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Aromatics: smashed garlic, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, sliced ginger, fresh herbs, thinly sliced onions, or any other flavorings
- 1 cup
dry white wine (optional)
Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the bottom of the saucepan or pot large enough for them to sit mostly in a single layer. (It's fine if they overlap a little.) Sprinkle the salt and aromatics over chicken.
If using wine, pour this over the chicken first. Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You'll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the water comes to a boil — if you'll be using the poaching liquid for a soup or other recipe, you can skim this off; otherwise, it's fine to leave it.
As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. Begin checking the chicken after 8 minutes: it is done when opaque through the middle and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. Chicken will typically finish cooking in 10 to 14 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it is has a bone.
Transfer the chicken from the poaching liquid to a plate or clean cutting board.
Poached chicken can be served hot, room temperature, or cool. It can also be served whole, or it can be sliced or shredded as per your recipe. If you cooked your chicken with the bones, you can pull or cut away the bones, return them to the pot with the poaching liquid, and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Once strained, this is a quick chicken broth that can be used for soups or rice.
Storage: Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.