Tender, juicy poached chicken breast is on the menu tonight. This recipe is very easy and versatile. Use it to make sandwiches, wraps, salads or soups. A great addition to any recipe collection.
This is a quick tutorial with detailed instructions on how to perfectly poach chicken breast. It is ready in 20 minutes and can be used in many dishes.
Homemade poached chicken is a really good alternative to store-bought roast or rotisserie chicken as they are usually high in sodium. Because it is so tender and juicy it will make perfect finger food for your baby or toddler too.
What is poaching?
Poaching is a cooking technique where food like eggs, fish, chicken breast or fruit are gently simmered (not boiled) submerged in liquid. This cooking process is a great way to cook chicken breast while maintaining the moisture and structure of the white meat. Poaching is the very best way to prepare chicken for the recipes that call for cooked chicken. Like my Italian-style chopped salad.
To make this easy recipe you will only need very few ingredients.
- Boneless chicken breasts. Always choose free-range or organic if possible. White chicken meat is usually used in poaching, if you would like to know how to cook chicken legs, check out the how-to-boil chicken legs recipe.
- Lemon. We will need a couple of slices. Lemon will add a delicious fresh flavour to the chicken.
- Peppercorns. Just a few of these. Don't worry, the chicken won't be spicy. Black peppercorns provide a beautiful aroma.
- Bay leaf. Bay leaves add another level of flavour to the poached meat. Furthermore, bay leaves are well known for their health properties. One of which is to fight inflammation.
- Sea salt to season.
How to make it
To poach the chicken is extremely easy and surprisingly quick.
- Place the chicken breast in a large shallow pan and cover with cold water.
- Add the lemon slices, peppercorns, bay leaves and pinch of salt and bring to a simmer.
- Once the water came to a boiling point, turn the heat to very low immediately and cover the pan with a lid.
- Simmer the chicken for 10 minutes on very low heat without opening the lead.
- Take the pan from the heat and let the chicken sit for another 10 minutes before opening the lid.
Your poached chicken is done.
If you are looking for how to poach a chicken breast in a slow cooker, Food.com has a good recipe.
How to serve
The ideas of what you can do with poached chicken are endless. This tender meat is perfect in sandwiches, wraps, salads, tacos and chicken enchiladas. Try one of these quick night meals:
How to store
You can poach the chicken breast in advance. Once the cooked chicken has cooled down, place it in an air-tight container. Make sure the liquid covers the poached chicken completely to prevent the meat from drying out.
You can freeze the poached chicken for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag.
What to do with the poaching liquid
So, we poached our chicken and are left with quite a bit of cooking liquid. The question is what to do with it? One thing is clear, do not throw it away. While this liquid is not as rich in flavour as the chicken broth would be, it is still delicious and can be used in a number of ways.
Once I used the chicken, I store the chicken stock in a glass jar and refrigerate it for up to 4-5 days. I use it to cook soups or make sauces.
You can freeze it in small containers and use it for cooking when chicken stock is needed.
Frequently asked questions and troubleshooting
Boiling the chicken on high heat will result in rubbery chicken. Make sure you bring the chicken to a simmer over medium heat and lower the heat down to very low immediately once the chicken is boiling. Simmer it on very low heat and you will have the most delicious, juicy chicken.
The chicken breast cooks very fast and we simmer the chicken with the lid closed, which speeds up the process even more. However, for complete piece of mind, you can use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature has reached 165F (75'C).
- Poach the chicken with some lemon grass, garlic, fresh ginger and coriander to add some delicious Asian flavours.
- You can add some carrots and celery to the chicken, leaving out the lemon slices. The vegetables poached with chicken taste really good too.
- There are no rules when it comes to poaching the chicken. You can customise it with any of your favorite add-ins. Try adding some garlic cloves, fresh celery, fresh sage, or star anise.
More delicious recipes with chicken to try
That's it! This is how you poach the chicken breast to perfection. Let me know in the comments below if you tried the recipe. I'd love to hear from you. Have a great day!
How To Perfectly Poach Chicken Breast
Delicious tender chicken poached with lemon slices and peppercorns. So juicy, so good. Perfect for salads, sandwiches, wraps and so much more.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 serves 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediteranian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2-3 chicken breasts, free-range or organic if possible
- 1 small lemon, unwaxed or organic, sliced
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 5-6 black peppercorns
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Place the chicken breasts into a shallow saucepan. Add water so it just covers the chicken
- Slice the lemon and add the slices into the saucepan.
- Add bay leaves, peppercorns and salt
- Bring chicken to the boil and once boiling quickly reduce the heat to a minimum so that the liquid just simmers. Make sure it doesn't boil, otherwise, your chicken will turn out rubbery
- Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take chicken off the heat and let it rest in the broth for at least 10 minutes. The longer it stays in the broth the more taste it will get.
- If not using straight away, store your chicken covered with stock in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If the foam is building on top of the liquid you can scoop it with a sieve. However, it is not really necessary, but it will make your broth clear.