This is the foolproof way to make the JUICIEST Poached Chicken you will ever make. Guaranteed results, dead easy, cooks itself, this is a cracker of a chicken breast recipe that everyone should know!
Use the chicken for any recipe that calls for cooked chicken – sandwiches, salads, pastas, pies, wraps and burritos. Slice it, dice it, shred it. It’s so succulent, it’s going to blow your mind!
I feel like poached chicken is a life skill that everyone should know. But depending on how you go about it, it’s either dismally dry, impossible to swallow and completely flavourless.
OR it’s unbelievably succulent, with chicken flavour you never dreamt was possible, so tender and so juicy you can literally SEE the chicken juices sparkling on the surface of every slice.
OK, so let’s get straight to the point – how to make this poached chicken in a way that literally cooks itself, has a huge margin for error, and yields the most incredibly succulent poached chicken you will ever have in your life!
How to poach chicken
- Use 250g / 8.5 oz chicken breast that’s boneless and skinless
- Place in boiling water, cover, then immediately take it off the stove
- Leave for 20 minutes (up to 1 hour ok), then remove the chicken and slice/dice/shred
- Prepared to be BLOW AWAY by how juicy the breast is!
Barely cooking right?? *She says, smugly*
It’s not on the stove. You don’t need a thermometer. You literally walk away and just leave it, knowing that it’s fine even for up to 1 hour – which I have done countless times, lulled into a serious state of relaxation because of how much confidence I have in this recipe!
What you need to make poached chicken
Fundamentally, all you need is chicken breast. But if you’re intending to use the chicken without adding lots of other flavours, it’s nice to add some flavourings into the poaching liquid.
Chicken breast this succulent and juicy is even delicious eaten plain when it’s freshly made. But here are a just a few more suggestions for what to make with Poached Chicken – the list is long, it’s a handy to have a stash!
What to make with Poached Chicken
- Sandwiches – use sliced like cold cuts, or diced and used in a mayonnaise based filling (such as diced avocado, egg, mayonnaise, finely sliced celery, chives, red onion or green onion, mustard, salt and pepper);
- Make your own Salad – slice, shred or dice and add to salads. Make your own – try it with the Honey Mustard Dressing (pictured above), French Dressing, Balsamic, Italian, Caesar, or a creamy Yogurt Dressing (5 varieties!);
- Chicken Salad – Use it in any main course salad calling for cooked chicken, such as Chinese Chicken Salad, Thai Chicken Salad, Lemon Chicken Salad or Mexican Chicken Salad;
- Add chicken into one of these salads to transform them into a meal:
Add poached chicken into one of these salads
- Soups – add protein into soups, or use in place of chicken in the recipes (except recipes where cooking the chicken forms part of the broth flavour). Here are some suggestions:
Soups for poached chicken (shred or dice)
- Serve with Sauce – One of my favourite ways to serve it as a meal is with a simple sauce, like this Honey Mustard Sauce pictured below. Either make a salad (the sauce is really just a dressing, so it’s made for salads!), or serve it over mashed potato or rice, or for low carb options, try creamy mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice!
More sauces for poached chicken – here are some more sauce options for poached chicken. Some of these recipes have another protein in the recipe – just skip that part and make the sauce!
- Ginger Shallot Sauce – this uses this poached chicken recipe!
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Lemon Cream Sauce
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Honey Garlic Sauce
- Magic Spanish Romesco Sauce
- Steak with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce
And a few final ideas for other things to make with poached chicken:
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Lasagna
- Chicken Tacos
- Toss into stir fried noodles or fried rice
- Make a giant Baked Frittata, add into Quiche or make Mini Quiches
- Chicken Rice Casserole – stir it in at the end
- Pasta! Use in place of cooking chicken in any pasta recipe (like this Creamy Chicken Pasta) or add it into a meat free one for an extra hit of protein
And with that – I’m out! I hope this poached chicken becomes a staple recipe for you like it is for me. 🙂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Poached Chicken – Foolproof, perfect, AMAZINGLY juicy breast
Recipe video above. Forget every other method you’ve used. This recipe GUARANTEES the juiciest chicken breast you’ve ever made in your life. No special equipment, no fancy gadgets. It’s dead easy and foolproof. Use for anything that calls for cooked chicken. Slice it, dice it, shred it, pile onto sandwhiches. HIGH ALTITUDE locations – please see note 4
- 2 chicken breasts (, boneless skinless, 250g/8.5 oz each (Note 1))
Optional flavourings (Note 2)
- 1 lemon
- 1 bay leaf (, dried or fresh)
- 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- Take chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
Fill a saucepan with water so the chicken breast will be well submerged with at least 2″ / 5cm of water above it in a single layer (can be snug but do not stack).
Add Flavourings, if using. Bring water to boil.
Place chicken breast in water, place lid on, bring back up to the boil. IMMEDIATELY remove saucepan from stove and set aside for 20 minutes (it’s fine up to 45 min, won’t overcook).
Remove chicken from water. Slice and be amazed how perfectly juicy and tender the breast is!! Or chop/shred and use as desired.
If reserving for later use, cover loosely to cool then refrigerate whole.
WHY THIS METHOD WORKS – This recipe works consistently every time because the chicken starts off in boiling water which is 100°C/212°F no matter which country, what stove, and what pot you’re using! Chicken cooks at 65°C/150°F, so while the boiled water is at or above this temperature, the chicken is cooking. Once it falls below this temperature (as the water cools off the stove), the chicken stops cooking and thus prevents the breast from overcooking, yielding a guaranteed perfectly cooked juicy chicken breast every single time!
1. Chicken breast size and cook times
- 250g/8.5oz each chicken breast – leave in water 20 minutes
- 300g/10oz each breast – take out of fridge 30 minutes prior, leave in water for 25 to 30 minutes
- Larger than 300g/10oz – are you sure they are CHICKEN breasts?? 😂
- 220g / 7oz or smaller – recipe not recommended unless you have a thermometer – cooked breast is 66°C / 151°F, check at 16 minutes.
- Up to 45 minutes, and I still do not notice any loss of juiciness in the breast
- Around 1 hour, I notice that it is slightly less juicy – but still way juicier than the usual methods of poaching!
- Frozen chicken – must be fully thawed before using.
2. Flavourings are optional, they provide a subtle hint. Good if you plan to eat without adding tons of extra flavour eg slice and use on sandwiches.
3. Pot – Big enough so breast lies in single layer. If scaling recipe up, use larger pot.
4. High altitude locations: The higher above sea level you are, the lower the boiling point of water. This means that if you are located in a high altitude area, the recipe needs to be amended to boil water with chicken in it before taking it off the stove, to ensure the chicken cooks through. I recommend using a meat thermometer to check chicken for doneness – start by boiling for 1 minute, take off stove for 20 minutes, check temperature (cooked breast 66°C / 151°F). If undercooked, remove chicken from water, bring back up to boil, put breast back in and take off stove. Check internal temp every few minutes. Then next time you make poached chicken, increase or decrease boiling time prior to taking off stove!
5. Nutrition per chicken breast (250g/8.5oz)
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