How to Poach Chicken

Tuesday 11 October 2022

how to poach chicken

One thing I eat a lot in my home is chicken.  I adore chicken in any way shape or form.  I absolutely love chicken casseroles of any sort, or chicken salad, chicken sandwiches (hot or cold), etc.

I don't always have time to roast a chicken so that I have leftover cooked meat available for these things however and I live really far away from Costco so bringing home a Rotisserie chicken is also not that easy for me these days either. 

The local grocery store does do them, but they cost $14.99 a pop, which is a far cry from the cost of one from Costco to be honest.  A Rotisserie chicken in my house is now a very rare treat.

Also speaking from a singer person who lives on her own's point of view, I don't always have the time or inclination or budget to roast a chicken just so I can have cooked chicken to use for these things. I can however very easily afford to poach chicken to use for these things.

I can poach as much or as little as I want as well, which makes it a much more affordable option for myself. You can also poach chicken thighs if you enjoy their flavor more than the breast meat.  

Poaching is one way of cooking chicken that always results in moist and delicious chicken meat, ready to enjoy just as is or for use in other dishes.  It's also very easy and simple to do.

Poaching Chicken

Today I used chicken breasts.  You can use anywhere between 1 and 4 chicken breasts.  Place them into a saucepan large enough to hold them.  You can overlap them if you need to, just so long as its only by a small amount.

Cover them with cold chicken stock to a depth of at least one inch above the chicken.  Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs (Today I used thyme.)  You can also add a few whole peppercorns if you wish and or a few slices of fresh lemon. You can also add salt, depending on how salty your chicken broth is.

Bring the chicken stock to the boil over medium high heat. There will be some foam that will rise to the surface, which is perfectly normal. If you are planning on using the stock for soup, you can skim this foam off and discard it, otherwise just leave it as it causes no harm.


poaching chicken

Reduce the burner temperature to medium low, cover and simmer for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Thinner cutlets will only take about 8 minutes, larger pieces as much as 15. 

The chicken is fully cooked when it registers 165*F/74.8*C in the thickest part of your chicken. You can also cut into the chicken to see if it's cooked through. The juices should run clear and not be bloody and your chicken should in no way be pink.

If it isn't cooked through, continue cooking and checking the chicken every minute or so until the chicken is cooked through.

poached chicken

You can remove the chicken from the broth immediately and then shred or chop to use in other recipes, or slice thinly and serve on salad, with sauce, etc. You can use it on the day or keep it in the refrigerator to use for up to five days. I guarantee it will be moist and delicious.

It may not be the most attractive thing to look at, but in most cases, you will not be eating it this way anyways. You will be using it for other purposes.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use poached chicken!



FRUITY CHICKEN SALAD -A delicious chicken salad with a wonderfully tasty and colorful blend of textures and flavors. You can use it to fill split croissants if you wish. I like to enjoy it on toasted whole wheat bread along with a layer of mixed baby salad leaves. 


CRISPY CHICKEN SALAD What you have here is a delicious mix of salad greens, topped with a mix of fruit and vegetables.  Spring and red onion.  Cucumber, carrot.  Radishes and sliced apple.
Add to that, cubes of sharp cheddar cheese and sweet and tangy dried cranberries. Top it all off with scrumptious little bits of shredded chicken breast that have been coated in a spice mixture and fried until crispy golden brown. A final scattering of salted cashew nuts and a lush honey mustard dressing complete the picture.



DILL PICKLE CHICKEN SALAD CROISSANTS -Tender pieces of chicken combined with crisp dill pickle and sharp green onions in a simple dressing to make a delicious sandwich filling. Serve here in croissants, it also works well on its own on a bed of lettuce, or with rye bread, in a wrap, stuffed tomatoes, etc. 

chicken stuffed rolls

CHICKEN STUFFED ROLLS - Take your favorite rolls (in this case cheese rolls) and stuff them with a tasty mixture of shredded chicken, a four-cheese blend, spring onions and ranch or Caesar dressing.  Baked until the cheese melts.  These are fabulously tasty!


BBQ CHICKEN TOSTADAS - Charred tortillas topped with a delicious chicken mixture, which is basically a mixture of shredded cooked chicken, BBQ sauce and chipotle chili paste.  A bit of your favorite cheese is scattered over top, and they are baked to heat through and melt the cheese. They are finished off with a drizzle of sauce and some chopped spring onions. Fabulously tasty!



GARLIC CHEDDAR CHICKEN & RICEThis is almost like an oven baked rice pilaf. It's all very simple to make. Just mix the chicken, rice, some chicken stock, grated cheddar and your seasonings together in a casserole dish. Cover and bake.  Simple to make and oh so delicious with a cooked vegetable on the side.


GRANDMA'S CHINESE CHICKEN CASSEROLEIf you are looking for an extra creamy, delicious and rich chicken casserole to feed yourself and your partner, with some added crunchy toppings then you have just struck gold. This is the one for you!  Celery, cashew nuts, crunchy chow mein noodles, a delicious sauce, plenty of chicken. There is not much about this tasty casserole not to fall in love with! It's a delicious old-fashioned favorite! 

amish chicken & stuffing casserole

AMISH CHICKEN & STUFFING CASSEROLEThis is one of my absolute all-time 
favorite chicken casseroles. Not only is is a great way to use up stale bread, but you can also use up leftover cooked chicken or even turkey, or you can cook chicken specifically just to use in it. Stale bread, butter softened celery and onion, a variety of herbs, seasoning and tender poached chicken mixed with a tiny bit of stock and baked to give you one very delicious and simple entree.   

crispy chicken casserole

CRISPY CHICKEN CASSEROLE -This is one of my favorite Chicken casseroles. It's a combination of all of the best bits of different chicken casseroles I have liked through the years, and it doesn't use tinned soup. 

chicken noodle casserole

CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE -This cheesy chicken noodle casserole does use a tin of cream of chicken soup, but I have doubled the vegetables, and halved the pasta, making it a lower carb option. I have to say it is incredibly delicious! 


TERIYAKI CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE -Deliciously simple using a fabulous homemade teriyaki sauce, leftover cooked chicken, precooked rice and frozen stir fry vegetables. A store cupboard favorite! 

There is really no end to the delicious things you can do with poached chicken. Sometimes I enjoy it sliced and served that way, cold, with a dab of mayo and some tasty salad on the side.  Or sliced and popped into a simple sandwich with some lettuce and mayo, a bit of salt and black pepper.  This is one cooking technique you really want to bookmark and take advantage of whenever you can! 

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  1. I love poached chicken, always do extra for making into soups or to enjoy in a sandwich.

    1. Its just the best thing Linda! Extra always comes in handy! xo

  2. My local Walmart sells family packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at a reasonable price, and I learned long ago to poach those in the crockpot (simply cover with chicken broth and cook until done); after cooling somewhat, I put them individually into zipper freezer bags and store in the freezer. So handy to have when I want to do something with cooked chicken!


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