Are you looking for a healthier way to cook chicken? Forget the grill, use your skillet to poach it.
What is poaching?
It's a cooking technique where the food is simmered in a liquid at a low heat (160-180F). By using this cooking technique, very little moisture is lost, and the food is infused with a lovely flavor.
Is poached chicken healthy?
Since no fat is used, poaching this meat is a healthy alternative to pan or deep frying.
How long should it take to poach?
A large breast will simmer in the poaching liquid for 15 to 20 minutes. You can cut that time in half for tenders. It all depends upon the density and thickness of the breast.
What are the most common poaching liquids?
Water, stock and milk are the most popular for savory foods. Most chefs chose water and stock,but milk is popular to use with fish.
How can you prevent it from becoming tough?
The secret to silky, tender breasts is to start the meat in cold water, bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat.
Which type is better to poach: skinless, boneless or skin on, bone-in?
It all depends what your needs are. If you are trying to reduce kitchen time, it is more convenient to use the skinless, boneless kind. If you are wanting the most flavorful and moist meat use skin on, bone-in.
How much meat will one large skinless boneless breast yield?
You will get 1 ½ cups of cubed meat. This information is helpful when you need to scale a recipe up or down.
How to Make
Start by prepping all the ingredients.
Cover the meat with cold water and place the aromatics and spices on top.
Bring the poaching liquid to a simmer over medium high heat. You'll start to see bubbles at the edges. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat registers 160F on a meat thermometer, or the juices run clear when cut at the thickest part.
Skim the foam off the top. Remove the meat from the skillet, then pour the broth into a strainer. Make sure to put a pot or bowl underneath to catch the broth.
Discard the aromatics. If necessary, use a spoon to remove any stay thyme leaves from the broth.
Put the meat back into the broth and allow to cool. If you're poaching the meat ahead of time, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Poached chicken is very versatile. It can be sliced, chopped, cubed, or shredded. Serve it either hot or cold. The meat keeps well in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
You can eat it as a main course sliced with a sauce or gravy pour over top, cubed in a Cobb or salad, or shredded in dips, casseroles, Mexican food, or pot pies. As an added bonus, the broth can be saved for your next homemade soup, or cooking rice.
- Need to make ahead? Keep it in the broth to keep it moist and to make it even more flavorful.
- Need to freeze this? Cube, chop, slice, or shred the meat before placing it in a freezer bag.
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How to make poached chicken is an easy recipe to use for a healthy low carb dinner option, or when you need cooked chicken to use in salads, sandwiches, enchiladas, and pot pies. Your chicken will be silky, tender and flavorful. As a bonus, you’ll have homemade chicken broth to use for cooking rice.
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 3 cups cold filtered water
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup carrots, sliced in coins
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- ⅓ cup dill sprigs
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced in coins
- Rinse the breasts and lay them in a single layer in a large skillet. Cover the meat ¾ way with cold water.
- Thinly slice the onions and separate into rings, then chop the celery, cut the carrots, and slice the ginger into coins.
- Place the onion, celery, carrot, ginger, wine, and spices on top of the meat. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. You will notice bubbles forming at the edges of the skillet. Be sure not to let it boil, as the extra heat will make the meat tough.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, keep the skillet covered, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (for large breasts) or 8 to 10 minutes (for tenders). The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 F at the thickest part, or when the juices run clear when cut in half and is no longer pink.
- Skim the foam off the surface. Remove the meat from the skillet and place in a container with sides. Strain the aromatics and spices from the broth using a sieve placed over a bowl or small pot. Pour the broth over top of the breasts and let it cool in the broth. This will help the meat soak up more flavor and be more moist. Keep the chicken broth to use for soups or cooking rice.
- Once it has cooled completely, remove it from the broth and place on a cutting board and cut as desired. Make sure to slice it across the grain.
- Serve the this meat cold or hot. Poached chicken tastes lovely in salad, Cobb salad, sandwiches, wraps, dips, pot pies, casseroles, or simply sliced and smothered with gravy.
- This can be cooked two days ahead. Just keep it in the broth to keep it moist and to make it even more flavorful.
- This recipe also freezes well. For ease, just cube, chop, slice, or shred the meat before placing it in a freezer bag.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: poach, chicken, chicken breasts