Kitchen 101: How to Poach Chicken Breast

Craft & Design Food & Beverage

By Katie Goodman
With summer approaching, it is great to know how to poach chicken so you don’t have to turn the oven on every time you’d like to cook a few pieces of chicken breast.
Poaching is a technique that cooks the meat in a slowly simmering liquid. Cooking chicken in liquid keeps the meat moist. Additionally, you can add seasonings to the liquid to flavor your chicken.
Here I’ve kept the flavors basic for an all-purpose poached chicken, but feel free to adjust it as you’d like.
Poached chicken is perfect for summertime dishes such as chicken salad sandwiches, wraps, or even as a pizza topping.

Ingredients and Tools

3-4 quart saucepan with lid
Chicken or vegetable broth
Bay leaf
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper

Step 1: In a 3-4 quart saucepan, fill 2/3 of the way with water and broth. I usually use a 1:1 ratio, meaning if I add 4 cups total liquid, I’ll add 2 cups water and 2 cups broth. Add a bay leaf, salt, and pepper (if desired).
Step 2: Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken. The chicken should be fully submerged in the liquid. If not, then add additional water and/or broth.
Turn heat to low, cover, and cook at a low simmer for about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Turn heat off and allow chicken to cool in the liquid with the lid remaining on the pan. When cool, remove from the liquid. Cut or shred as needed.
Note: A 3-4 quart saucepan will fit 3-5 pieces of chicken breast, depending on the size. To cook larger quantities, use a larger pan to avoid overflow.
About the Author:

Katie Goodman blogs at goodLife {eats} where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life through recipes, family memories, and yummy photography. She also works as a freelance food writer and photographer for various sites. Outside of cooking, Katie loves reading, gardening, visiting family, and attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she resides with her husband and two children.

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