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Basic Poached Chicken


This is easy to make. I always have boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. I use the poached chicken in recipes that call for cooked rotisserie chicken or just cooked chicken. Great for chicken club sandwiches, chicken salad, with pasta or in a casserole. I strain the liquid and use it in recipes that call for chicken broth or stock. It freezes well.

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Basic Poached Chicken 0 Picture


  • 4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion quartered from root end (this keeps it from falling apart)
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves (optional depending on chicken use)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • water or chicken stock/broth to cover


Servings 6
Preparation time 5mins
Cooking time 25mins


Step 1

Add the chicken to a 4 to 5 quart pot. Add cold water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil.
As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Do not go above a simmer, the chicken will become dry and tough. I usually test doneness by cutting into the largest breast. It's done if it is opaque through the middle. If using an instant-read thermometer, insert in the thickest part of the meat.
165°F is cooked through.
Remove from the poaching liquid and use as desired.
Poached Chicken - 46 calories per ounce

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