Main Dishes

How to Poach Chicken | Poached Chicken Recipes

We love using moist poached chicken in a variety of fresh summer meals. Here’s how to poach chicken plus 4 of our favorite poached chicken recipes.

By Yankee Magazine

Mar 26 2020


How to Poach Chicken

Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

Poached chicken breasts can stand alone or serve as the foundation for many terrific dishes — and by poaching a big batch all at once, you’ll have a jump-start on a week’s worth of meals. Learn how to poach chicken, and discover a few of our favorite ways to turn poached chicken into dinner.

Why poach? If you’ve ever wondered how some people make the tenderest chicken salad, chances are they poach the meat. This cooking technique is a wonderful way to create light and delicious summer meals, and it’s as simple as bringing liquid to a gentle simmer. With poaching, you cook your meat, vegetables, or fruit in a flavorful broth that’s kept below the boiling point. The lower temperature allows you to better control the cooking process, and in the case of meat it yields greater tenderness. While poaching, your food should always remain completely submerged and the dish covered, so that the moist heat can do its work.

How to Poach Chicken
How to Poach Chicken
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker


In a large Dutch oven, combine 32 ounces of chicken broth, 1 large onion (chopped), 2 large carrots (sliced), 1 stalk of celery (sliced), ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 4 skinned boneless chicken breast halves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken, reserving the broth for other uses. Cover chicken and chill until ready to eat.


Poached Chicken Cobb Salad: Toss chopped poached chicken with torn lettuce. Top with chopped green onion, chopped hard-cooked eggs, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado, blue cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, and your favorite vinaigrette.

Poached Chicken and Wild Rice Soup: Bring reserved chicken broth to a simmer. Add contents of a 6.2-ounce box of fast-cooking wild rice mix, including seasoning package. Cook 5 minutes. Add 2 chopped poached chicken breasts and 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream. Cook until thoroughly heated. Do not boil.

Poached Chicken Salad: Add 1 cup chopped celery, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and mayonnaise to lightly coat 2 chopped poached chicken breasts. Serve over lettuce leaves or as a sandwich filling.

Poached Chicken Quesadillas: Place four 8-inch flour tortillas on your counter. Divide 8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese and 2 thinly sliced poached chicken breasts among the tortillas. Top each with another tortilla. Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1 quesadilla, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Have any tips for how to poach chicken or favorite poached chicken recipes? Let us know!

This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.

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