How to poach chicken

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How to poach chicken
Poach Chicken

Poaching cooks a bird gently without adding fat, and it gives you very juicy and tender meat. Although poaching is a common cooking method for breasts (which are most likely to dry out using other methods) you can poach any chicken part - even a whole chicken.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • chopped onions
  • salt
  • whole or cut chicken
  • chopped celery
  • chopped carrots
  • chicken broths
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Chicken Broths
  • Salt
  • Whole Or Cut Chicken

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  1. 1

    Assess the size of the chicken or chicken pieces. Chicken needs to poach completely covered in liquid, so the amount of liquid depends on how much chicken there is.

  2. 2

    Boil enough water or chicken broth to cover the chicken.

  3. 3

    For every quart of liquid, add about 1 cup each chopped onion, carrot and celery.

  4. 4

    Add the peppercorns.

    How to poach chicken
  5. 5

    Season the liquid very lightly with salt.

  6. 6

    Lower the heat so the liquid is just below a simmer. The surface should shimmer. When checked with a food thermometer, the temperature should be about 190 degrees.

  7. 7

    Add the chicken or chicken pieces.

  8. 8

    Make sure everything is submerged. Weigh down with a plate if necessary.

    How to poach chicken
  9. 9

    Cook only until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes for chicken pieces and 45 minutes to an hour for a whole chicken. Test to make sure the meat is completely cooked through before removing.

    How to poach chicken

Tips and warnings

  • Poached chicken is ideal for cold chicken salad, where lightly flavored, juicy chicken is required.
  • Poaching is sometimes the secret tip in some roasted chicken recipes. Try poaching a whole chicken (skin on) for three to four hours, then drying it off completely and roasting it in the hottest oven you can manage to crisp the skin.

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