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Poached chicken - Finedininglovers

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Poached chicken

Poaching chicken is a delicate and healthy way to cook chicken. Straightforward to make, poaching chicken creates a blank canvas for adding flavour and can be used as a delicious base ingredient for dishes like chicken salads or indulgent bowls of warm pasta. This method of cooking also keeps the meat really juicy and tender. Read on for our easy poached chicken recipe.

08 November, 2023
Average: 4 (1 vote)

serves for


total time

0 HR 25 MIN


1, sliced
1 stick, chopped
Garlic cloves
Chicken breasts
1 litre / 34 oz
1 small bunch
Fine salt
2 tsp / 0.3 oz

Step 01

Add the sliced carrot, chopped celery and whole garlic cloves into a large saucepan. Then add the skinless chicken breasts and cold water, so it’s just covering the chicken. Add the parsley and salt.

Step 02

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low to simmer for around 15 minutes. 

Step 03

Remove the chicken breasts from the water, and leave to rest on a chopping board for a few minutes, covered in tin foil. Once rested, use 2 forks to tear the chicken or slice into pieces. Add to your favourite salad, soup or sandwich.


Tips & tricks

For the best poached chicken breast, it’s essential to include a mix of herbs and salt in your recipe. The salt helps to make sure the meat is perfectly seasoned. Depending on what you’d like to use the chicken for, you can also vary the herbs used. We’ve shared a simple example above, but you can swap the parsley for spices like cumin or ginger if you’re cooking Asian-inspired food, for example.

It’s key that you select quality chicken, and we think the best way to poach chicken is by using only either boneless chicken thighs or breasts. You can find out more about the different chicken cuts available here though, if you’re looking to experiment.

Another popular way to cook chicken is to marinate it first. With poached chicken you can infuse flavours during the cooking process through the herbs or spices, or even by adding stock to the water. With a marinade, you massage this onto the raw meat prior to cooking and leave it in the fridge for a few hours to absorb the flavours. We have a helpful article here explaining the process of marinating chicken if you want to explore both methods.

How to use poached chicken

Poached chicken is very versatile, and can be added to a number of dishes. One of our favourite ways to use poached chicken is in salads. Once cooked, you can tear the chicken into bite size pieces that make a brilliant warm topping for your salad at home. You can also use poached chicken in sandwiches. Try cutting the poached chicken into neat slices, then layer the slices into a sandwich with avocado and black pepper for a quick and delicious lunchtime fix. Poached chicken can also be added to recipes like soups or pastas. Simply mix the torn chicken pieces into your soup, or into a hearty bowl of pasta. Lastly, you can serve it as part of simple plates like chicken with vegetables and rice, for a healthy and warming dinner.


You can store poached chicken for up to three days in the fridge. Make sure you let it cool fully before transferring to the fridge, and it should be kept covered in an airtight container for safe storage. If you choose to reheat the poached chicken, you should only do this once. We’d recommend enjoying it cold straight from the fridge in a sandwich or salad for leftovers.

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