How to Poach Chicken Breasts

By Rena |

It is incredibly easy to learn how to Poach Chicken Breasts in your own kitchen! Use fresh herbs and chicken broth to make juicy, tender, and flavorful poached chicken that can be sliced or shredded for your next meal. Plus we love that it is high protein and low carb, perfect for healthy eating.

Poached chicken in pot with broth and herbs

Making perfect poached chicken breasts is all about cooking with gentle heat and lots of moisture. Using chicken broth, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs, you can easily make chicken that will go perfectly in any number of other recipes. Plus it lasts well in the fridge and can be frozen for future meals.

Try poached chicken on our Chicken Caesar Salad, in our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, or in our Buffalo Chicken Tacos.

why this recipe is amazing

  • It’s fast and easy. Poached chicken requires just a few simple ingredients and can be done in about 30 minutes (mostly hands-off)!
  • The chicken is juicy and tender. This chicken doesn’t turn out dry, chewy, or tough. Rather it is moist, juicy, and tender enough to be sliced or shredded.
  • Perfect flavor. It soaks in the flavors of the onion, garlic, spices, and chicken broth to make a subtle flavor that complements whatever you put it in.
  • It’s healthy. Poached chicken breasts are high in protein, low carb, and requires less added fat and oil to cook.
  • Can be made ahead or frozen. You can store it in the fridge for several days or freeze it ahead for future meals.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Peppercorns
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onions
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
  • Bay leaves
  • Chicken brothIngredients for how to poach chicken

How to poach chicken Breasts step by step

  1. Prep onion and garlic. Peel and slice the garlic and onion. Then slice the onion into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Heat a high-rim pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, onion, garlic, bay leaf, fresh herbs, and peppercorn. Add chicken breasts, onion, garlic, and peppercorn to pan.
  3. Add chicken broth. Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the solids. Add enough chicken broth to cover the solids.
  4. Cook chicken. Gently stir the chicken and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through
  5. Shred or slice chicken. Once the chicken is done, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Place on a plate or cutting board, then slice or shred. Reserve the additional broth for other recipes such as soup or rice.

FAQ’s and tips

  • Chicken breasts: We prefer to use chicken breasts, but you can use chicken tenders as well. Just adjust the cooking time to cook the chicken until just cooked through (about 165-170°).
  • Peppercorn: Use whole peppercorns instead of ground pepper to infuse the broth with a fuller flavor.
  • Onion: This recipe is best with yellow onion, but sweet onions can also be used.
  • Fresh herbs: Try herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley. Use the full sprig, including the stems. Fresh herbs make the chicken notably more flavorful than dry herbs.
  • Don’t throw away the leftover chicken broth at the end. This is great in soups, rice, or other recipes that call for chicken stock. Sliced poached chicken on plate

Can I freeze this chicken?

Yes, poached chicken breasts can be frozen in individual servings or all in one air-tight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. For additional moisture, you can also freeze the chicken in some of the reserved chicken broth.

How do I store this chicken?

Store the chicken in a zipper bag or air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it gently in the microwave or stove, or bake into a casserole or similar dish in the oven.

what is the ideal temperature for poached chicken?

The ideal temperature for moist poached chicken is between 165-170°F. Use a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast to test the temperature.

Poached chicken shredded in bowl

Other healthy chicken recipes

 

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How to poach chicken

How to Poach Chicken Breasts

Juicy, tender, and flavorful poached chicken made with fresh herbs and chicken stock. This chicken can be sliced or shredded or your next meal or frozen for the future.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts 5-7 oz each
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 large onions
  • 3-4 sprigs mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • chicken broth, or water as needed

Instructions

  • Peel the onion and garlic. Lightly crush the garlic cloves and slice the onion into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Heat a high-rim pan over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken breast, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorn.
  • Add fresh herbs and enough chicken broth to cover the solids.
  • Gently stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is done, remove from the heat and let cool at room temperature, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and place on a cutting board. Slice or shred as per your desire.
  • Reserved broth can be used in other recipes such as soup or rice.

Notes

  • Chicken breasts: We prefer to use chicken breasts, but you can use chicken tenders as well. Adjust the cooking time to cook the chicken until just cooked through (about 170°). 
  • Peppercorn: Use whole peppercorns instead of ground pepper to infuse the broth with a fuller flavor. 
  • Onion: This recipe is best with yellow onion, but sweet onions can also be used. 
  • Fresh herbs: Try thyme, rosemary, or parsley. Use the full sprig, including the stems. Fresh herbs make the chicken notably more flavorful than dry herbs. 
  • Storing: Store in an air-tight container or zipper bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Don't throw away the leftover chicken broth at the end. This is great in soups, rice, or other recipes that call for chicken stock.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1335mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg
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