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Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts

Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts

Poached chicken breasts are a terrific refrigerator staple for warmer weather.  This simple technique will save you lots of time, enable you to throw together light, healthy salads on the fly, and free you up to focus on exciting combinations of flavours and ingredients.

Have you ever wondered how restaurants turn out exotic dishes on demand?  One of the secrets is preparation.  Stock your refrigerator with basic sauces and ingredients and you too can prepare a variety of exciting dishes with minimal effort.

During the summer months, I’m particularly fond of poached chicken breasts.  Preparing boneless, skinless chicken breasts this way is light, healthy and can be exceedingly flavourful.  Chicken is like a blank canvas.  It happily takes on any other flavours you wish to add — whether from aromatics, sauces or dressings.

Personally, I love to use poached chicken breasts easy, fresh, seasonal salads.  However, you can also shred them and toss them with sauce or seasonings for easy tacos, sloppy joes, or enchiladas.  The uses for poached chicken breasts are only limited by your imagination!

Best of all?  Poached chicken breasts are super easy to prepare correctly.  They also retain their moisture beautifully when properly poached!

Since this recipe is a building block of technique, I’ve limited the seasoning to a bit of salt.  However, the options available to season the chicken breasts — and whatever you’re using them in — more exciting are practically limitless.  Below are a few simple ideas to get you started.

Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts |

Optional Aromatics for Poached Chicken Breasts

Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts | cookglobaleatlocal.comThe sky is the limit.  Please don’t limit yourself to this list, although it does make an easy starting place.  Use your imagination.  Think about the flavours in your finished dish, and select your poaching seasonings accordingly.

  • Ginger
  • Spring onions
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Hardy fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Dried chilies
  • Whole spices, such as star anise, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and allspice

Recipes for Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts

Asian Chicken Salad with Honey Miso Dressing | Asian Chicken Salad with Honey Miso Dressing
Herbed Chicken Quinoa Salad with Peaches and Feta | Herbed Chicken Quinoa Salad with Peaches and Feta
Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodle | Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles

Whatever dish you use your poached chicken breasts in, I hope you enjoy them every bit as much as my family does.  Bon appétit!


Poached Chicken Breasts

September 6, 2018
: 4
: 15 min
: 20 min
: 35 min
: Easy

Poached chicken breasts are a terrific refrigerator staple for summer months. With these moist, juicy breasts on hand, you can easily prepare a variety of entrees with limited effort. Best of all? They take just 20 minutes start to finish, and are a healthy low fat protein source.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Step 1 Place the chicken breasts, room temperature water and sea salt in a saucepan large enough to accommodate the chicken breasts in one layer.
  • Step 2 Turn the heat to high and turn it down to the lowest setting as soon as fine bubbles begin to appear. The trick to moist, juicy breasts is not to let the water boil. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 65.5° C (150° F) on an instant read thermometer.
  • Step 3 Turn off the fire. Remove breasts from water and set aside to cool thoroughly. Once breasts are cool, they may be used immediately or kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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