How to Make Poached Chicken

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Poached Chicken is loaded with flavor and takes just minutes to make!

If you need flavorful and tender cooked chicken breasts, this is the perfect recipe.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are gently poached with fresh herbs and a touch of broth for the perfect juicy chicken to add to any recipe!

Sliced poached chicken with herbs on a cutting board.

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Poached chicken is my go to for quick and easy chicken breasts. They come out incredibly juicy and moist while taking very little effort.

I start with fresh chicken breasts and always make a few more than I need because this chicken is not only amazing, it lasts for a few days in the fridge and freezes perfectly.

Please keep in mind that this recipe is for cooking perfect tender boneless chicken breasts. If you’re thinking of poaching a whole chicken, I’d suggest trying Boiled Chicken for incredible results (and an awesome broth)!

Raw chicken breasts in a pan with fresh herbs ready to be poached

How to Poach Chicken Breasts

Poaching chicken breasts is a very simple process.  You’ll simply put chicken into a shallow pan with aromatics (garlic, onions, herbs) and cook for about 20 minutes total.

It doesn’t really matter how many chicken breasts you use, you’ll just want to make sure that you add enough broth to fill your pan about halfway up the chicken breasts (about 1/2″).

I love fresh herbs and almost always have them on hand.  If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can certainly use dried.

Once these chicken breasts have finished cooking you can remove them from the pan and either chop, slice or dice them or even shred them!  Perfect for so many recipes, quick Chicken Salads, quesadillas or any kind of chicken casserole!

Don’t discard the little bit of broth in the bottom of the pan, it’s absolutely loaded with flavor! If you don’t need it right away, it’s worth freezing (just put it into a small Ziplock bag and toss it in the freezer). Add it to any sauce or recipe right from frozen!

Cooked poached chicken and herbs in a pan

How to Poach Chicken Tenders

The recipe below is to poach boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Chicken tenders are much smaller so if you’d like to poach them you’ll use the same method (and flavors) but you’ll need to adjust the cook time so they don’t dry out.

Follow the recipe below but leave the covered resting time to about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken tenders. You’ll want to ensure they just reach 165°F.

Shredded poached chicken breasts on a cutting board

If you know happen to know what recipe you’re going to use this chicken for (for example in my Chicken Noodle Casserole) you can change up the herbs added in to compliment the recipe. If you’re not sure, you can poach the chicken breasts with basic flavors (parsley, onion etc) to use in any recipe!

My Favorite Recipes Using Poached Chicken:

Poaching chicken is easy and creates very tender chicken.  The chicken is amazingly tender and takes on the flavors added to the poaching broth.

I most often use chicken broth but adding a splash of white wine is amazing too!  You can add any herbs (fresh or dried) to the liquid and they can vary based on your recipe!

  • The BEST Buffalo Chicken Dip: Creamy, cheesy and super crazy good!  Add garlic, onions, celery, bay leaf and some parsley and thyme to your poached chicken.
  • Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole: Chicken, rice, broccoli and cheese baked until golden and bubbly.  Add ins into your poached chicken can include: garlic, onions, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, poultry seasoning and peppercorns.
  • Cobb Pasta Salad: Chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and cheese… all of the best flavors in one bite! If poaching chicken for this recipe I love to add extra garlic, rosemary and lots of parsley!
  • Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap: Creamy chicken salad in an avocado dressing! Just like my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing & Dip, I love to add fresh parsley, dill and basil along with the onions and garlic!

We keep this chicken in the fridge up to 3 days.  If you want to keep it longer than that, slice or shred the poached chicken breasts and place them into a sealed container (or freezer bag) and add any remaining broth. Freeze up to 3 months.

Poached Chicken

Tender and juicy boneless chicken breasts are poached to perfection in just minutes.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 large onion slices
  • 1 sprig each of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Place chicken, herbs, peppercorn, garlic, onion and bay leaf in a shallow pan.
  2. Pour in enough broth to cover chicken about 1/2 way.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Slice or shred chicken and reserve broth for use in recipes or to serve with chicken.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size:

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 154 Calories

(Nutriton information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

©Holly Nilsson for SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

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Tender and juicy poached chicken is easy and delicious! This will become your go to for any recipe requiring cooked chicken! Perfect for soups, casseroles and chicken salads!
Tender and juicy poached chicken is easy and delicious! This will become your go to for any recipe requiring cooked chicken! Perfect for soups, casseroles and chicken salads!

Holly

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

2 comments on “How to Make Poached Chicken”

  1. This recipe produced some of the tastiest juiciest chicken I believe Ive ever eaten. Plan on using the chicken for your Chicken pot pie later today, IF, I can keep my fingers out of it. Every recipe I make from your site always comes out perfect. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Rating: 5

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