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!

Slices of poached chicken on a wooden board

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 Poached chicken in a pot with herbs

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!

Poached chicken in a pot with herbs

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 keep in mind this can vary based on the side of the chicken. Ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F at the thickest part.

Shredded poached chicken on a wooden 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 complement 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.

Slices of poached chicken on a wooden board
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How to Make Poached Chicken

Tender and juicy boneless chicken breasts are poached to perfection in just minutes.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 2 servings
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  • 2 boneless chicken breasts 6-7 ounces each
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 large onion slices
  • 1 sprig each of fresh herbs thyme, rosemary, and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • chicken broth


  • Place chicken, herbs, peppercorn, garlic, onion and bay leaf in a shallow pan.
  • Pour in enough broth to cover chicken about ½ way.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Remove the chicken from the broth and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting or slicing. Strain and reserve the broth for use in recipes or to serve with chicken.
  • Slice, dice, or shred the chicken.


Chicken breasts can vary in size from 5 to 10 ounces. The cooking time indicated is for a 6 to 7 ounce chicken breast. If the chicken breasts are larger or smaller, cooking times will need to be adjusted.
4.86 from 63 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 136 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 447mg | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.6mg

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I followed the instructions exactly but when I went to shred the chicken it was 110 in the middle and completely raw. My chicken breasts were not big at all, I would say even on the smaller side.2 stars

    1. I am sorry to hear that, NS. We use chicken breasts between 5-7 ounces with perfect results every time! Make sure your chicken breasts are fresh or fully defrosted before poaching and if they aren’t quite done you can always return them to the pot to simmer for a while longer.

  2. Wonderful and reliable way to a make moist and tasty chicken. The broth is so much better than canned, so save it or freeze it for another day.5 stars