Poached Chicken Breasts

finished poached chicken breasts on a plate

Makes 4 poached breasts

These are great for making into other recipes where you need shredded chicken. They are easy to make and are very moist. They are also great for dinner on their own if you have a very flavorful sauce to spoon over a few slices. I also chop them to sprinkle over salads or stir into soups. Feel free to freeze them once you have wrapped them individually.

The success of this recipe is to never boil the water. Keep it at a low simmer and you can’t mess it up!


  • 4 chicken breast
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • assorted herbs
  • 1/4 cup onion slices
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • water to cover breasts


All the aromatics are optional. You can poach the chicken with just salt and pepper if you wish. Place the chicken breast in the bottom of a wide pan. Scatter the aromatics over the breasts. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Place the pan on your stove.

Pour cold water over the chicken breast till they are covered by at least 1 inch but not more than 1 1/2 inches. Cover with a lid if you have one.

Turn the heat on medium and wait for the water to just come to a simmer. Don’t forget about it! You do not want the water to boil or it will dry out the chicken. Leave the lid off if you think you will forget!

As soon as the water is very gently simmering, turn the heat down to continue the gentle simmer until the chicken is cooked through or a thermometer reads 165F. 

To check you can use a small paring knife and cut a slit in one of the breasts to take a look. If its undercooked place it back in the water to finish cooking.

Once they are cooked, remove them from the hot water and let them cool on a plate. Then wrap in plastic and or foil for storing in your fridge or freezer.

Poached chicken makes a great moist chicken salad. Cubed small, it is a perfect protein to add to the top of salads or stirred into soups. Cut it in strips and dip it into sauces for a snack. 

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