How to Poach Chicken for Your Recipes

M Henderson

When you need cooked chicken meat for a recipe fast, poach it.
Poached chickenPhoto byM Henderson

Chicken is a crowd-pleaser. Versatile, high in protein, and very tasty, it is easy to prepare and affordable. For a quick way to cook chicken when you need it for a casserole, enchiladas, salad, or some other delicious creation, try poaching it.

Poaching is fast, locks in moisture and flavor, and couldn't be easier to do.


  • Raw chicken pieces; breast, thighs, or leg quarters
  • Water or chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper, or other spices*, to taste
  • Bay leaf (optional)

*Additional seasoning options include: Creole seasoning, Old Bay® seasoning, garlic, rosemary, peppercorns


  • Place chicken pieces into a skillet, but do not crowd.
  • Add about one inch of water or chicken broth to cover the bottom of the pan and the lower quarter of the meat.
  • Season with a little salt and pepper or any other seasonings you enjoy. You can also add a bay leaf if you like.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over a medium flame/burner, and then turn the heat down to low to allow the broth to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or to an internal temperature of 165º F.

Once the chicken is cooked throughout, allow it to cool enough to comfortably work with it without burning your fingers. The meat should separate from the bones and skin quite easily. Chicken can be used immediately or refrigerated/frozen for later use.

Poached chicken is perfect for making chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken and broccoli casserole, or white bean and chicken chili.

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Local Interest and Food Contributor

Baton Rouge, LA

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