Poached chicken is tender, soft, juicy, and flavorful. Use our easy, straight-forward recipe for chicken breast or chicken thighs. You can use skin-on chicken and remove the skin before serving. The aromatics suggested in the recipe are a guide. Ginger, chili peppers, additional herbs, onion, fennel, and carrots are all excellent options.
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs
3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Water, or substitute with chicken or vegetable stock or broth
Optional for serving: fresh cracked black pepper, lemon slices, fresh herbs, and olive oil
Add chicken, garlic, shallot, bay leaf, thyme, and the salt to a medium pot. Cover with water by an inch or two, 5 to 6 cups.
Place the pot over medium heat and heat until the liquid comes to a low simmer. This will take a few minutes. For the most tender poached chicken, don’t try to rush this step.
When the liquid is at a low simmer, turn down the heat to low and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. To check for doneness, an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the juices will run clear when you pierce the chicken with a knife.
Transfer to a cutting board. Slice and serve. If you do not plan on eating the chicken straightaway, skip the slicing and store tightly covered in the refrigerator. The chicken will keep 3 to 4 days in the fridge.