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Basic Poached Chicken


Cooking chicken breasts gently in a flavorful broth makes them moist, tender -- and healthy!

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2010


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, halved
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thirds
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme or parsley
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (about 8 ounces each)


  1. In a large, straight-sided skillet or pot, combine all ingredients except chicken; cover with water by 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil over high. Add chicken and return to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, then cover skillet and remove from heat. Let stand until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove chicken from poaching liquid immediately.

Cook's Notes

You can flavor the poaching liquid with whatever aromatics you have on hand. This recipe is just a guideline -- try fresh ginger and soy sauce or orange and rosemary.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11668391
    31 JAN, 2016
    This recipe results in several meals plus a little treat for our dog (the chopped up carrots from the broth and knoby bits after shredding the chicken). The chicken becomes divan or enchiladas, the broth becomes seasonal soup. Try this recipe on a rainy afternoon.
  • Suzanneindurango
    9 JUL, 2012
    Love this simple recipe. I always add some white wine which really makes it great! I cook up a batch for salads, sandwiches, etc. Nice, moist, tender and tasty!
  • MissionJack
    12 FEB, 2012
    Quick. Something different. Requires care, but is easily doable.
  • wandawoman
    6 JUL, 2010
    Good recipe with lots of suggestions for flavor