Chicken Poached with Thyme and Leeks

Chicken Poached with Thyme and Leeks
Photo: Katie Quinn Davies
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

A covering of parchment paper helps retain moisture in this lovely thyme-scented chicken. Serve the sliced meat in the leek-and-thyme poaching broth, or chilled in a chicken salad.


  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil

  • 10 garlic cloves

  • 2 leeks, roots trimmed but left intact, each leek trimmed into a 5-inch-long piece, halved lengthwise, and rinsed well

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 7 whole black peppercorns

  • 1 small handful fresh thyme (10 to 15 sprigs)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each)

  • Coarse salt


  1. Heat oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook garlic and leeks for 3 minutes. Raise heat to high. Add stock and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer.

  2. Cut out a circle of parchment the size of the pot. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme. Season chicken generously with salt, and submerge in broth. Place parchment on surface of broth, and cover pot with lid. Poach chicken, flipping halfway through, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (Broth should never simmer.) Remove and discard thyme if desired. Slice chicken, and serve in broth or on its own.

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