We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Best Tips for Poaching Chicken Breasts?

Dan Harkins
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The breasts are one of the most prized portions of a chicken, two fat slabs of potentially juicy meat. Though capable of being prepared with a range of cooking methods, poaching chicken breasts is an often-overlooked way to prevent drying, while naturally imparting the flavor of the boiling broth. Two important factors in poaching chicken breasts are the seasonings used and the temperature at which they cook. To add tenderness ahead of time, many chefs also vigorously pound the breasts before giving them a pre-poach bath in the soup that they will be cooked.

Since poaching chicken breasts involves a quick boil and then long simmer, many chefs use a chicken stock seasoned with ingredients they want to impart to the meat. One recipe for poached chicken with green sauce, in the Food section archives of the New York Times Web site, brings the chicken up to temperature in chicken stock with garlic, onion, salt, pepper and coriander seed. This is brought to a high simmer with the chicken for just five minutes, then the heat is reduced to low for another hour of slow cooking. After that, the chicken is left to cool in the stock for another half-hour, while a special sauce is made of mustard, garlic, vinegar, capers, oil and parsley for color.

Other techniques use just seasoned water — a minimalist approach that is often countered by other elements on the plate, such as a vibrant sauce or a uniquely dressed salad. For instance, one recipe for poaching chicken breasts at the Asian cooking Web site Just Bento boils breasts in a shallow pan of water tinged with just a piece of ginger, salt and a liquor like sherry or sake. This is brought to a boil for no longer than a minute, then set aside, tightly covered, for about 15 minutes, sometimes longer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that all poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (about 73.89°C). This can easily be gauged with a meat thermometer throughout the time it takes for poaching chicken breasts. Leaving the chicken in the broth or water for just a few minutes longer should suffice to get the pink out.

A few variations of poaching chicken breasts exist, all yielding a meat that is not only tender and flavorful, but also largely unoiled and uncharred. One of these so-called wet cooking methods is the water bath, which involves marinating the breasts in a seasoned marinade, then vacuum-packing it for a steady hot bath in its own juices that cannot be diluted by the water. Since many diners appreciate a nice charred shell on their chicken breasts, many chefs will quickly sear the meat as soon as it leaves the liquid, for just a minute or two on each side.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.