No ImageHow to Poach Chicken, the Quick and Easy Way

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Natalie

    Would the cooking time be the same for thawed, boneless, skinless chicken thighs?

    • Emma Christensen

      Yes, about the same cooking time! You can always check with an instant read thermometer to make sure they’re done — they should be 165F in the thickest part of the meat.

  2. Kristopher

    Awesome Post ! Thank you for sharing

  3. Joyce

    I’d never thought of adding lemon slices when poaching chicken. The light and lemony broth was delightful! Thank you!

  4. Dan Moore

    Goodness – NEVER let the water boil and NEVER let it simmer! Take the advice of the sous vide crowd:
    The water should be hot but never boil (we’re not making stock here; you don’t want the flavors leaching into the liquid!) – I have found that maintaining 170 degree poaching liquid on my sim burner turned to low and checked with a clip-on thermometer works best. Breasts are done when they reach 150. They are fully cooked, much juicier than the boiled type and far more flavorful. Of course, as the Sous Vide crowd also say, using bone-on with skin chicken pieces taste even better!

    • Emma Christensen

      Yup, sous vide is a great technique for folks that have an immersion circulator in their kitchens!

  5. Jo

    Thank you for this recipe/technique this will be very useful when sprouts has one of their great sales on chicken breasts. Over the weekend reading ny times recipes someone mentioned Julia Child’s technique to poach chicken with lemon & garlic now I don’t have to go research her method. Love the blog I always learn something new!

  6. Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    I love all the step by step photos- they are beautiful!

  7. Laura Brodbeck

    This is really helpful! I tend to bake chicken breasts when I need cooked chicken, but if I’m not careful, they can be dry. Can you start with frozen chicken and increase the cooking time, or is that a bad idea?

    • Vanessa

      Hi Laura. I actually poached chicken thighs that were still frozen once, and I would advise that you increase the cooking time by at least 45 minutes to an hour. I’d agree with Emma that you shouldn’t do it if possible, but I also understand if you need to poach at the last minute and use frozen chicken. Mine came out fine, but again, I cooked them for significantly longer than I would normally. And do check the temperature with a meat thermometer as well, to ensure the chicken is not still raw or not properly cooked. Good luck!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Laura! I’ve never tried cooking from frozen. My gut instinct is that the outside would overcook while the inside is still frozen/raw, plus there are some food safety concerns if the middle doesn’t cook within a certain time period. For best results and safety, I’d stick with thawing the chicken ahead of cooking.