Your poaching liquid can be as simple as plain water. Admittedly, this doesn't add flavour, but your chicken will be succulent and tender, and perfect to use as a base for a number of recipes that call for cooked chicken.
Still, adding flavour can turn ordinary chicken into something quite extraordinary. Your poaching liquid can be pretty much anything from chicken stock, beef stock, white wine, water infused with fresh or dried herbs and chopped vegetables, fruit juices or light coconut milk.
How to Make Poached Chicken BreastsThe keys to poaching are: the size of the pan, the volume of liquid and the cooking temperature.
- Place the chicken breasts in a pot that's just about large enough to fit them in one layer.
- Add your chosen poaching liquid so that it completely covers the chicken by at least a half inch to an inch.
- After bringing the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer so that only an occasional bubble breaks the surface. At this point, partly cover the pot, cook for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, leaving the chicken to finish cooking in the hot water for 10-15 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken, then enjoy it warm or refrigerate it for later use. Slice or shred your poached chicken depending on what you want to use it for.