Home Cooking


Poaching a whole chicken


Home Cooking 27

Poaching a whole chicken

michaelnrdx | Apr 23, 2010 12:11 PM

I know that, when you poach chicken pieces, you submerge it entirely in liquid and then cook it below the simmer, but I'm thinking about poaching a whole chicken. I believe I've seen in a few places that you actually simmer the chicken for an hour or so. In your experience, does this actually work (i.e. produce a tender result)? I'm afraid that simmering (especially for a whole hour) will make the meat tough, but then again, this is a whole chicken, covered by skin, with no meat exposed to the boiling liquid.

Also, some people use stock as their poaching liquid, but since I'm poaching a whole chicken, I'd need A LOT of stock to completely cover it. I don't have that much stock, and I'm thinking of just throwing some aromatics (celery, leeks, onions, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, and fennel stalks) in the water. Is this good enough? I'm doubtful that with the skin on, the chicken will actually absorb a lot of flavor from the liquid, so stock may be a waste.

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