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Poaching Chicken - any tips?


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Poaching Chicken - any tips?

dxs | | Mar 4, 2009 06:01 AM

Last night I was craving something comforting and bland (in a good way), so I decided to poach a chicken breast to use as one of the components of my meal. I brought some chicken stock (which had previously been slightly salted) to the boil, added an onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, reduced to a simmer, then added my chicken breast (whole), covered the pot and left it for 15 - 20 mins. When it was done I removed it and sliced it (width-wise, which I'm not sure was the best choice) and because I thought it looked a touch dry I covered it with a little of the poaching liquid while preparing the rest of the dish. In the end it was tasty and quite tender, but I thought it could have been better - more tender, more juicy, just somehow softer. Taste was fine - but texturally there was room for improvement.

After that long-winded intro, here's my question: does anyone out there know how I can try to achieve perfection, or near-perfection, when it comes to poaching a chicken breast? It seems kind of trivial in the grand scheme of things, but when you're eating something with subtle flavours and few ingredients, every component has to be as good as it can possibly be, no?