How To: Poach Chicken

I have been poaching chicken for as long as I can remember. It is one of the first things that I learned how to do in the kitchen, and it is such a useful skill to have that I still use it at least once a week. I love to use herbes de Provence, rosemary also works well, but you can use whatever dried herbs you have on hand. Poaching is the process of cooking something at a temperature just below simmering by submerging it in liquid. Usually this liquid is flavored. Poaching chicken makes it moist and flavorful whereas boiling would make it tough. The key to poaching is making sure that your liquid is hot enough to cook the chicken while not too hot to make it tough. Ideal poaching temperature is 160-180ºF. Most poach chicken on the stovetop but I prefer poaching chicken in the oven. I am not sure where or who I learned this method from, but it works every time!

Makes: 2-4 servings

Preparation time: 15m
Cooking time: 15m
Total time: 45m


Equipment: A casserole dish that is deep enough to hold the chicken breasts in a single layer with 1 inch of space above them.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
  2. Place the raw chicken into the casserole dish in a single layer. Pour enough chicken stock to cover the chicken by a half inch.
  3. Add the bay leaves and herbes de Provence.
  4. Cover and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the casserole from the oven, uncover and let the chicken cool in the stock for 10 more minutes. Take one of the chicken breasts out cut it open to make sure it is cooked through. Then you can either slice, chop or dice the chicken and use it as desired. I like to pull it apart with two forks and use it in enchiladas, or chop it up for chicken salad.