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How To Poach Chicken Breasts

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What You Need Ingredients 1 to 4 skinless chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless) 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt Aromatics: smashed garlic, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, sliced ginger, fresh herbs, thinly sliced onions, or any other flavorings 1 cup dry white wine (optional) Equipment 2 to 4-quart sauce saucepan with lid, large enough to hold the chicken breasts in a single layer Instant-read thermometer Cutting board Knife Instructions Place the chicken and aromatics in a saucepan or pot. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the bottom of the saucepan or pot large enough for them to sit mostly in a single layer. (It's fine if they overlap a little.) Sprinkle the salt and aromatics over chicken. Cover the chicken with water. If using wine, pour this over the chicken first. Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You'll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the water comes to a boil — if you'll be using the poaching liquid for a soup or other recipe, you can skim this off; otherwise, it's fine to leave it. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. Begin checking the chicken after 8 minutes: it is done when opaque through the middle and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. Chicken will typically finish cooking in 10 to 14 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it is has a bone. Remove from the poaching liquid. Transfer the chicken from the poaching liquid to a plate or clean cutting board. Serve or store the chicken. Poached chicken can be served hot, room temperature, or cool. It can also be served whole, or it can be sliced or shredded as per your recipe. If you cooked your chicken with the bones, you can pull or cut away the bones, return them to the pot with the poaching liquid, and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Once strained, this is a quick chicken broth that can be used for soups or rice. Recipe Notes Storage: Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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