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How to Poach Chicken Breast

The easiest way to poach chicken breast so that it's juicy and perfectly cooked every time! In this simple tutorial, you'll learn exactly how to poach chicken breasts in just five easy steps. Use poached chicken in your favorite recipes after shredding or cubing it.

Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb, Lunch, Paleo, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword easy poached chicken breast, how to poach chicken, how to poach chicken breast, poached chicken breast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups cold water or chicken broth (plus more as-needed)
  • Salt
  • Optional: fresh garlic cloves and chopped onion


  1. Add your chicken breast to a large pot and pour over enough cold water or broth to cover the chicken. If you have two large chicken breasts, four cups should be enough (but add more as-needed).
  2. Heavily season the cold water with salt, and feel free to add chopped onion and garlic cloves if you’d like extra flavor.
  3. Turn the stove to medium heat to bring the water to a slight boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let the chicken simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes check your chicken breast with a meat thermometer to ensure that it has reached 165 degrees F. Turn it off the heat.
  5. Let the poached chicken rest in the water for a few minutes more so that it retains its moisture, then remove it and feel free to use it in your favorite recipes. Perfect for shredding!

Recipe Notes

To store: let the chicken breast cool completely and transfer it whole, shredded or cubed to an airtight container. Place the container in the fridge and use the chicken within 4-5 days.

To freeze: repeat the steps above but instead place your chicken in the freezer. Cooked chicken breast will stay good in the freezer for about 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold with salad recipes or heat it up in the microwave for warm recipes.