Chicken is a versatile meat. It can be boiled, baked, broiled, grilled and fried. Although these are effective and common cooking methods, some of them might cause a loss in nutrients. Poaching chicken is one of the healthiest ways to prepare it. It allows chicken to be seasoned and cooked until very tender. Learn how to poach chicken properly for more flavorful, succulent and nutritious meat.
Benefits of Poaching Chicken
Poaching is a great way to prepare chicken because it preserves most of the meat’s nutrients. Instead of boiling out vitamins and minerals, poaching allows chicken to simmer gently in liquid. Many cooks prefer poached chicken because it tends to be softer and more succulent than when it’s cooked in other ways. Another benefit is that the chicken turns out much tastier because it takes in the seasoning or flavor of the liquid it is cooked in.
Health Benefits of Poached Chicken
Chicken is a protein-rich meat that is healthy for muscle strength, conditioning and agility. When poached, chicken is also high in B vitamins. Different B vitamins perform unique functions, such as boosting metabolism, increasing production of red cells and backing the immune system.
Poached chicken contains valuable minerals as well. Phosphorus, potassium and selenium are naturally occurring in chicken. When ingested, they are used by the body to protect your heart from cardiovascular disease, prevent cell damage and promote healthy teeth, nails and bones.
How to Poach Chicken
- 1 pound skinless chicken pieces preferably breasts
- 3 to 4 cups water as needed
- 2 teaspoons of your choice of spices and herbs
- Add about water into a cooking pot. Bring to a boil and turn down heat until the liquid starts to simmer gently.
- Place the chicken pieces in the pan without overcrowding them. Make sure they are fully covered in your cooking liquid. Add spices and herbs.
- Cover partially with a lid and cook until the meat is soft and loses its pink color. If the chicken is still oozing blood, cook further until done. Serve with the broth.
How to Poach Chicken Tips and Tricks
Achieving the right temperature for poaching can be challenging. It is therefore advisable that you start by boiling and gradually reduce heat until water comes to a gentle simmer. In addition to using broth for flavor, you can add onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary and other herbs for a fuller taste.
Chicken has to be completely covered by water while cooking. Uncovered chicken parts will become dry and tasteless. Allow each chicken piece to have its own space. Cook in batches if necessary.
Poaching is a great cooking technique that produces healthy, tender and well-seasoned chicken. Use stock or broth as a cooking liquid and add a variety of spices, herbs and even vegetables for flavor. Serve chicken with salads, sticky rice, Spanish rice, soups, lean burgers, sandwiches and pasta dishes.