Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Poach a Chicken

Poaching is the process of gently simmering food in liquid.  Chicken is a great item to poach, especially if you need cooked chicken for another dish you are making. 

You can poach your chicken let it cool and then shred  it, cube it, or cut in to pieces easily and then use in various recipes.

When whole chickens are on sale I often use this method instead of roasting it.  You can also poach pieces rather than a whole chicken as well.  Remember, once the chicken is cooked you can freeze portions of it to have on hand for future dishes.

Here's a step by step on how to poach a chicken.  I used a whole chicken so vary the quantity and size of things if you are poaching pieces.

Remove the chicken from the packaging and toss any inner parts away.  Wash and rinse your chicken.

Get a large enough pan or pot to cover the entire chicken.

Place the chicken on the pot along with some carrots, celery, and onion.  Whatever you have on hand will do, we just need to add some seasoning.  (no need to peel the carrot, just toss it in)Cover with water.

Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 55 min for a whole chicken.  Probably about 35 minutes for pieces, breasts, thighs, etc.

Once the chicken is done pull it from the pot and let it rest on a cutting board until it is cool enough to handle.

Cut off the wings, legs and thighs, shred or cut/cube meat if you would like.  Then cut the back bone and cut off the breasts.  I shredded all the meat separating the dark meat from the white meat to use in various dishes.

It's as simple as that and this technique leaves you with endless possibilities!

How about chicken soup?
or enchiladas?
or a chicken casserole?
tacos anyone?

I'll post a recipe for my favorite chicken enchiladas tomorrow.
Stay tuned....and POACH A CHICKEN!

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