How to Make Perfectly Poached Chicken Breasts

Poached chicken
The Spruce
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 people

Poached chicken breasts are succulent and tender, making them a great alternative to store-bought rotisserie chicken, which can sometimes be dry and high in sodium. Use poached chicken in your favorite soup recipes, in salads, burritos, or as a salad filling.


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  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth (fat-free and low-sodium, or water)
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Poached chicken ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover chicken with broth or water. Add herbs and bay leaf.

    Place poached chicken in pot with broth and seasoning
    The Spruce
  3. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to low so that the water is barely at a simmer.

  4. Partly cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

    Simmer chicken
    The Spruce
  5. Turn off the heat completely, and allow the chicken to remain in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Let chicken remain in water
    The Spruce 
  6. Slice or shred chicken.

    Slice or shred poached chicken
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!


  • When placing the chicken into the pot to boil, the chicken should fit snugly in a single layer.