Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts

Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2 pounds (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
566 Calories
31g Fat
5g Carbs
63g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 pounds (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 566
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 919mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 63g
Calcium 66mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When a recipe calls for cooked chicken or turkey, it's great to have leftovers on hand. But when you don't, it's easy enough to poach turkey or chicken to use. Poaching yields a tender texture and moist chicken or turkey. Use this cooked poultry in sandwiches, salads, chili, pot pie and more. Be sure to strain the flavorful cooking liquid and save it to use any time a recipe calls for chicken stock or broth–it can be frozen in a zip-top bag or a freezer-safe container. In fact, this recipe is particularly useful for making pot pie: poach the chicken in the broth, then use the flavorful broth to make the gravy for the pot pie.

You can also enrich the flavor of your chicken and broth by adding other ingredients you may have on hand. A few sprigs of thyme, some lemon wedges or some whole peppercorns would add freshness and complexity. Or, consider sliced ginger, scallions, a piece of kombu seaweed and a splash of soy sauce in the broth to give the chicken a more Asian flavor profile. 


  • 2 pounds chicken or turkey breast (boneless, skinless, and trimmed of excess fat)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 2 stalks celery (cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces)
  • 4 cups/32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Place the chicken or turkey breast in a single layer in a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Add the onion and celery, then pour stock over the vegetables and poultry.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Submerge the bay leaf in the stock.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until internal temperature of meat is 165 F.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
    The Spruce 
  6. Remove from heat, remove the poultry with tongs and strain stock into a bowl.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy with your favorite gravy.

    Poached Chicken or Turkey Breasts Recipe
     The Spruce