How to Boil Chicken to Tender Juicy Perfection

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Table of contents

  1. Empty
  2. The Best Way to Boil Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide
  3. Boiling vs Poaching: What's the Difference?
  4. Final Thoughts

Empty

{"blocks":[{"key":"7akl7","text":"Whether you're making a quick and easy chicken noodle soup or baked chicken and rice chimichangas, the best and fastest way to prepare the chicken is to boil it. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":162,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":162,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":162,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":162,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"eg3v3","text":"This post discusses how to boil chicken easily and efficiently so you can use it in your next dinner meal or party.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":115,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":115,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":115,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":115,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

The Best Way to Boil Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide

{"blocks":[{"key":"arh80","text":"Boiling chicken is as straightforward and easy as it sounds. No expertise or experience is needed; even beginner chefs can easily pull it off without much effort. Let's start with the ingredients list: ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":202,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":202,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":202,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":202,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3ptj3","text":"Ingredients You Need ","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":21,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":21,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":21,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":21,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"dlhme","text":"1 whole chicken or 4 boneless chicken breasts","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":45,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":45,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":45,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":45,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"e9dc6","text":"4 cups water or chicken broth ","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":31,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":31,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":31,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":31,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"e022u","text":"1 onion, halved ","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":16,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":16,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":16,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":16,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"6gvl7","text":"3 carrots, cut into chunks (optional) ","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":38,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":38,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":38,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":38,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"a9hfm","text":"2 stalks celery, cut into chunks (optional) ","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":44,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":44,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":44,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":44,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"9kair","text":"Fresh herbs (optional)","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":22,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":22,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":22,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":22,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"9r98","text":"Salt and pepper to taste","type":"unordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"i8s7","text":"Step 1: Prepare Your Pot","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":24,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"5ndp","text":"To guarantee equal cooking, use a heavy-bottomed pot when boiling your chicken. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":80,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":80,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":80,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":80,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"atb97","text":"It should be deep enough to sit your chicken flat on the bottom of the pot. If you're using chicken breasts, make sure they aren’t stacked on top of each other and fit quite tightly in the pot. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"4g0df","text":"Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, and any other spice you wish to use on one side of the raw chicken. Then, place the chicken side down in the heavy-bottomed pot and do the same to the other side.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":196,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":196,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":196,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":196,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"cjmi4","text":"Step 2: Choose Your Prefered Liquid ","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":36,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":36,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":36,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":36,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"34p59","text":"There are several types of liquids in which you can boil your chicken. If you're in a hurry, you can simply use water or chicken broth. But if you truly want your dish to pack a flavorful punch, use apple cider, dry white wine, or a combination of both. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"8nbs2","text":"If you're using an entire chicken, four cups of liquid should suffice. The same is said if you're using four boneless chicken breasts. The liquid should be about half an inch above the chicken.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":193,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":193,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":193,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":193,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"286g7","text":"Step 3: Vegetables and Spices Are Your Best Friends ","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":52,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":52,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":52,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":52,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"eqdpi","text":"Add more flavor to the chicken by adding onion wedges, garlic cloves, celery pieces, and carrots. Some people prefer keeping all the vegetables unpeeled as the peels are packed in all kinds of beneficial nutrients. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"7nsl3","text":"Fresh herbs and spices contribute to the flavor, too. Thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, and sage are some of the most popular options due to their universal nature. These herbs add a unique piquancy to the dish and make the chicken taste complex and delicious.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":268,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":268,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":268,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":268,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"cu1r","text":"Keep in mind that these extra flavors are optional and depend on your personal taste. If you're not a big fan of broth with spices, simply boil your chicken in plain water with salt and pepper. The choice is yours! ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":215,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"6m8ii","text":"Step 4: Boil the Chicken ","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":25,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":25,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":25,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":25,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"670fe","text":"The easiest step in boiling chicken is, well, boiling the chicken! Once you have the chicken, liquid, and vegetables in the pot, bring the water to a boil then to a steady simmer. The pot must be covered at all times. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":218,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":218,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":218,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":218,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"6mnau","text":"If you're cooking a whole chicken, it shouldn't take any more than 90 minutes to fully cook it. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts take about 10–15 minutes. Bone-in chicken breasts take about 30. If you're boiling frozen chicken, it might take an additional 15–20 minutes. It all depends on how big and thick your chicken is. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":326,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":326,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":326,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":326,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"ee6v3","text":"Once the time is up, test your chicken by inserting a thermometer inside its thickest part. Wait about 30 seconds or until the reader becomes steady. When it reads 165°F, your chicken is cooked. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":195,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":195,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":195,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":195,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"8srjm","text":"If you don't have a thermometer, you can always manually check the chicken by removing a small piece from the pot and tasting it or poking the chicken with a fork. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":164,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":164,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":164,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":164,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"c20v5","text":"If the fork easily goes through, you can now take the chicken off the stove. If the chicken needs more time, make sure to check every five minutes or so until it’s fully cooked. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"bro1l","text":"Don't overcook the chicken as it might result in a less-than-perfect dish. The chicken might either become too tough or too tender, so much so that it'll collapse when you take a bite. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"alcin","text":"Step 5: Enjoy! ","type":"header-three","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":15,"style":"color-rgb(67,67,67)"},{"offset":0,"length":15,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":15,"style":"fontsize-14pt"},{"offset":0,"length":15,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"f9ut9","text":"Boiled chicken cooked to perfection is tender, juicy, and deliciously mouthwatering. The broth can be used in a variety of applications, so don't throw it away! If you're not planning to use it now, store it in your refrigerator until it’s ready to use. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":254,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"9lbs1","text":"You can eat boiled chicken plain, with ketchup or mustard, or with roasted vegetables. You can also shred, cut, or dice your chicken and use it for chimichangas, chicken salad, or chicken tacos.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":194,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Boiling vs Poaching: What's the Difference?

{"blocks":[{"key":"entdf","text":"Boiling and poaching are often used interchangeably because they share the same moist-heat cooking techniques. However, they're two completely different cooking methods. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":170,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":170,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":170,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":170,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"23lbq","text":"Boiling occurs when the liquid's temperature exceeds 212°F, while poaching occurs anywhere between 60–180°F. Compared to boiling, poaching is a much gentler approach to cooking chicken. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"f9fmb","text":"According to Chef Darin Sehnert, poached chicken is better suited for proteins because it's less likely to overcook and toughen the meat, therefore making it his preferred method to moist-cook chicken.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":201,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":201,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":201,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":201,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3sd8v","text":"In this method, you need to boil the liquid first before adding the chicken. The liquid must be flavorful so it'll infuse its aroma in the chicken as it soaks. Use vegetables, spices, or fresh herbs—don't be afraid to experiment with the flavors! You can also add white wine or lemon juice to round out the flavors of the liquid. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":330,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":330,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":330,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":330,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"761td","text":"Once you have your liquid prepared, leave it to simmer for 10–15 minutes. As soon as the water boils, turn the stove off. Then, place the chicken into the pot and cover it with a lid. Let the pot sit for about 10-20 minutes off of the heat. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":241,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":241,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":241,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":241,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"e2u9h","text":"That's it! You've now poached your chicken.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":43,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":43,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":43,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":43,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Final Thoughts

{"blocks":[{"key":"746s1","text":"If you want to cook chicken in the easiest and fastest way possible, boiling chicken is the way to go. Not only does it result in a tender, juicy chicken, but it's the simplest way to use freshly cooked chicken for recipes that call for it. Good luck and enjoy! ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":262,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":262,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":262,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":262,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}