Raw chicken breasts on a plate with various aromatics around.

How to Poach Chicken Breasts Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Optionally add additional ingredients to the water for flavoring. I like to add 8-10 peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic, smashed, and a handful of fresh parsley.


Units Scale
  • 4 (7-8 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups cold water, or more if needed
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Put the chicken in a skillet large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  2. Add the water and sprinkle the salt on top. (If the water doesn’t cover the chicken add more until it does.) Add any additional flavorings.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.
  4. Turn the breasts over, then cover the skillet and remove it from the heat.
  5. Let the chicken sit in the hot water until the internal temperature is 150°F, about 10 minutes. (The time will vary depending on the size of the breasts.)
  6. Take the chicken out of the water and let it rest at least 5 minutes before slicing or serving.

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