Simple Poached Chicken

A couple of months ago, Bryan was home early from work. We were sitting in front of the TV. Out of nowhere, we realized that we were watching The Queen Latifah Show. That probably freaked Bryan out (LOL!) When we were about to change the channel, Graham Elliot (famous chef and judge from Master Chef) popped out. We were shocked to see the new Graham Elliot. He has lost A LOT OF weight. (If you haven’t seen it, google him.) Amazing! It is very good for him. Then he went on to cook this poached chicken on the show. At first, I wasn’t sure whether we would like that or not. I rarely make chicken breasts, because they are always dry and tough. We never like them. But then, when Chef Elliot finished the dish, the chicken looked moist and tasty. Bryan and I both agreed that we wanted to give this a try.

I am glad we did. This poached chicken was good. The vegetables poaching liquid gave the chicken more flavors. The tasty reduced jus was intense and earthy. It is the secret weapon to keep the chicken breast very flavorful and moist. This dish has changed my mind how chicken breast doesn’t have to be dry all the time. I hope you will enjoy the dish too!

Simple Poached Chicken (Adapted from Graham Elliot vs. The Queen Latifah Show)

2 servings


–   2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8-ounce each) (remove all fat and save for jus)

Poaching Liquid:

–   ½ large yellow onion (cut in half)

–   1½ medium carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)

–   1½ celery stalks (cut into 1-inch pieces)

–   2 garlic cloves (peeled)

–   ½ lemon (sliced)

–   1 teaspoon kosher salt

–   1 teaspoon black peppercorns

–   3 fresh thyme sprigs


–   chicken fat

–   ½ large yellow onion (cut in three big chunks)

–   1½ medium carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)

–   1½ celery stalks (cut into 1-inch pieces)

–   4 fresh thyme sprigs

–   1 head garlic (cut in half crosswise)

–   3½ tablespoons dry white wine

–   1 cup low sodium chicken broth

–   kosher salt

–   ground black pepper


  1. For the jus, in a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the chicken fat, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, and garlic. Cook until everything is brown, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine all the poaching liquid ingredients. Cover with water until ½-inch above the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken breasts and return to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Cover with a lid and remove from heat. Poach until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 – 18 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Back to the jus, add the white wine, scraping with a wooden spoon to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth. Continue to simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain everything through a fine strainer. While straining, push some of the vegetable pulp through the strainer with a wooden spoon. Return to heat and reduce until about ½ cup. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from liquid immediately. Slice into ½-inch thick slices. Transfer the chicken slices and some poaching vegetables to serving plates. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of jus over the chicken. Serve immediately along the remaining jus.


  1. The jus is the secret of this recipe. It keeps the chicken moist, juicy and flavorful. It can’t be skipped.
  2. The original recipe serves the chicken with roasted potatoes. I made rice instead, which worked really well.

Simple Poached Chicken

Source: Read


12 thoughts on “Simple Poached Chicken

  1. I have never tried poaching chicken before too but it looks wonderful and sounds so moist and flavorful. Can’t wait to give this a try 🙂

    • Yea, I thought poached chicken was something fancy and hard to do. But it ended up to be something simple and easy. I am pretty happy with the result. Healthy and light.

  2. I only started poaching chicken last summer after seeing a technique on one of the Cook’s Illustrated cooking shows. It worked really well, was easy, and I enjoyed having poached chicken in the fridge to top my salads and anything with! I have been doing it on and off but it doesn’t involve any flavorings. I really like the sound of the broth and veggies, etc. and then being able to use the juice and the veggies as part of the meal. So healthy!

    • The broth definitely helps to flavor the chicken breast. You should try that. The original recipe never suggests to eat the veggies in the broth. But I didn’t want to waste anything. Since they are all still good, we shouldn’t throw them away, right? 🙂

  3. My husband and I almost never used chicken breast until recent years too, because dark meat has more flavor and we didn’t like the dry chicken breasts. However, I had to use chicken breast for my recipe, and bought organic one and surprisingly it was so moist! Normally I like to make chicken katsu with thighs but tried breasts for baked chicken katsu and we were in shock! I would love to porch chicken one day. It sounds amazing!

    • Totally agree! I hate dry chicken! I am glad the chicken breasts wasn’t dry in this recipe. But I will try organic chicken breasts next time. Thanks for the tips, Nami!

    • When I first saw the chicken breasts on the TV show, I was a little worried. But I trust chef Graham Elliot. Since he loves to eat, I had to believe this chicken must be moist and flavorful. I am glad I tried. Hope you will like it too!

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