How To Boil Chicken The Best Way To Boil Chicken 2021

How To Boil Chicken The Best Way To Boil Chicken 2021

Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins out there. You can season it in endless ways and add it to just about anything for a boost of protein. Making boiled chicken (aka poached chicken) is a simple way to get cooked chicken to add to recipes.

This is the method our Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen pros swear by when someone asks how to boil chicken so you can easily add the family-favorite protein to your meals.

How to boil chicken is much less complicated than boiling eggs. For those who know how tricky cooking perfectly hard-boiled eggs can get, the opening statement should be an assurance that even new cooks can learn the right way.

Learning how to boil chicken is a nice first step either towards simply enjoying a fat-free meat meal or a more elaborate recipe. Boiled chicken is used in many different recipes including salads and noodle dishes and even pasta.

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How To Boil Chicken The Best Way To Boil Chicken 2021

Basically, chicken is boiled beforehand to make it easier to shred. For salads, which are uncooked most of the time, boiling chicken prior to mixing is essential because you cannot eat it raw.

Although how to boil chicken is a much simpler task, you must remember a few things to ensure you are on the right track.

Tip#1: Never boil the chicken or any meat for that matter that is frozen without thawing it first. The process of thawing can be done in two ways: by placing your chicken in a platter and inside a refrigerator and by placing your chicken in a plastic bag and then onto a bowl of cold water.

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How To Boil Chiicken The Best Way To Boil Chicken 2021

Tip #2: Place the chicken in a pot with water. Make sure that the amount of water you put in is enough to cover the meat.

Tip #3: Mind about the cooking time. You can boil a whole chicken, deboned meat, or just chicken breasts. That’s depending on your requirement and the recipe you intend to use the chicken for.

Make sure, though, that you know the cooking time is according to the size or the amount of meat you are boiling. A whole chicken naturally cooks for about an hour, depending on the size and the amount of meat on it.

One way to check if your chicken is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The inside temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit before you turn the heat off.

The other way of checking if the chicken is cooked is by making an incision on the meat. Your chicken is cooked if the meat is no longer pink.

Tip #4: Make sure that the chicken you buy is fresh. This is the most basic yet most important detail that anyone must not leave out. The fresh chicken will make it into a perfect boil no matter how inexperienced you are around the kitchen.

How To Boil Chicken The Best Way To Boil Chicken 2021

That’s because how to boil chicken is a pretty easy task. If you get your meat fresh, you can store it in the freezer and use it after a few days without making any difference in its freshness.

It’s a different story altogether when you are dealing with aged meat that was kept lying for hours without freezing.

1. Pick your liquid. 

Sure, you could boil your chicken in water but that seems kind of boring, right? Boil your chicken in chicken stock is how to instantly up the flavour. 

2. Season it. 

Place your chicken breasts in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and add enough liquid to cover the chicken. Season your liquid well with salt and pepper — this is very crucial. It’s really no different than boiling a pot of pasta. If you have some carrots, onions, or fresh herbs you can add them to the pot as well. All of your flavour is going to come from what you put in the pot so the more the merrier. 

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3. Bring it to a boil. 

Once you have all of your flavours added, bring your water to a boil. Cover the pot and lower the heat slightly so it stays at a pretty rapid simmer. Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, they should simmer for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove one piece from the pot and check. The internal temperature should be 75°C. If they need more time check every 5 minutes. Don’t let them overcook or they will become rubbery. 

4. Shred it up. 

After removing your chicken from the pot let it rest for about 10 minutes. This will make them cool enough to shred and help keep some of the moisture in so that they don’t dry out. Use two forks to shred your chicken or slice it up.

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How To Boil Chicken
How To Boil Chicken


  • boneless skinless chicken breasts1 l 
  • low-sodium chicken stock (or water)
  • salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add chicken. Pour stock over chicken to cover and season generously with salt and pepper. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let rest 10 minutes. 
  3. Shred chicken with two forks and use as desired. 

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