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How to Poach Frozen Chicken Breasts

Want juicy, tender, tasty and perfectly cooked frozen chicken breasts for chicken salad or other dishes but all you have are frozen chicken breasts? No problem! Once you know how to poach frozen chicken breasts, you’ll be on your way to the best recipes out there!

An image of easy rotisserie chicken salad sandwich on a croissant with the chicken salad falling out the sides and lettuce poking out under the chicken salad
Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad on a toasted Croissant!

Can You Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen?

You betcha, you can! You’ll be cooking away in just minutes once you know how to poach frozen chicken breasts!

Poaching is a terrific way to cook chicken breasts. You’ll have lots of potential uses for your chicken and you’ll be sure to have flavorful tender breast meat. All wins!

Sometimes chicken breast can be tough and it is easy to overcook. Poaching helps eliminate those problems because you are cooking low, slow and adding flavor through the water.

Is Poaching Chicken the Same as Boiling?

No, it isn’t. Poaching and boiling are in the same cooking family but poaching happens at a much lower temperature and is slower.

Poaching cooks the chicken in warm water while boiling bubbles away at a hotter temp.

If you use a boiling water, you’ll find that the outer layer of the meat is likely to become dry and chewy while the inside may not even get done.

What Can I Make With Poached Chicken

So MANY yummy dishes can be made with poached chicken, here’s a few (simply substitute in the poached chicken):

How to Get MORE FLAVOR Out of Your Poached Chicken

Everyone loves a flavorful piece of tender chicken. Everyone HATES flavorless tasteless bites of chicken that grow in your mouth!

I’ll show you how to get TONS of flavor from your poached chicken if you follow the recipe and the tips and tricks for poached chicken below!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Chicken – I mean, of course, that is what you are poaching!
  • Water – or stock, depending on the flavor you are going for
  • Spices – or other flavoring agents. This is how you add a ton of flavor to your poached chicken!
  • Stock pot – A large enough pan to hold your chicken and cover it well while allowing the hot water to circulate around your chicken.

How to Poach Frozen Chicken Breasts Step by Step

  1. Add cool water to your saucepan.
  2. Add the frozen chicken to the saucepan.
  3. Place the herbs and spices into the water. Don’t forget the salt.
  4. Set the burner on medium low and place the lid on the pan.
  5. Watch the pan carefully and check the temperature regularly. Remove from the heat when the pan water is at 150.
  6. Adjust the heat and keep the water at 150 for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Replace the lid, turn the heat off and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are the best spices to poach with?

We prefer salt, pepper and a green flavor like parsley. Add a touch of garlic for pure heaven.

What cut of chicken should I use?

For this recipe, I’m using breast meat, but any cut of chicken will work. You can even poach and entire hen. You’ll have to simmer for much longer with bone in cuts of meat.

What internal temperature do you cook to?

If you are poaching boneless skinless breasts, the meat can come to 150. In general, you want chicken to come to 160.

Tips and Tricks

  • Start with cool water. This allows the entire piece of chicken to warm with the water cooking it throughout instead of just the outside.
  • Use spices to flavor your meat while it is poaching. If you have never done this before, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley are a great start.
  • Once you’ve give this a go a time or two, try some thyme, rosemary, lemon or other herbs and spices.
  • Use a sauce pan that is large enough to allow the water to circulate around the piece of meat well.
  • Do not allow the water to boil. Boiling water will cook the outside of the chicken but not the inside leaving you with chewy outside and not done inside.
  • Salt the water more than you think you need. This gives the chicken it’s flavor and once it’s cooked, it is difficult to add salt to the end product and have it taste right.

Watch How to Poach Chicken

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How to Poach Frozen Chicken

Want soft tasty and perfectly cooked chicken breasts for chicken salad or other dishes but all you have are frozen chicken breasts? No problem! Once you know how to poach frozen chicken breasts, you'll be on your way to the best recipes out there!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to poach frozen chicken breasts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
resting time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder optional
  • 1 tsp onion powder optional
  • 1 tsp dried thyme optional
  • 1 chicken breast boneless, skinless

Instructions

  • Add water, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme to a medium sized sauce pan and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat to a temp of 100 degrees and then turn the heat off. Place the frozen chicken breast into the water and place a lid over the pan. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, turn the burner to low heat and gradually heat the water to 150 degrees. When the water reaches 150, turn the heat off again and allow to sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the chicken will be done and you can remove from the water to use for your recipe.

Notes

  • Start with cool water. This allows the entire piece of chicken to warm with the water cooking it throughout instead of just the outside.
  • Use spices to flavor your meat while it is poaching. If you have never done this before, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley are a great start.
  • Once you’ve give this a go a time or two, try some thyme, rosemary, lemon or other herbs and spices.
  • Use a sauce pan that is large enough to allow the water to circulate around the piece of meat well.
  • Do not allow the water to boil. Boiling water will cook the outside of the chicken but not the inside leaving you with chewy outside and not done inside.
  • Salt the water more than you think you need. This gives the chicken it’s flavor and once it’s cooked, it is difficult to add salt to the end product and have it taste right.
PRO TIP: To really kick up the flavor, use chicken broth instead of water or use a bouillon cube instead of the salt.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Poach Frozen Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 breast)
Calories 277 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 4988mg208%
Potassium 901mg26%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 106IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 86mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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A VERSE TO SHARE

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

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