Monday, April 23, 2012

Poached Chicken Breasts...scrumptious and succulent!

This is a firm favourite for any time of year here. It yields a full flavoured, moist and succulent result, that you just don't get with baking or pan frying. Once you've tried chicken breast prepared this way, there's no turning back.

You need:

Approximately 1/2 skinless chicken breast per person.
NOTE: in the pre-prep process, I would poach 3-4 chicken breasts to last us the week
6 cups of stock or flavour infused water


One large saucepan or wok with a firm fitting lid
One large container with lid for storage

How to:

Bring your flavour infused water or stock to a slow boil. Ideas for flavours include commercial stock cubes, peppercorns and bay leaves, half commercial stock with half coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves and coriander (cilantro), white wine and vegetable stock.

Pop the skinless chicken breasts into the simmering stock and return to the boil. Put the lid on and switch OFF. This works best on an electric hotplate where the heat subsides slowly, but can still be achieved with gas by giving the water another heat blast after about ten minutes of resting. Rest the whole thing, lid on-no peeking, for about 25 minutes.

Check the chicken breasts by slicing one in half (you'll be slicing them for serving anyway). They should be moist and juicy and succulent. If they are still pinkish or raw in the thickest part, return to the stock and rest for a further 10 minutes, reheating the stock just a tad first. Dont' boil it or the chicken will become tough!

Store the breasts in the cooking liquid until ready to use. This keeps them juicy. These can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead of use.

To serve, carve across the breast diagonally into thick slices and arrange attractively on your serving platter.

I use these for shredded for sandwiches, wraps, burritos, in soup, in salads, in stir fry, tossed in potato flour or rice crumbs and flash fried in oil to replicate a sort of tempura chicken, in lunches and on brushcetta with home made salsa or pesto.

One breast fillet will usually feed three of us for a meal with other sides. If the chicken is the main part of the meal, then one half of a fillet will suffice, unless we're utterly starving.

So, a great economical dish.


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