Boiled chicken comes out tender and easy to shred. You can use chicken breasts or a whole chicken. Never boil a frozen chicken - you always have to thaw it first. If you want to know how to boil a chicken, read on for some handy tips.
You need to immerse the chicken in cold water, using either a crockpot or a big pot. Cover the pot and set it to a medium high heat. When the water begins to bubble, turn the heat down. Leave the chicken simmering until it is done. The water does not need to reach a full boil at any time. If it is simmering gently, that is enough to cook your chicken.
A whole chicken takes about an hour to cook; depending on how much meat, the chicken has on it. The internal temperature needs to be at least 160 degrees F and you can use a meat thermometer to check.
If you are using chicken breasts, you can place them in a medium saucepan and cover them with water. Bring them to the boil over a high heat then turn the heat down. Simmer the chicken breasts for eight to ten minutes then drain them. After eight minutes, remove one chicken breast and make a slit in it. If it is pink, it needs to cook longer. If it is white, it is done.
There are various boiled chicken recipes to choose from or you can make your own by adding various spices and herbs to the water. For a Chinese style boiled chicken, you can add ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and green onions to the pan. The chicken will absorb these flavors.
Poaching cooks a chicken gently and you do not have to add fat. Poaching is common for chicken breasts because it keeps them tender and juicy but you can also poach a whole chicken or any other chicken part.
The difference between boiled chicken and poached chicken is that boiled chicken is simmered and true poaching means the water is hot but not quite at a simmer. The two cooking methods are almost identical but different recipes use different cooking terms. As long as you keep the water temperature at, or just below, a simmer, your chicken will cook nicely.
If you want to poach boneless, skinless chicken breast, you can place them in a skillet with a couple of cupfuls of water or broth. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and cook covered for ten to fifteen minutes or until the chicken reaches 160 degrees F. When you poach chicken, it has to be completely covered in liquid.
You can also poach chicken in the oven by placing it in a roasting pan and adding peppercorns, lemon slices, and anything else you like. Bring four cups of water to the boil and pour them over the chicken right away. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for twenty to thirty five minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature is 160 degrees.