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Bob (this one)
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Default poaching chicken

Dave W. wrote:
> In article >,
> "Bob (this one)" > wrote:
>>Michael "Dog3" Lonergan wrote:
>>>biig > looking for trouble
>>>> I have a couple of boneless and skinless chicken breasts I'm going to
>>>>poach for salad or sandwiches. Would you season the liquid or wait and
>>>>season the finished chicken. I thought I'd use chicken broth for the
>>>Chicken broth is a good idea. Something I had not thought of. I don't
>>>poach chicken too often but if memory serves, I season the broth (onion,
>>>carrot, celery, garlic... whatever you like) and poach the chicken in it
>>>later. You can always reseason the breasts after poaching.

>>And the broth is enriched by the cooking. I buy big packages of
>>boneless, skinless thighs and poach them. Pop them in the fridge as
>>snacks, to use in other dishes and generally have available. Last about
>>a week that way. The broth becomes a wonderful soup base into which I
>>cheerfully fling all manner of goodies for different dishes - egg drops,
>>sliced chicken, veggie stuff, pastas and rices, cheeses and creams...

> So when you poach in broth, I take it you only do it long enough to cook
> the chicken. How long might that be? Or, how do you know how long to
> simmer the chicken?

I pick up pieces and squeeze them. When they've lost their jelly-like
feel, they're done. Takes about 10 minutes to do boneless thighs, or a
bit more if you load up the poaching liquid. But you're not simmering
them for a protracted time. You're bringing the flesh up to about 160F
so it's just cooked. If squeezing isn't what you want to do, pull out a
piece, lay it on a plate and cut a slice into it to see what the center
of the meat looks like. It should be moist and shiny with the tiniest
bit of pinkness in the liquid. Residual heat will finish cooking it.

Some amount of fat will come out of the chicken, and, if you do 36 or 40
pieces at a time, some small amount of gelatin will also be rendered;
enough to add a little body to the broth.

> I ask cause it seems to me that if you simmered the chicken long enough
> it would lose most of its flavor ... like chicken does when I make
> broth. Or maybe this isn't an issue since you are using a relatively
> small amount of water?

You're making it too complicated. Bring a fluid to a simmer (about
190F) drop pieces of chicken in and stir once every two minutes of so.
Test after about 8 minutes to see how far along you've come. The amount
of liquid is irrelevant. 10 or 12 minutes in 1000 gallons of simmering
water will give you the same finished result with the chicken.