Technique: Poaching


Cooking method where food is immersed in hot water or other flavored liquid, such as stock. Oil is also used for some poaching techniques. Poaching is a common way of cooking naturally tender cuts like eggs, fruit, vegetables and fish. When poaching it is important to keep the water from boiling as the turbulance that creates will tear apart more delicate foods.
Professional chefs use two related but distinctly different poaching methods:shallow and deep poaching.
Shallow poaching is used for delicate and naturally tender cuts of meats, fish, vegetables. Shallow poaching is commonly done in a shallow pan (sauteuse) and requires a cover to retain the heat.Commonly the cover is a parchment circle cut to fit the pan called a cartouche. In shallow poaching technique the items cooked are partially submerged in the cooking liquid. the liquid that results from the cooking (called cuisson) is highly flavorful and frequently used to make a finished sauce. A classic example is shallow poached sole vin blanc.
Deep poaching is accomplished at varying temperature ranges depending on the items being cooked and their size. Temperatures range from a starting point of 140F to about 210F. Food cooked above this range fall into the boiling category. Commonly foods are deep poached at/around 160-180F. Deep poached technique varies from shallow poached in that the foods cooked are fully submerged in the cooking liquid at all times. The cooking liquid is commonly a court bouillon that is acidified and salted; the cooking liquid is not generally used after cooking is complete.


Other names: Poach, Poached
Translations: Malumedniecību, Brakonieriavimas, Braconaj, Lovokrađa, Săn bắn trộm, Kłusownictwo, Stroperij, अवैध शिकार, A caça furtiva, Браконьерство, Λαθροθηρία, الصيد الجائر, 밀렵, Pytláctví, Ловокрађа, 偷猎, Caça furtiva, Divji lov, Pytliactva, Bracconaggio, שליקה, Tjuvfiske, Perburuan, 密猟, Braconnage, Wilderei, Krybskytteri, Krypskyting, Caza furtiva, Браконьєрство, Salametsästys, Бракониерството



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Curt's picture

Best way ever to poach chicken breasts

History: I had a Japanese Sous Chef whose father was the chef for the Emperor of Japan so Take grew up in a kitchen his whole life. He was over 50 at the time he was my Sous Chef...more than 20 years ago. He had a better way to do EVERYTHING. I learned more things from Take than any other cook or chef I have ever worked for.

Fill a pot or pan (with lid) with enough water to cover chicken breasts...add 2 bay leaves & pepper corns (6) and rough cut 2 celery ribs, 1 medium sized carrot & 1/2 onion. Place breasts into the solution and turn heat on high. Just as the solution begins to the lid on and remove from heat. Let sit off heat/covered for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and chill (or serve warm). They will be moist and tender.

Michelle Tancioco's picture


Poaching cooks a bird gently without adding fat, and it gives you very juicy and tender meat. Although poaching is a common cooking method for breasts (which are most likely to dry out using other methods) you can poach any chicken part - even a whole chicken.

Things You'll Need:

* chopped onions
* salt
* whole or cut chicken
* chopped celery
* chopped carrots
* chicken broths
* 1 tsp black peppercorns
* Chicken Broths
* Salt
* Whole Or Cut Chicken
* Salt
* Salt
* Salt
* chopped onions
* chopped carrots
* chopped celery
* 1 tsp black peppercorns

1. Assess the size of the chicken or chicken pieces. Chicken needs to poach completely covered in liquid, so the amount of liquid depends on how much chicken there is.

2. Boil enough water or chicken broth to cover the chicken.

3. For every quart of liquid, add about 1 cup each chopped onion, carrot and celery.

4. Add the peppercorns.

5. Season the liquid very lightly with salt.

6. Lower the heat so the liquid is just below a simmer. The surface should shimmer. When checked with a food thermometer, the temperature should be about 190 degrees.

7. Add the chicken or chicken pieces.

8. Make sure everything is submerged. Weigh down with a plate if necessary.

9. Cook only until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes for chicken pieces and 45 minutes to an hour for a whole chicken. Test to make sure the meat is completely cooked through before removing.

Read more: How to Poach Chicken |

Poaching is sometimes the secret tip in some roasted chicken recipes. Try poaching a whole chicken (skin on) for three to four hours, then drying it off completely and roasting it in the hottest oven you can manage to crisp the skin.

Read more: How to Poach Chicken |

Grizzley Stuart's picture

Um, not sure if you meant to say "try poaching whole chicken for 3 to 4 hours" before baking. Most pre-bake poaches are done in 45min - 1 hour.

Larisa's picture

I have to try this

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