I’ve lots of recipes in my common rotation that use only a small quantity of shredded or sliced cooked hen, like my go-to lunch salad, these BBQ burrito bowls, and any variety of fast weeknight soups.
If I’ve some leftover hen within the fridge, I exploit that for these straightforward meals. Otherwise, I exploit this poaching technique to rapidly cook dinner just a few hen breasts after I want them!
When you need silky, tender hen with out lots of fuss or fanfare, poaching is the best way to go. The hen cooks gently, retaining rather more moisture than with different cooking strategies. Adding herbs and different seasonings to the poaching liquid additionally helps season the hen because it cooks — and also you’re left with a tasty broth on the finish!
My technique could be very easy and simple: Just cowl the hen with about an inch of water and produce it to a boil. Lower the warmth till the water is simmering, cowl the pot, and let the hen cook dinner. That’s it!
Thinner hen breast cutlets are prepared in about eight minutes, whereas bigger, complete hen breasts can take as much as fifteen minutes. Just verify continuously towards the top of cooking both by checking the inner temperature with a thermometer or slicing into the hen to verify it’s cooked via, and proceed to cook dinner till its carried out.
I exploit this technique most continuously for cooking hen breasts, however it’s also possible to use it for cooking hen thighs in the event you favor. Cook as many breasts (or thighs) directly as you want. They cook dinner greatest when in a single layer, so use a pan sufficiently big to carry every thing.
For seasoning the poaching liquid throughout cooking, I most continuously use peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon slices, and garlic. You may additionally consider using sliced ginger, sliced scallions, recent rosemary or thyme, or orange slices.
Use the hen meat immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate for as much as 5 days. You may freeze the cooked hen for as much as three months. I like to recommend shredding or slicing the hen earlier than to freezing.
And don’t throw away the cooking liquid! This technique will make a lightly-flavored hen broth, which you need to use rather than hen broth for different recipes or because the cooking liquid for rice and different grains. You may sip all of it by itself!
Recipe Conversion Hints!
One 12-ounce hen breast will weigh about eight ounces after poaching.
This quantity of meat gives you about 2 cups of shredded hen when frivolously packed into the measuring cup. (Or about 2 1/three cups if loosely packed.)
In different phrases: 1 common hen breast = eight ounces cooked = 2 cups shredded.