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Thread: Boiling chicken?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    West Lafayette, IN

    Question Boiling chicken?

    I've seen tons of recipes that call for cooked chicken (such as Jewel's Cheesy Chicken Chowder). I know that I could buy that canned stuff at the grocery, but I've also heard I can boil chicken breasts and then shred them.

    Can anybody tell me exactly how this works? How long do I boil? Do I put them in and then bring to a boil, or boil first? How many chicken breasts (weight wise) produce a cup (or two or three) of shredded chicken?

    I know this may be a stupid question, but please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Seattle, WA USA

    poaching chicken

    i do this all the time. just bring a medium size saucepan of water to a boil and drop in a couple of chicken breasts. if frozen boil for about 40 minutes 30 minutes if thawed. no need to cover the pot. then when done place the breasts on a plate and cut into 3-4 pieces each so they cool quickly and then shred. if you are not planning on shredding right away then put the chicken in the refrigerator. chicken starts getting icky if left on the counter for 20 minutes.

    i find that 2 chicken breasts is enough for a casserole or salad. i usually buy coscto flash frozen chicken breasts and boil away....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    When I want cooked chicken for a recipe I usually either bake in foil or poach it. I think it stays moister using either method. When I poach it, I usually use a mixture of canned, low sodium no fat chicken broth, about 1/2 a cup of white wine, and a bay leaf, peppercorns, some parsley, and sometimes a pinch of saffron. I only poach boneless, skinless breast for maybe 15 or 20 minutes at a very low simmer, then remove and shred for whatever dish I'm making. Then I save the broth for another use.
    Someone posted a recipe for cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot for recipes calling for cooked chicken. I can't remember who it was but I've tried it and it works beautifully.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Renton, WA
    I agree with Searcher, and when I poach my chicken breasts I use almost the same recipe, except for that pinch of saffron...hmmm. That might be interesting! The peppercorns and the bay leaf really help bring some flavor to the meat, and I think the wine helps tenderize.

    I have never used the canned chicken in my chowder, or any recipe really, considering the salt it's packed in. I'll admit to having a can of the stuff in my cupboard, but it's only used for that one night a month that I need to make DH his favorite 'fast' comfort meal, a Chicken Pot Pie made from the back of the Bisquick box! (I'm gonna burn in Hell for admitting that, huh? )

    I've also roasted large chickens in my Showtime Rotisserie, and when we're finished with that one dinner, DH spends a half hour picking every morsel of meat from those bones. We freeze the bones for stock, and that picked-off meat gets vac-packed into a FoodSaver bag and frozen just for my 'cooked chicken' needs!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Thumbs up cooked chicken

    Chcicken cooked in a crock pot is great for those soups, chowders and casseroles. Put a chicken or legs and thighs into crock with onion, celery, and a carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from crock when it is done , chill, and chop or shred later. Chill the broth separately, and then lift that layer of fat off. The broth is delicious. I like this method for chicken and noodles. I cook the noodles in the broth and it is very yummy. Vicky

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Falls Church, VA
    I'va always used the "Julia Method" for poaching chicken since I saw it on her cooking show when I was a teenager. Bring your poaching liquid to a boil (mine is water, white wine, half a lemon, a few whole cloves, a few whole peppercorns, and sometimes a halved onion...but improvise). Add the chicken, cover, and turn off the heat. When the pan is cool, the chicken is the most tender poached chicken ever.

    I have tried the rolling-boil method espoused by Buddie, and although maybe she has a secret ingredient, I find that the resulting chicken is really tough and overcooked (especially after 30 mins!). I would at the very least try one of the slow poaching recipies given above, if not my method.

    The crock pot/roasted chicken will probably be the most flavorful, but they also seem like more trouble, although you do get that second meal out of it.

    Experiment, and let us know how it goes!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Naperville, IL, USA
    I agree w/Jen and use a method similar to her's. Mine's from Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking and works perfectly every time except for the thickest of breasts:

    "In a saucepan, combine the chicken breast halves with enough water to cover. Remove the chicken from the water & bring the water to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, and simmer it gently for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat & let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Check the chicken to make sure it is cooked through. If it is not, simmer it an additional 2 minutes."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I agree with Jen and Ralph and was going to post this method. It is absolutely the best chicken ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    With the voices in my head
    Jen & Ralph's method looks great (and I may try this w/small amounts of chicken) but I have always had success with the pressure cooker method. Cover a whole chicken with water, add seasoning if desired, bring up to pressure, turn stove down to maintain pressure and cook for 20 minutes. The chicken will be tender and then you will have the basics for stock as well.
    Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.


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