Poached Chicken

Yep, I’ve hit that stage in my maturity level where I’m ok with dumping a chicken into a huge pot of water and boiling it.  Then tearing apart the carcass with a knife and my bare hands.  Man, being a grown up sure is great.

I’ve always wanted to cook a whole chicken, since an entire bird is a lot cheaper than a pack of boneless chicken breasts, and I wanted to get some experience carving a chicken.

Now, poaching a chicken isn’t something you do if you want to just eat some chicken straight from the pot.  I mean, you could, but poaching doesn’t imbue the meat with much added flavor, just cooks it nice and juicy.  I mainly wanted to poach a chicken for the ridiculous amount of shredded chicken it produces, which works well in a bazillion recipes, and to get some awesome stock.

Check and check.  Sorry my stock photo is blurry.

My next adventure will be to invest in a roasting pan so I can roast a whole chicken.  Then I can make stock with the bones.  And to think that a few years ago, I wouldn’t touch raw meat with a ten-foot pole.  It’s all part of growing up.

Poached Chicken

Adapted from Steamy Chicken

1 whole chicken (mine was about 4.5 lbs)
kosher salt
3 cloves of garlic, sliced, not minced

1 leek, cleaned of sand and sliced

 To clean the chicken, with a small handful of kosher salt, rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside. Season generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff the chicken with the garlic and leek slices.  Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.  Check for doneness by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 170F.

When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and the chicken out of the water with two spatulas (don’t be tempted to lift it by the legs…it won’t end well) and transfer to a baking sheet or cutting board to cool and discard the garlic and leeks.  Once the chicken is cool, cut meat from the bones, shred, and store in the refrigerator for future use.  You can also freeze extra meat.


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