Stop! Don't Meal Prep Again Before You Read This ...
Meal prep is the cornerstone, the FOUNDATION, of a successful fitness and weight management plan.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain for performance or aesthetic reasons ... meal prep can have some amazing benefits, for just a little bit of work.
HOWEVER, as a staple of most meal prep weekends, I often find myself making chicken breast for salads, wraps, and sandwiches, but never wanting to eat it because it's too ding dang dry.
My entire meal prep changed for the better when I found out how to "poach" chicken breasts, so they don't dry out, don't get overcooked and then, inevitably, thrown out in mass.
Enough of that.
I'm going to change your life with this wonderful chicken cooking hack.
HOW TO POACH CHICKEN BREASTS
Poaching chicken is easy. It involves covering chicken pieces with water and letting them simmer on the stovetop until the chicken is cooked through. The low temperature and moist-heat cooking method cooks the chicken gently and prevents it from overcooking too quickly. The cooked chicken is moist and tender — the very opposite of tough.
- Place the chicken and choice of seasonings in a saucepan or pot. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the bottom of the saucepan or pot large enough for them to sit mostly in a single layer. (It’s fine if they overlap a little.) Sprinkle the salt and seasoning over chicken.
- Cover the chicken with water. If using 1:1 wine/water, pour this over the chicken first. Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so.
- Bring the water to a boil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the water comes to a boil — if you’ll be using the poaching liquid for a soup or other recipe, you can skim this off; otherwise, it’s fine to leave it.
- Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. Begin checking the chicken after 8 minutes: it is done when opaque through the middle and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. Chicken will typically finish cooking in 10 to 14 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it is has a bone.
- Remove from the poaching liquid. Transfer the chicken from the poaching liquid to a plate or clean cutting board.
- Serve or store the chicken. Poached chicken can be served hot, room temperature, or cool. It can also be served whole, or it can be sliced or shredded as per your recipe.