Can i boil boneless skinless chicken breast?

Boiled Chicken

Boiling Chicken
Boiling Chicken

Can i boil boneless skinless chicken breast?

Being known for cooking a lot of food, i'm often asked by friends and family "Can i boil boneless skinless chicken breast?", "How do i boil chicken?" and of course "How LONG do i boil chicken for?".

To most people who cook, the answer is self explanatory and common sense, however to those who do not cook, it's a very sensible question to ask, because when cooking chicken you need to make sure it not only tastes good, but is safe to eat as well.


I'd recommend defrosting your chicken thoroughly before cooking it, this ensures that it cooks at an even pace. You can leave the frozen chicken in a dish in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, or use the microwave. When using a microwave, be sure to check the settings for the strength of your microwave, as you only want to defrost the chicken, not cook it! (yet), a safe bet is to defrost for a long time on a very low heat, checking it occasionally.

It is possible to boil chicken straight from the freezer, but it will take longer to cook, will cook unevenly, and will increase the chance of the chicken being very rubbery and tough once cooked, which is not what we want.

How to boil boneless skinless chicken breast:

Once defrosted, follow these steps to boil your chicken:

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil
  • Insert boneless chicken breast, ensure that the water covers chicken completely
  • Once all the chicken is added, reduce the pot to a simmer rather than a boil (boiling will make the chicken very chewy and tough to eat.
  • Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. For small thin chicken breasts, 20 minutes should be sufficient. For medium thickness breasts, 30 - 35 minutes, and for thick large chicken breasts,40 - 45 minutes will be fine.If you did choose to boil from frozen, you'll need to add another 10 - 15 minutes to the cooking time.
  • Check the chicken is cooked throughout by cutting into the middle of a breast. All of the breast should be white with no traces of pink.
  • ┬áIf the juices run 'clear', ie: They are see through and translucent, the chicken is cooked and safe to eat. If you spot a tint of pink or redness in the juices, you'll need to cook your chicken for longer.

This is the simplest, most effective way to cook chicken. However, boiling chicken can actually boil most of the taste out of the chicken, leaving it bland and tasteless. (Think of it like soup, you boil vegetables and the taste goes into the water, the same happens with chicken.)

Its best to marinade your chicken for at least a few hours, and also add some extra ingredients to the water while boiling to help infuse some taste back into the chicken.

For some great tasting boiled chicken recipes that are simple to cook, visit Can I Boil Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Comments 1 comment

BabyRose 4 years ago

I have looked up on how to boil chicken breast and this is the only site that gave me the answer. So i went and followed the directions and my chicken came out cooked all the way through. I had the thick chicken breast pieces and it came out great. Thanks for giving me the answer i was looking for.

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