ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Poach a Whole Chicken and Prepare an Easy Chicken Salad

Updated on October 21, 2015
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or under-used ingredients.

Easy and Tasty Summer Chicken Salad
Easy and Tasty Summer Chicken Salad

The Unenviable Reputation of Poached Chicken

Why should it be that poached chicken has such an unenviable reputation in some quarters? Is it because it is often perceived to be bland in taste and/or dry in texture? Perhaps it is because it is often associated with the elderly or infirm, in the sense that a "nice bit of poached chicken" will be unlikely to upset a delicate stomach? Maybe it just doesn't look as good as a roast chicken?

Where we fail to realise, however, that while poached chicken can be dry and tasteless, it does not have to be, we are depriving ourselves of a very simple and delicious way to enjoy chicken. Cooking pots since caveman days have poached chicken to perfection and a step back from modern cooking techniques is therefore perhaps what is required when poaching chicken. This page will firstly show a very easy and effective way to poach a whole chicken, before going on to provide a serving suggestion which is perfect for a light summer lunch or even a family picnic.

The onion, carrot and celery are roughly chopped in preparation for poaching the chicken
The onion, carrot and celery are roughly chopped in preparation for poaching the chicken
The whole chicken is laid on top of the vegetables in a large pot
The whole chicken is laid on top of the vegetables in a large pot

Poaching a Chicken

Ingredients

1 3lb chicken
1 medium onion
1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
½ tsp salt
3 to 4 pints of cold water

Method

Peel the onion and wash the carrot and celery. Roughly chop and add to a large soup or stew pot, comfortably big enough to take the chicken. Ensure that any giblets are removed from the cavity of the chicken and lay the chicken on top of the vegetables. Scatter with the slat and peppercorns. Carefully pour in enough cold water to ensure the chicken is covered.

Put the pot on to a high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour. Check the chicken regularly and skim off any impurities which form on the top of the water with a large spoon. Top up with more boiling water if and when required.

After one hour, turn off the heat under the pot. Place the lid on and leave the chicken to cool with the liquid. This will help the served chicken to be deliciously moist and falling off the bone tender.

The chicken can be left to cool in this way for anything from one to three hours. After that time, use a couple of large slotted spoons or equivalent to very carefully lift the chicken on to a large plate with riased edges. It is a great bonus if you have someone to help you at this point, simply to hold the plate. Leave the chicken to drain on the plate while you prepare the salad.

The salad is tossed in a bowl before being added to a serving platter
The salad is tossed in a bowl before being added to a serving platter

Preparing the Salad for the Poached Chicken

The salad ingredients are down very much to personal choice. In this instance, the salad consists of a large bag of mixed green salad leaves, two large tomatoes cut in to segments and a dozen pitted and halved black olives. Toss the ingredients in a bowl with some salt and freshly ground black pepper before laying in a serving dish. Extra virgin olive oil can be drizzled over the top of desired for the perfect Mediterranean summer feel.

Carving the Poached Chicken

If you wish, you could transfer the chicken to a chopping board and carve it in a traditional fashion, laying only the meat of the chicken on top of the salad. For a more rustic effect, however, why not simply chop the chicken in to portions to be served?

Pull each leg in turn slightly outwards and snap the leg/thigh portions off at the joint with the main body of the chicken. Remove the wings in similar fashion. Use a large cleaver to carefully cut down either side of the breast bone, following the ribcage carefully as you go, and remove the breast fillets.

Lay the chicken pieces on top of the salad and finish with a scattering of freshly chopped chives or your herb of choice.

Chicken salad ready to be scattered with fresh herbs and served
Chicken salad ready to be scattered with fresh herbs and served

What's in your Summer Salad?

If you are one of the many people who think that poached chicken is a little on the bland side, I hope that you will at least give this option a try. Chicken cooked in this way is incredibly tender and delicious, allowing the natural flavours of the meat to shine through and can be a refreshing change from grilled or roasted chicken.

Thanks for visiting this page and any comments or feedback may be left in the space below.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      You're absolutely right, Tony. The natural flavours are delicious - and the bonus is you have a pot of perfectly natural chicken stock which can be strained and frozen. Thanks for the visit and comment,

      Gordon

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Gordon,

      this is a new one for me, i've never poached a whole chicken is this way. YOu should get a more pure chicken flavour than roasting and using oils to help cook. Very interesting, I'll have to give it a go, we have a local farm shop that sells nice free range poultry.

      cheers

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)