Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Poached chicken breast salad

Poached chicken breast salad 

Most people who love chicken love a tender moist juicy chicken breast but most of us have gone through that time when we have cooked breasts and the end result was dry and stringy chicken breast.

I have personally misunderstood chicken breasts and when it turned out dry and stringy had made it worse by cooking for some extra time. Then at a point when I was frustrated and considered myself a failure with chicken breasts I decided to read up a bit and the information stunned me.  I was completely wrong. Truth is chicken breasts are delicate and they need the minimum of time to give you juicy succulent results.

Even after reading about it I did not get immediate success because the time given in most recipes was too much time for the chicken breasts I was cooking leaving them a bit stringy. Finally after a few attempts I understood what can always result in that juicy tender result and haven't looked back since then.

Here are a few important points to be remembered when dealing with chicken breasts :-

  1. Chicken breasts are very delicate and they need very little time for cooking
  2. Resting the breasts is as important as cooking it right. Truth is it is full of fibre and when you are cooking it the fibres stand out which when rested clubs together to give you tender results. 
  3. Lastly if you keep the two points mentioned above in your mind you shall soon discover how easy it is to know the amount of time required.  
  4. You may poach, saute , bake, grill or coat the breasts with flour and saute it.
  5. No matter how you are cooking the chicken the pan you use must be as small as possible to just about fit the chicken. (This tip was given by a lovely lady who is a great cook indeed, Claudia Barbara Tanna who runs My Continental Kitchen which gives you a chance to interact with other passionate cooks who love European, American and World Cuisine )  

Here is a salad which is tasty and healthy 

Serves 1 

Half of a chicken breast weighing about 120gm to 150gm
Half of a red bell pepper
Half of a yellow pepper
1 cup torn iceberg lettuce

1 tsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 finely chopped  ripe red chili
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt as per taste

Lightly smash the garlic , peel it and then take a small pan and place the chicken, fill it with enough water to just about immerse it and add salt, crushed pepper and the smashed garlic and put over medium to low heat and simmer covered for 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Timing is very very important. Take it out  and place it in a small bowl and cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes. You can also let it rest by wrapping it in foil or a kitchen towel.

Here I must admit that at times I let it rest in the same pan in which it is cooked and it usually still leaves the chicken moist and tender but for that you have to make sure that the pan can be covered well and has no gaps and in these cases I have cooked the chicken for exactly 2 minutes to 3 minutes and then let it rest  for about 7 minutes to 9 minutes after turning off the stove because here the trapped steam cooks it from inside out but doesn't over cook it.

In the meantime shred the lettuce and chop the bell peppers. Take out the garlic used for poaching and mine it.

Now slice the chicken. Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chicken breasts along with salt and the chili and saute for 50 seconds and mix with the greens and your salad is ready after you drizzle it with the extra virgin olive oil and add the finely chopped parsley.

Have a healthy meal


  1. Replies
    1. You are most welcome. I hope it helps you :)

  2. Thanks a lot for the expert tips to the perfectly poached chicken. I tried making poached chicken for the first time, following your tips, and got the most juicy and succulently poached chicken. Absolutely thrilled!