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How to Poach Chicken

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Learn how to poach a whole chicken or any other poultry bird in this video

This is a free tutorial. Find many more like it on our website!


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The techniques shown in this video are easy to follow if you are an intermediate level cook.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30

Resting time: 30 minutes

In this video, you'll learn how to poach a whole chicken.

This is a cooking method that is commonly used to ensure the meat is kept tender and juicy.

For best results, the water needs to be cold to start with and rise in temperature slowly.

The other key to success is to then maintain the water temperature between 70 and 75°C (160 and 167°F).

Now follow these steps and you will easily be able to reproduce this cooking method.

Here we are using: a chicken, carrots, leeks, turnips, a celery stick, onions, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and salt, but feel free to replace them with other poultry, or your favourite vegetables and spices.

You will need a large cooking pot, a large roasting dish, a fine sieve, a slotted spoon, a sharp knife, and a large recipient for water.

Don't hesitate to use stock instead of water.

If you have one, you can use a temperature probe. It will give you the water temperature as you are cooking.

Before we started, we trussed the chicken to hold it together during cooking.

We also peeled and washed all the vegetables.

We've kept them whole, or in large pieces so that they don't overcook.

Prepare the ingredients

First step: prepare the ingredients.

Place the vegetables in the pot.

Then sprinkle salt into the chicken's cavity, add the herbs and spices, and place the bird in the pan.

Cover the chicken with water.

Then add salt. This will tenderise the meat and improve the flavour.

Don't add too much though - especially if you are using stock - since this already contains salt

Start cooking

Second step: start cooking.

Turn the heat to medium, and put the pot on the hob.

Do not cover with a lid, to ensure a gentle cooking temperature.

Heat the water up. It should take around 10 minutes to reach 70°C/160°F.

A temperature probe in the water will give you an exact temperature reading more easily

But if you haven't got a probe,keep an eye on the water...

It should be still, and quiet, letting off a little steam. It should have very small bubbles, that rise to the surface every so often.

You should be able to put your fingers in it for around 2 seconds.

At this stage, turn the heat down to the lowest possible.

Cook for 1 hour

Cook gently for one hour, regularly checking the water temperature.

Finish cooking

Third step: finish cooking.

To find out if the chicken is cooked through, push a knife into the joint between the upper thigh and the drumstick.

If the juice running out is red or pink, the chicken is not done.

Leave it to cook for another 20 minutes.

If the juice is of a clear yellow colour, the chicken is cooked.

Remove from the heat.

Sieve the stock

Fourth step: sieve the stock.

Take the chicken and the vegetables out of the pan.

Sieve the stock, like this.

Your chicken stock is ready!

If you want to keep it for another day, don't leave it at room temperature.

Keep it in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for several weeks.

You can also have it straightaway,

or use it to make a sauce to go with your chicken.

For an even juicier chicken, you can leave it to cool gently in the stock, until you are about to serve.

Now you know how to poach a chicken!

You'll find it really easy to make from now on!


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