Poached chicken in 20 minutes. Great for lunchboxes, sandwiches or anywhere cooked chicken is needed.
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5 from 2 votes

Kitchen Basics: 20 Minute Poached Chicken

This is more of a method than a recipe. Just adjust it according to the amount of chicken you wish to poach and the size of your fillet.

I always buy free range chicken breasts, which are typically larger than those produced from caged animals, so the timings are based on these larger breasts.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time20 mins
Author: Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas


  • Chicken Breast skin removed
  • Cold water
  • leaves Aromatics as desired (I use celery parsley, peppercorns & bay )


  • Place the chicken breast in a small saucepan that has a lid.
  • Add the aromatics if using.
  • Cover the chicken breast by 2.5cm (1 inch) with cold water.
  • Place the saucepan over a medium to high heat and bring the water to the boil.
  • When the water has come to the boil, lower the heat to medium.
  • Put the lid on the pot and allow to bubble for 1 minute.
  • Without removing the lid, turn off the heat.
  • Allow the pot to sit, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
  • Check that the chicken breast is cooked by cutting a small slit in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Remove the breast from the water and use as desired.


If your chicken breast is not completely cooked after the 15 minutes resting time, return the chicken to the water and allow to sit for a further 5 minutes. If you feel the water temperature has dropped too much to continue cooking the breast, just reheat the water slightly first.