Get some chicken cooked and you can make meals in a flash, from chicken salad to quesadillas to topping off soba noodles and peanut sauce. I originally learned this method from my friend, the Gastronomer, who has a real life Italian nonna, so he knows what he’s talking about. More recently, Cooks Illustrated published their “Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts” in the Mar/Apr 2014 issue. Basically, you set chicken breasts in water, bring to boil and then cover, turn off the heat and let them sit there until cooked — so easy!
- 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ cup sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- Pound each breast half to a uniform thickness, approx. ¾ inch.
- Combine in large stockpot: 4 quarts of water (16 cups), soy, salt, sugar and garlic.
- Set steamer basket in stockpot and place the chicken breasts on there, in a single layer. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Bring stockpot of goodies just barely to a boil (if you get temp to 175 degrees F you're good, higher ok too, don't stress too much), stir the liquid to even out any hot spots, then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let stand until meat is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Internal temp of the chicken should be 160 degrees F. Remove chicken from liquid and use for dinner or store in the refrigerator for another time.