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Boil Chicken Breasts: Shred, Salad, Instant Pot, Grilling, Soup & More

Knowing how to boil chicken breasts will come in handy if you’ve ever found yourself in need of a rotisserie chicken but didn’t have one. Boiling chicken is the ideal method for obtaining soft, juicy, and easy-to-shred chicken when you don’t have the time (or the energy) to run to the supermarket. You can dress it up however you please, and it is perfect for pulled chicken sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches (my favourite). Contrary to what the name implies, it need not be uninteresting or bland. Additionally, boiling takes less time and effort than cooking in a skillet. It’s as simple as bringing a pot of water to a boil, and when done properly, boiling may produce a piece of chicken that is wonderfully tender.

Boil Chicken Breasts to Shred

For one of the many recipes that call for it, boil some chicken breasts and keep them on hand. Learn how to boil chicken breast that’s tender, juicy, and perfect for anything you’re creating, from casseroles to enchiladas and chicken salad.


2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

Cover the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt water.


In a saucepan with at least an inch of space between the chicken breasts and the water, place the water.

Put the salt in.

Then, put the pot on heat, and then slowly bring it to a boil. Put the cover on if you’d want it to boil more quickly; otherwise, it won’t matter.

Boil the chicken until it is ready and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. According to the size of the chicken, cook it for 12 to 15 minutes.

Boil Chicken Breasts

Before chopping or shredding the chicken for recipes, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and give it a moment to cool somewhat.


You should give the chicken time to warm up. Depending on your desire, slice, shred, or chop the food. Then, move it to an airtight container or freezer bag (squeeze out the air), and freeze it for up to six months.

Boil Chicken Breasts How Long

One of the most adaptable proteins is chicken. You can add it to just about everything and can be seasoned in countless ways. To get ready chicken for recipes, boil the chicken (also known as poaching the chicken). When someone asks how to boil chicken to add the family’s favourite protein to meals, our Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen experts always recommend using this method.

We suggest thawing the chicken before boiling it if you plan to use frozen chicken. You should refrigerate chicken breasts for at least nine hours to defrost. Using the defrost option on your microwave or the cold water approach will expedite the process. Never use a slow cooker or a microwave oven to cook frozen chicken.

For around 30 minutes, you can cook chicken breasts with the skin and bone in. For that, you need to boil frozen chicken for around 45 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook 12 to 15 minutes for no skin, boneless chicken breast. Accordingly, it would take 18 to 22 minutes to cook frozen chicken. You can cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces and cook it for eight to ten minutes to make the poached chicken even faster.

Boil Chicken Breasts For Chicken Salad

Nowadays, many individuals don’t know how to poach chicken for chicken salads or other dishes because rotisserie chicken is a cheap alternative.

Before beginning, allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, lightly pound it to flatten it and make it thinner. assemble the aromatics for the liquid used in poaching.

Lemon, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, dill, rosemary, onions, and garlic are examples of common aromatics. Adapt the aromatics to the dish’s final form. For a chicken salad with Chinese or Indian influences, including fresh ginger, garlic, and dried chives. For a curried chicken salad, include Indian tastes.

You should add chicken to the pot in a single layer. You can apply cold water (or broth, or some white wine) to the chicken’s surface to a depth of 1 inch. Use a lot of salt while seasoning. Over medium heat, bring to a moderate simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the food for 8 to 10 minutes, or until you fully cook it.

When you insert a fork into the chicken, the fluids should run clear, and the internal temperature should be 170 degrees F. you should remove the thickest section of the chicken breast when it reaches 165°F.

Dice after letting cool completely. When chopping warm food, ragged cuts will emerge (as seen in my images), which may not be an issue if making a chicken salad but may be an issue if the poached chicken is the main course.

Boil Chicken Breasts in Instant Pot

We shall deep poach the chicken breast in the Instant Pot for this recipe’s boneless chicken breast. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that you submerge at least 95% of the chicken breasts in the salted water.

Boil Chicken Breasts

With the deep poaching technique, you cook the food at a moderate temperature while you submerge it in liquid.

By using this technique, the proteins can denature without absorbing an excessive amount of moisture from the food. Poached food is so luscious and tender because of this.

So when preparing delicate or fragile foods like eggs, fish, or poultry that might easily fall apart or dry out using other cooking techniques, we use poaching method.

Equipment for Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

  • Instant Pot Food Thermometer for Pressure Cookers
  • Measuring cups, Pyrex mixing bowls
  • Cooking Tongs

First, put 1 tsp (0.8g) dried oregano, 1 tsp (0.9g) dried rosemary, 2 bay leaves, 5 tsp (35g) fine sea salt, and 1 tsp (1g) dried thyme in the Instant Pot.

Add 1–4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the Instant Pot at this time.

Put the chicken breast on a cutting board first.

Then, using a precise food thermometer, we’ll check the chicken’s internal temperature at its thickest point.

Finally, you may slice and serve the chicken breasts right away after they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Boil Chicken Breasts Before Grilling

Contrary to popular belief, the best method for boiling chicken for the grill is to not boil it. Yes, you will cook it in water, but the water shouldn’t ever boil. You should poach the chicken pieces slowly at a temperature well below boiling, ideally no more than 180 degrees Fahrenheit, in water or another acceptable cooking liquid. Chicken becomes tougher after boiling because of the tightening of its proteins. A poacher who is kind won’t act that way.

Some chefs favour par-cooking chicken, while others don’t. The taste of the chicken will leak into the cooking liquid when you poach your chicken pieces, which is why. After all, it is how we prepare soups and broths.

Boil Chicken Breasts For Dogs

A diet based on the chicken can be beneficial for dogs with dental problems, delicate gastrointestinal systems, or unique dietary requirements. The nutrients glucosamine, omega 6, and lean protein are all abundant in chicken.

Dogs prefer normal boiled chicken to their pet parents’ chicken recipes. Their palates actually prefer the unseasoned flavours of chicken since their stomachs don’t do well with seasoning. Here is an easy recipe with step-by-step instructions that your dog will adore:

Firstly, add water to a medium-sized pot and add the chicken breasts.

Then,  cover the pot and heat the water until it boils.

After that, ring the chicken to a boil over high heat for 12 minutes, or until fully cooked.

Finally, to prevent burns, shred the cooked chicken after letting it cool.

How Long To Boil Chicken Breasts with Bone

The cooking time for thinner chicken breast cutlets is about 8 minutes. Larger chicken breasts might need to be bake for up to 15 minutes. Cooking huge bone-in chicken breasts will take about 20 minutes.

Even while bone-in chicken requires more time to cook, the presence of a bone keeps the flesh wet for a longer time and, when done properly, may produce a better end product.

Depending on their size, you should cook the breasts for 35–45 minutes, and bone-in breasts should be cooked for 40–50 minutes. Roasting time for bone-in thighs should be 35–45 minutes, compared to 20–30 minutes for boneless thighs.

How Long to Boil Chicken Breasts For Soup

Chicken breasts that you have shredded are the best protein for salads, soups, and even a buffalo chicken dip. This chicken cooks up moist and tender and is quite simple to make.

One of the simplest chicken preparation methods ever must be boiling chicken breast!

You should add just enough broth or water to a pot to cover fresh or frozen chicken breasts.

If using, season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Add some onion slices and a stalk of celery.

Just until you cook the meat fully, cook the breasts.

It’s quite simple to shred cooked chicken, and you don’t even need to wait until it is totally cool. Do allow it to cool and rest for at least 10 minutes to keep it moist and delicate.

Start at one end of the boiling chicken breast and carefully pierce the meat with a fork in each hand.

When the meat begins to rip apart, pull away. You should continue to shred the meat until you reach the required size.

You can use both a stand mixer and a hand mixer to shred chicken. Just put the chicken in a bowl and turn on the mixer.

For last-minute portioning, store chopped chicken in individual zipped bags in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. Save the chicken stock for making rice or using it as the foundation for a soup or stew. As an alternative, freeze broth in ice cube trays and remove one to season a sauce or gravy.

Boil Chicken Breasts in Water

Chicken breasts should be ready. You should add chicken breasts to a big skillet. Use salt to season. Add the parsley, garlic, and peppercorns if using.

Bring water to a boil after adding. You should thoroughly submerge the bird in the water. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat to a little bit. Cook for approximately 12 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Slice or shred chicken to use as is or in recipes. Use two forks to pull the meat apart if shredding. Serve as is or incorporate it into your favourite recipes.

Boil Chicken Breasts FAQs

How much time should pass before cutting a chicken breast?

You should let the chicken rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing it to allow the juices so that it is evenly spread out throughout the meat. It makes the bird firmer, juicier, and simpler to cut. Pick a carving knife that is long enough to cut through the breast completely.

What to deal with split chicken breasts?

Split chicken breasts are a fantastic everyday meal, but if you don’t cook them correctly, they might lack taste and become touch dry.

Place a small bowl with some butter and fresh garlic in the middle of a chicken breast, coating the skin with the concoction as well. On top, liberally sprinkle my 7:2:2 spice mixture, then bake until crisp.

How do you know when chicken breasts are fully cooked?

When your chicken is firm to the touch, has no pink in the middle, and a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you will know that it is ready. Cutting it open after taking it out of the water is perfectly acceptable. Simply put it back in the oven to finish cooking if it is still pink.

How long does it take to prepare three chicken breasts?

Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high. When it boils, turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook chicken until well heated (this usually takes 25-30 minutes for 6 chicken breasts and 8-15 minutes for 3 breasts, depending on the size).

Is it safe to boil raw chicken?

If you have any extra raw chicken on hand, you can easily boil it and add it to a variety of meals, but utilising a rotisserie chicken is a terrific way to add cooked chicken to any dinner. Even better, you may boil chicken in advance and store it for using it in the following week.

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