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Starting the chicken in cold, well-seasoned liquid ensures that the meat will stay very tender as it cooks while absorbing lots of flavor. It’s the opposite of every dry, bland, sad poached chicken recipe you’ve ever tried. See two more ways to poach chicken here.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2¼ pounds)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1½-inch irregular pieces
- 1 head of garlic, split crosswise
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal or 1¾ teaspoons Morton kosher salt
- ⅔ cup dill fronds, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil (for drizzling)
Bring chicken, carrots, garlic, salt, ⅓ cup dill, and 5 cups water to a bare simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. (It will take some time for the liquid to come to a simmer...be patient. If you rush it, the chicken will be tough.) Once liquid begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced, 10–12 minutes.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop remaining ⅓ cup dill. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice; pick out and discard dill. Transfer chicken and garlic to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Smash garlic using the side of a chef’s knife and stir back into poaching liquid. Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices.
Divide chicken among bowls. Pour some of the poaching liquid over chicken, then top with chopped dill, pepper, and a drizzle of oil.
Do Ahead: Chicken can be poached 2 days ahead. Let chicken and broth cool separately. Wrap chicken and transfer broth to an airtight container; chill.