Poaching + Green Apple Chicken Salad

Photo by Kirk McKoy/LA Times

Things are about to get really interesting around here. This weekend, I am moving my portable electric burner, refrigerator, and work table into the living room. Yes – the living room. Demolition is about to begin on our home renovation, the result of which will include a brand new kitchen (!!). Until then, I will continue my quest to stir up healthy eats at home in, shall we say, less than inspiring circumstances.

Take this Green Apple Chicken Salad for example. Once I poached the chicken, it came together so quickly – crunchy, tart, nutty goodness. If I can still do anything in my makeshift kitchen, it’s poach chicken. Poached chicken serves as a wonderful base for all sorts of salads. To poach chicken, or fish, or anything for that matter, simply heat your poaching liquid until you see very small bubbles float from the bottom of the pan to the surface – way before a simmer. The liquid at this point is between 160 and 180 degrees F. Perfect. Place your chicken breasts or tenders into the mixture (submerged completely) and cover, maintaining the same temperature in the pan. Chicken breasts take about 20-30 minutes to poach and tenders will take less time. Check for readiness by slicing into the chicken; you don’t want to see pink. Poaching liquid can be anything from vegetable broth to chicken broth to wine, olive oil, or any combination thereof. You can also use water as poaching liquid. Simply add to it some chopped onion, carrot, celery, and fresh parsley stems. Once it’s come to temperature, simply add your chicken.

Another great salad to make with your poached chicken is Curried Chicken Salad. You can also use your poached chicken as a substitute for turkey in Turkey and Wild Rice Salad. Get poaching!

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2 Responses to Poaching + Green Apple Chicken Salad

  1. Nan Wolfe March 23, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks so much for the poaching instructions – now I really understand why my poached chicken always seemed a bit tough, even when I took it out after only about 6-8 minutes. Slow and low is truly better than fast and hot!

  2. chezdesblog March 23, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    That’s right, Nan. Boiling meat at high temperatures will make it tough. “Low and slow” makes it moist and tender – think braising, stewing, poaching and sous vide. All of these cooking methods make for tender, juicy outcomes!

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