I have a secret weapon for you!
I frequently get asked for tips on how to eat right on a regular basis. Even those of us with the best intentions can get thrown way off the course of healthy eating when “life happens”. Well I’m about to let you in on one of my coveted kitchen secrets that helps me stay the course. Here it is: poached chicken! Yep – simple. Poached chicken. Sorry vegans and vegetarians, this one’s not for you – but stay tuned for my next post – I think you’ll like it!
In the spirit of cooking once and eating twice; each Sunday night I poach enough chicken breasts to last about 3 or 4 days. The uses are endless. My favorite is slicing thinly into a salad. It can also be used in soups, stews, stirfrys, on sandwiches and in lettuce wraps or tacos.
And best of all – it’s foolproof and so easy to prepare. If you can boil water – you are in business! Of course, we can glam them up a bit too for you gourmet foodies out there.
Before we get into how to prepare these gems, a word about the type of chicken you purchase. For the greater good, please, please stay away from factory farmed chicken. I know it’s cheaper, but we don’t need to be ingesting all those yucky chemicals. Instead, opt for free range/pastured, naturally raised chicken that has not been treated with hormones or antibiotics. It tastes better and has more positive energy than the sickly chickens raised in tiny cages, indoors, all jammed together. If we all stop buying them, maybe we can make a difference in the lives of the poor chickens subjected to these horrible conditions. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Ok – the basic recipe. I’m talking skinless, boneless chicken breasts here. Trim the breasts of visible fat. Place in enough cold water to cover. Turn the stove on med-high. Watch for the boiling to start. Let them sit in a gently rolling boil for 3 minutes. Then cover, turn the stove off and let them sit for at least 15 minutes. That’s it! They will be cooked through and deliciously tender. Let them cool then slice them up for salads or wraps. Or cube/shred them for killer chicken tacos, stirfries, etc.
For additional flavor, here are a few suggestions. Cook them in broth instead of water. Add onions, carrots, celery to the cooking liquid. Add bay leaves or any of your favorite herbs and spices. Add a few lemon slices.
Check out the recipe link on my site for ideas and inspiration. Bon appetit!