Best Poached Chicken Breast Recipes from Shredded Chicken Salads to Chicken Soups. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Best Poached Chicken Breast Recipes from Chicken Salads to Chicken Soups

This post may contain paid links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Our best poached chicken breast recipes include recipes for shredded chicken salads, Southeast Asian chicken rice soups and rice porridges, chicken noodle soups, and more. What I love about poaching chicken breasts is you can make a light stock from the water that the chicken is poached in, which you can use in the same dish or refrigerate for another day.

This collection of our best poached chicken breast recipes includes some of our best chicken breast recipes and some of our most popular chicken recipes – from chicken soup recipes to chicken salad recipes. It’s no surprise, as while chicken breast might not be as delicious or as succulent as brown chicken meat, it’s healthy, versatile and affordable, and poaching it in aromatics adds lovely subtle flavours.

It’s not unusual to find a container of poached chicken breasts or shredded chicken in our fridge. When we poach chicken breasts for a particular dish, we do more than the recipe calls for and prepare shredded chicken from the poached chicken breasts. It keeps in the fridge for a few days and we use it for everything from chicken rice porridges or rice soups we make to use up leftover rice to shredded chicken salads, tacos and sandwiches.

What I love about our poached chicken breast recipes is that we not only get flavourful chicken by poaching it with aromatics such as ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, we get a chicken stock out of the process by making a stock from the water in which the chicken has been poached.

If I’m poaching the chicken breasts for a Southeast Asian rice soup or rice porridge, I’ll use that fragrant chicken stock as the base. Otherwise I’ll boil it for ten minutes, when I might even add further spices or herbs, then pour it into a glass jar and refrigerate it.

Sometimes I’ll skip the Southeast Asian aromatics and poach the chicken on its own for a plain chicken stock, or use it as an opportunity to clear out the veggie drawer, and add a shallot, garlic clove, bay leaves, perhaps some celery ends, to make a stock that can be used for European dishes.

Now before I tell you about our best poached chicken breast recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

Another option is to use links on our site to buy travel insurance, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, book accommodation, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or buy something on Amazon, such as these cookbooks for culinary travellers, James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, travel books to inspire wanderlust, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay any extra.

Lastly, you could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including food themed reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about our best poached chicken recipes.

Poached Chicken Breast Recipes from Shredded Chicken Salads to Chicken Soups

Our best poached chicken breast recipes include recipes for shredded chicken salads, Southeast Asian chicken rice soups and rice porridges, chicken noodle soups, and more. Do bookmark this page as we’ll be adding more poached chicken breast recipes over coming days.

Tips for Perfectly Poached Chicken Breasts

Place the chicken breasts in a pot large enough to hold all the breasts so they’re sitting on the bottom of the pot and pour in enough room temperature water so that they’re covered. If you’re using aromatics, such as bay leaves or ginger, lemongrass or kaffir leaves, add those now.

Bring the water to a boil then immediately turn it down low to a simmer. Use a fine mesh strainer to skim off any scum. Check the temperature of the chicken breasts often to ensure they don’t over-cook.

It’s essential to use a digital kitchen meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts and make sure to poke it into the thickest parts of the breasts. When it reaches 74°C/ 165˚F remove the chicken breasts.

Boil the chicken stock for another ten minutes, let it cool down a little, then, using then strainer again, pour it into a large glass if you’re planning to use it within a few days, or into plastic ziplock bags to freeze it.

When the chicken breasts are cool enough to touch, use two forks or your fingers to pull the chicken meat apart. That’s why shredded chicken is sometimes called pulled chicken.

Best Poached Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken and Potato Soup Recipe that Starts with an Easy Stock

This easy chicken and potato soup recipe makes a homemade potato and chicken soup from scratch that is comforting and healing. It’s the kind of soup to make if you’re unwell, a little down or in need of hugs, and it’s one of our best poached chicken breast recipes.

The base of this warming winter soup is the easiest chicken stock you’ll ever make, made from perfectly poached chicken breasts, which you then pull apart and add to the broth near the end.

It’s a simple, hearty soup that’s subtly seasoned but given texture at the end with crunchy croutons and crispy fried onions, and is enlivened by fresh fragrant dill – or any aromatic herb of your choosing, as it’s also incredibly versatile.

Chicken and Potato Soup Recipe for a Comforting Soup that Starts with an Easy Stock

Thai Rice Soup Recipe with Poached Chicken for Khao Tom Gai

Our easy Thai rice soup recipe with poached chicken and soft-boiled eggs makes khao tom gai, a beloved single-bowl meal in Thailand eaten any time of day, whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or supper. It’s one of our best poached chicken breast recipes.

We make a light ‘stock’ from the water the chicken is poached in then simmer leftover rice in that aromatic stock, and top the rice soup with the shredded poached chicken, soft-boiled eggs with runny yolks, a sprinkle of sliced scallions and crispy fried onions, and sliced chillies to add heat.

It may be a cinch to make, but this Thai rice soup recipe creates a sublime rice congee if you’re a lover of Asian rice soups and rice porridges. We shared this recipe as part of our Weekend Eggs series of quintessential eggs dishes from around the world.

Thai Rice Soup Recipe with Poached Chicken and Soft Boiled Eggs for Khao Tom Gai


Classic Cambodian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe for Kuy Teav

This traditional Cambodian kuy teav recipe made with shredded chicken breast makes one of Cambodia’s most popular breakfast noodle soups called kuy teav sach moan. It’s made in the home but also eaten at markets, roadside kuy teav stalls and simple eateries.

We use succulent poached chicken breasts, which we then shred, but you could also use other chicken parts. It’s another one of our best poached chicken breast recipes and one of my personal favourites.

This chicken soup is in the restrained style you’d typically find in a simple local eatery or market or street food stall in Cambodia. A good clear flavourful stock is the hallmark of this soup rather than a bowl abundant with ingredients.

Classic Cambodian Kuy Teav Recipe for Cambodia’s Favourite Chicken Noodle Soup


Burmese Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup Recipe for Ohn No Khao Swe

This ohn no khao swe recipe for Myanmar’s Burmese chicken coconut noodle soup is another of our best poached chicken breast recipes and another of the most popular chicken recipes on the site.

Our ohn no khao swe recipe will make you one of Myanmar’s most-loved soups alongside mohinga. Terence’s rendition combines the best of the many bowls we slurped on our travels, starting with the first ohn no khao swe we savoured at Yangon’s grand old hotel, The Strand.

Ohn no khao swe consists of egg noodles in an aromatic chicken soup with a coconut milk base, and chicken drumsticks, although we use poached chicken breasts in this recipe, garnished with crunchy fried noodles, boiled eggs, shallots, fried garlic, dried chilli, lime, coriander (cilantro), and sometimes fried chickpea fritters.

Ohn No Khao Swe Recipe for Burmese Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe

This classic Vietnamese chicken salad recipe will make you a fantastic year-round salad. In summer, you can eat it just as it is, as a one-bowl meal or with other salads, perhaps some fish, and maybe slices of crusty baguette.

In winter, you can serve it with the poached chicken still warm, alongside a warm Vietnamese rice porridge, hot Vietnamese soup, or even a Vietnamese beef stew. But I’m happy having a big bowl of this salad on its own, as it’s filling, healthy and so satisfying.

In many ways, this Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad exemplifies what’s so good about Southeast Asian salads. It’s fresh, fragrant, textured, and flavourful, not only courtesy of the ingredients, but that quintessential Southeast Asian salad dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chilli. Another of my favourite poached chicken breast recipes.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe with Crunchy Cabbage and Crispy Fried Shallots

Classic Banana Flower Salad Recipe

This recipe for a banana flower salad – also called a banana blossom salad – makes the Cambodian banana flower salad called gnoam trayong chek in Khmer, another one of our best poached chicken breast recipes and one of our best summer salad recipes.

It’s super-easy, you just need to work fast so your banana flower doesn’t brown. It’s a fragrant and crunchy salad that is all about the texture and aromas. This salad falls into the category of ‘gnoam’ salads here in Cambodia. A gnoam, which you’ll also spot spelt as nhoam, is a fresh salad that’s prepared with cooked ingredients, such as poached chicken in this case.

The other sort of salad you’ll come across in Cambodia is called a p’lear, which features raw ingredients, such as raw fish that’s ‘cooked’ in a citrus-based dressing, like a ceviche is, or with raw beef, served like an Italian carpaccio.

Classic Banana Flower Salad Recipe for Cambodia’s Gnoam Trayong Chek


Mexican Chicken Tinga Taco Recipe

Another of our best poached chicken breast recipes, this easy Mexican chicken tinga taco recipe makes warm soft flour tortillas with delicious Mexican chicken tinga – or tinga de pollo – grilled corn charred on a griddle pan, zingy pickled purple shallots and pickled purple cabbage, sprinkled with crumbly Mexican cotija and aromatic coriander.

Chicken tinga, which is essentially comprised of shredded chicken breast, has a soft texture and avocado is soft, so we felt our chicken tinga recipe needed a little crunch, hence we use corn.

The Mexican chicken tinga is easy to make (and it makes fantastic leftovers). You just divide the chicken tinga and corn between the tacos, then garnish with the quick pickles, Mexican cotija (or another similarly white cheese) and fresh coriander, and serve with dishes of pickles, cotija cheese, lime quarters, coriander, and hot sauces.

Mexican Chicken Tinga Taco Recipe with Grilled Corn, Pickled Shallots and Purple Cabbage


Cambodian Chicken Rice Soup Recipe for Borbor Sach Moan

Our Cambodian chicken rice soup recipe makes borbor sach moan, Cambodia’s chicken congee, and it’s another of our best poached chicken breast recipes. Our Cambodian recipes are incredibly popular with our readers, and this remains one of the most-read.

This nourishing dish is a classic Cambodian-Chinese comfort food favourite and while this recipe uses chicken breasts poached in stock, here in Cambodia, you’ll also find bowls of borbor with pork, meatballs, fish, dried fish, seafood, snails, and frog legs.

A range of condiments are also sprinkled, splashed and doused on Cambodian congee, including fish sauce, dried fish floss, chilli oil, chilli flakes, pickles, and fresh aromatic herbs. Borbor doesn’t get as much attention as Cambodian breakfast noodle soups, such as kuy teav and nom banh chok, but it’s just as delicious.

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge Recipe for Borbor Sach Moan, Cambodia’s Congee


Mexican Chilaquiles with Shredded Chicken Recipe

This easy Mexican chilaquiles recipe with fried eggs, shredded chicken and green salsa makes chilaquiles verdes, and it’s another one of our best poached chicken breast recipes. A pre-Hispanic Aztec dish, chilaquiles has long been a popular Mexican breakfast dish, but one that is eaten at any time of day.

Filling and comforting, it makes for a fantastic lunch or dinner, while my Mexican friends used to tuck into late-night bowls after an evening spent bar-hopping and clubbing, swearing it was the best hangover cure.

To make your shredded chicken for chilaquiles, you could really use any part of the chicken, but we think whole chicken breasts are best and best poached, and if you poach them until they are just-done, they should stay moist.

Mexican Chilaquiles Recipe with Fried Eggs, Shredded Chicken and Green Salsa for Chilaquiles Verdes


Indonesian Soto Ayam Recipe for a Chicken Noodle Soup from Yogyakarta

Our soto ayam recipe for Indonesia’s beloved breakfast noodle soup makes the soup we became smitten with on our last day in Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java, and it’s another of our best poached chicken breast recipes. We’d travelled to Java to explore spectacular Borobudur and Prambanan, but became just as enamoured with the food.

We’d noticed signs for soto ayam on rickety old food carts all over the city, but it wasn’t until our last morning that we had time to taste Yogyakarta’s soto ayam from a spotlessly clean 30-year-old food stall ran by a fastidious cook near, located by the walls of the Sultan’s Palace.

‘Soto’ means soup and ‘ayam’ is chicken and this Indonesian chicken soup with noodles is the go-to street food breakfast for many locals across the country. It’s an aromatic chicken broth with rice noodles, garnishes and condiments, and while there are countless versions of this Indonesian chicken noodle soup, the Yogyakarta cook’s soto ayam stood out for the consommé-like clarity of the light soup and fragrant aromas from the stock.

Soto Ayam Recipe for Yogyakarta’s Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado and Vegan Chilli

Our shredded chicken tacos recipe with smashed avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickled onions and pickled cabbage makes a fantastic filling lunch or light dinner that’s a cinch to make and can be assembled quickly. It’s another one of my favourite poached chicken breast recipes.

Plan ahead and prepare the shredded chicken and chilli in advance and it means no cooking – aside from warming up the tortillas in a pan. Pop a fried egg on top for a breakfast taco.

.Terence makes perfect poached chicken, which we use for our Mexican chicken tinga tacos and shredded chicken breakfast burritos.

Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado, Vegan Chilli and Mexican Pickles


Do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our best poached chicken breast recipes as we’d love to hear how they turned out for you.


Lara Dunston Patreon


Photo of author
A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

2 thoughts on “Best Poached Chicken Breast Recipes from Chicken Salads to Chicken Soups”

  1. I made the Chicken and Potato soup last week, poaching chicken breasts to make a stock first.
    Such a delicious and tasty recipe, perfect for the winter nights here in Australia currently.

    The recipe was easy to follow and the result was a tasty soup.

Leave a comment