This Oven Poached Chicken is magic. Does it lay golden eggs? No. Does it cook itself? Not really. Does it do homework with the kids so you don’t have to? Unfortunately not. If you find a chicken that does, PLEASE tell me.
The magic of this chicken is:
- Easy – and no dirty pot or pans.
- Flexible – it’s open to anything you need it to be. Mexican? Sure. Stir fry? No problem. Chicken Alfredo Pasta? Got you covered.
- Tasty – the number one reason people hate boneless, skinless chicken breasts is that they are dry. That is completely in your control, unlike anything else in life, and I’m going to show you how.
The secret to chicken that’s not dry is don’t overcook it. The secret to not over cooking chicken, to not over cooking anything, is a thermometer. I have both an instant read thermometer (Cook’s Illustrated recommends this one) and a probe thermometer which you insert into the meat and it stays in the oven. You can set an alarm on this one and it will alert you when the meat is at temperature. Chicken breasts come in all different sizes and by using temperature instead of just time, you are guaranteed to have tasty chicken.
When you keep cooked chicken on hand, you can make a great dinner so quickly, you’ll need to reward yourself with a glass of wine.
And you’re welcome, it took me everything not to write ‘moist’ a million times in this post.
Oven "Poached" Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless, chicken breast halves
- Salt and pepper to taste optional
- With a rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 275°.
- Tear off a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil that is double the width of the baking sheet you will be using.
- Place foil on baking sheet so that half is on the sheet and half is hanging over onto the counter.
- Place the chicken breasts onto the foil section that is on the baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart (don't crowd them together). Sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.
- Fold over the foil to cover the chicken. Fold over each edge twice so that it seals the chicken into a foil package. Put baking sheet with foil wrapped chicken in the oven.
- Bake until chicken is up to 155° on a thermometer, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place on trivet, oven safe counter or cold stove top.
- Being careful of hot steam, cut open top of foil to remove chicken. Proceed with recipe or remove chicken to a plate until cool and then store in fridge for up to three days.
The thermometer links are to Amazon and if you decide to purchase them from Amazon, they will give me a little spiffy, but don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything. I link to Amazon because they have almost every kitchen thing ever, and the reviews are good to check out. And I’m too lazy to drive to a place to buy them, so maybe you are too.