One day I was talking to my mom on the phone and she told me about how Martha poached a chicken on her cooking school show and then left the chicken in the poaching liquid! I had never heard of poaching chicken this way before so of course I had to do it to see if doing so made a difference.
Make sure to use bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts for this poaching technique. Place them in a deep pot so there will be at least 3″ of room at the top.
Cover chicken with water until it is 1″ above the chicken. Add 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns, 3 springs parsley, 1 spring time, 1 dried bay leaf, 1 medium carrot (peeled and chopped), 1 roughly chopped celery stock and 1 tsp of coarse salt. At this time of year I never have fresh herbs so I just added the bay leaf.
Bring water to just below a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to medum-low to keep temperature constant.
Between 170 and 180F. This was tough, my temperature started to go higher so I had to keep turning it down.
Then cook and skim the foam off the surface for around 15-18 minutes.
The internal temperature of the chicken should be 160F.
Remove the chicken and strain the poaching liquid.
Pour the strained liquid over the poached chicken. Let cool in the liquid to keep chicken moist and tender. If you let sit overnight you will have to also skim off the fat.
When chicken is cooled or you are ready to serve it, separate meat from bones and discard, along with the skin.
Well Mom, that really was some of the moistest and yummiest chicken I have ever had! I used it in wraps and sandwiches for a couple of days and it was absolutely wonderful. Worth the extra effort? Absolutely. Next time this cut of meat is on sale, I am going to pick some up and poach it again, Martha -style.
I give this technique and recipe five out of five wooden spoons.