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Poach a whole bird

poached-chickenGentle poaching is a classic way of cooking any kind of bird like chicken, duck, goose or even turkey. It leaves the meat tender and juicy. Poaching not only brings a pleasing taste but also produces a delicious broth. The poaching time depends on the weight of the bird. Trussing the bird before poaching ensures it retains the shape of the bird during poaching over a gentle heat on top of the stove. A whole bird poached in flavorsome broth can be one of the most delicate dishes you will ever experience. You can also poach bird’s breast or thighs, with or without stuffing.

Personally I prefer to poach with stuffing as the meat will absorb all the flavors of the stuffing, bringing a wonderful lift to the taste. From all the birds which are been used for cooking, chicken is the bird most preferred bird among all of us. So I have to say that poached chicken meat is perfect for pie fillings as well for sandwiches. Here is a fuss free method on how to poach a whole bird.

Method :

  1. Truss the whole bird, including the neck if you like, and place in a large pan. Pour over enough cold water to just cover the bird. Bring the water slowly to the boil over a medium heat.
  2. Skim the surface of the bird with a slotted spoon, lower the heat and add sliced carrots, onions and a bouquet garnish. If you wish you could add some more varieties of herbs or maybe garlic and chillies. Poach, partially covered, for the calculated cooking time which is allowing 20 minutes per 450 grams.
  3. When the bird gets tender, remove from the poaching liquid and drain as much liquid as possible over the pan. Remove the trussing string and cut the chicken into pieces. If you wish you could discard the poached liquid but I recommend  to use the poaching liquid as a basic chicken stock or else you could reduce the heat and thicken the liquid to make a tasty chicken sauce.

34 Responses to “Poach a whole bird”

  1. doggybloggy | September 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply

    nice and subtle – the flavor of this is so perfect I am sure!

  2. Sophie | September 7, 2009 at 10:58 am | Reply

    I love poaching! It brings out the best of chicken or fish!

    Thanks for this lovely info!

  3. Amy - very culinary | September 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    Oh yes, any kind of slow cooking always brings out the flavor of the meat. This is a great alternative to using a crock pot. Great info/tips.

  4. Erica | September 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Reply

    Hi Nora,
    I learned a lot from your blog!!! Thank you.

  5. Angie's Recipes | September 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    I like to use poached chicken in a salad, it’s succulent and healthy.

    Angie’s Recipes

  6. Faith | September 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Reply

    I can imagine how tender and juicy a bird cooked like this would be, and I bet the poaching liquid is a fantastic chicken stock! This sounds like the perfect meal on a crisp fall evening!

  7. Rosa | September 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Reply

    I’ve never poached any bird… A healthy method!



  8. Cynthia | September 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Reply

    I love to poach chickens.

  9. Reeni | September 8, 2009 at 1:06 am | Reply

    I’ve never poached a whole chicken! I bet it’s wonderful and very delicious!

  10. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella | September 8, 2009 at 8:07 am | Reply

    This is new fo me! I’ve eaten a whole poached chicken at a Korean restaurant and it was delicious!

  11. Blond Duck | September 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply

    I think I’d be too scared to try!

  12. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie | September 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Reply

    I’ve poached fish like salmon but never a whole chicken or other bird. Sounds like a great and delicious method, thanks for the recipe!

  13. nora | September 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Reply

    thanx a lot my friends! :) and blondie its nothing to be scared of. a very easy and healthy way of cooking without any fuss. just giv it a try and let me know how it turned out:)

  14. Pigpigscorner | September 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Reply

    Love this technique, it produces such moist, tender and flavourful meat.

  15. Rosa | September 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply

    Have an enjoyable end of week!



  16. Gera @ SweetsFoods | September 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply

    Never tried to poach a bird….interesting and healthy way to prepare it.
    Thanks for sharing!



  17. Blond Duck | September 14, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply

    I hope you had a good weekend!

  18. theungourmet | September 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Reply

    I’ve never tried poaching. I’ll have to give it a shot! :0)

  19. Rosa | September 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Reply

    Have a good day tomorrow!



  20. Joanne | September 15, 2009 at 11:17 am | Reply

    I have never poached chicken because I am always scared that it will lose it’s flavor and come out dry. I will have to try your method of doing it!

  21. Blond Duck | September 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Reply

    Baylor is blushing. And there’s a new Halloween story tommorow!

  22. Candy | September 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply

    Thank you for the tips Nora! Poaching is very underrated but doing it gives you so many options of how to use the chicken afterwards too. Great post :)

  23. girlichef | September 17, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Reply

    Beautiful! A gorgeous poached bird for any occasion :D

  24. donna | September 18, 2009 at 2:41 am | Reply

    What a fantastic tutorial on poaching. Fantastic post!!

  25. Blond Duck | September 18, 2009 at 10:57 am | Reply

    Have a good weekend!

  26. Jessica@FoodMayhem | September 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Reply

    I love poached chicken and duck, especially when I’m feeling like a lighter meal.

  27. Blond Duck | September 22, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Reply

    I saw your new potato recipe–looks great!

  28. Blond Duck | September 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply

    Do you have any healthy snacks for picky eaters?

  29. Blond Duck | September 28, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Reply

    Isn’t Lorraine lovely?

  30. Blond Duck | October 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Reply

    It is a never ending story!

  31. Blond Duck | October 5, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Reply

    Tacos are always tasty!

  32. elra | October 27, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Reply

    I honestly never poach any kind of bird before. Maybe I should try, huh?

    • Graeme Claridge | February 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm |

      Try it, you will love it.

  33. Graeme Claridge | February 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply

    I have poached chicken many times and I always have perfect results, tonight for instance I poached chicken breasts in chicken stock prior to drying them and then wrapping them in unsmoked bacon and baking them at 200c for 30 minutes, they were delicious but my reason for writing this is because I wish to know if it is safe to poach a whole turkey and if so, how long per pound or kilo?

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