Poaching chicken is my favorite way to prepare chicken for chicken salad, enchiladas and other recipes where you need shredded/ cubed chicken. The following recipe is what I just used when I poaching some chicken for chicken salad, however once you have the basics down you can adjust and use what you have on hand to change the flavor profile.
In a large pot place your vegetables and aromatics. Place your chicken on top- season- cover with poaching liquid (enough to cover chicken). Your can use any type of chicken parts you desire, with or without bones and skin. The skin really has no use in poaching so feel free to remove before hand if you desire. I like use bone in as it adds depth to the broth, especially if you are saving the broth for future use.
Let come to boil for about 3 minutes. Cover partly and reduce to med-low simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Chicken should register 165 degrees at thickest part.
Remove chicken and shred or cube. The broth can be separated from any solids and used for other recipes.
In this recipe I placed one onion- quartered, handful of baby carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, and a 2 inch piece of ginger sliced. Chicken was seasoned with garlic salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and I added a couple bay leaves. Poaching liquid: vegetable broth and water to cover chicken.
Other ideas to use: For the poaching liquid you can use any type of broth, wine, water, and even beer….or combination thereof.
If I am poaching for enchiladas I may add hot chopped peppers, minced garlic or hot sauce.
I also like using fennel as the fennel and ginger to make a tasty broth for soups afterwards!