Poached chicken may not be as popular as fried, roasted, and braised chicken, but when it's done correctly, its tenderness and juiciness are unmatched. Served with a bright, flavorful dressing like this miso vinaigrette, it makes an easy, light, clean-tasting dinner or lunch.


  • 2 litres room-temperature water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 medium skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves (about 680g)
  • 1 whole spring onion, root end trimmed, plus thinly sliced spring onion for garnish
  • 1 knob peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 200g watercress
  • Warm cooked rice, for serving
Poached Chicken


  1. In a large saucepan, combine water and salt, stirring to dissolve salt. Add chicken, spring onion, and ginger and set over medium-high heat until water temperature reaches between 65°C and 71°C on an instant-read thermometer; adjust heat to maintain water temperature in the 65°C and 71°C range. (It's okay if the temperature bounces around a little, but try to keep it above 65°C and below 76°C.) Cook until thickest part of chicken registers 65°C on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from broth and let rest. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer and save for sipping or another use.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, miso, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth. In a medium bowl, toss watercress with just enough miso dressing to lightly coat.
  3. Remove and discard chicken skin and cut chicken meat from bones; discard bones. Slice chicken crosswise into 1cm pieces. Scoop rice into bowls and top with watercress and chicken slices. Drizzle miso vinaigrette onto chicken and garnish with sliced spring onions. Serve.

Image courtesy of Vicky Wasik and recipe courtesy of Serious Eats .


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