Poaching chicken is definitely not new, but the ways it can be used are more than you might think. Its commonly used to cook the chicken for chicken salad, or sliced to top a salad or on a sandwich (instead of store-bought deli meat). You can also shred poached chicken to use as you would any other shred, like in barbecue sauce, on a pizza, or for tacos. But all those uses really use it as it comes out of the pot. In Clean or Low Residue cooking, it serves as a shortcut to cook it fully in other ways and use less to no fat to cook it. Poached chicken, like sous vide chicken, reheats exceptionally well, and since it is already cooked through-- and already has lots of flavor -- from poaching, it can be added at the end of cooking another recipe and you don't need to use lots of (or any) fat to cook it or need to make sure that is safely cooked all the way through.
I'll show how it can be used to make a super umami bomb of flavor with minimal time and effort and especially with minimal ingredients. In this case savory chicken and mushrooms over broth-cooked rice.
As usual, there are ways to customize for yourself either for taste or other dietary requirements (such as vegan). While this is about poaching, I am not going to show how to do it, there are plenty of resources (like the link I shared above). From an ingredient standpoint poached chicken really is only 1: the chicken, but there are savories used in the water; usually carrot, celery, onion, peppercorns, and herbs (usually tarragon, I used bay leaf). One note: I prefer to use chicken thighs versus breasts for more flavor and a better texture. You can safely store poached chicken in the fridge for days.
Poached Chicken & Mushrooms With Umami Rice
- 1/2 cup white rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (sub. vegetable or mushroom broth)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp butter (I used plant based as I try to avoid beef products), divided
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (your choice: olive, canola, etc.)
- 2 Poached chicken thighs, chopped or shredded (or sub. tofu, tempeh, cauliflower, etc.)
- 1/2 medium yellow or white onion, diced
- 8 mushroom caps, diced
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 cup mushroom broth (or your choice)
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Add rice, broth, water and 1 tbsp butter plus any seasonings.
- A salt-free seasoning of your choice can be used here to amp up flavor: I used The Spice House Greektown blend.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to Med-Low and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add oil and remaining tbsp butter to a pan or skillet.
- Sweat onions.
- Add mushrooms and chicken and any seasonings and cook over med heat for 5 minutes.
- I used The Spice House Bicentennial blend.
- Because the chicken is already safely cooked from poaching before, it will cook up fast.
- Add tamari or say sauce and cook for a few minutes to your doneness (chicken is already cooked to temp), I got the mushrooms and chicken edges a little crispy
- Add broth & Nutritional Yeast and turn heat up to med-high.
- Mix corn starch with a bit of water and add to the pan.
- Cook until liquid thickens to a gravy.
- Divide rice in two dishes and add chicken & mushrooms over rice.