How to Boil Chicken Breast


Chicken is a versatile protein that is staple for various meals in a lot of homes, for that reason it’s important to know how to boil chicken. The meat is used to make chicken soups, top salads, tacos among many other delicacies. Various chicken recipes turn out finger-licking because your meat was boiled.

To boil chicken breasts, start by placing them in a large pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Then, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the chicken to cook for about 10-15 minutes, until it’s thoroughly cooked and its internal temperature reaches 165°F. After cooking, remove the chicken from heat and allow it to cool before cutting or shredding.

chicken breast

Advantages of boiling Chicken Breast

The advantage of boiling this type of meat is that there are so many recipes that fancy this type of preparation. When you bake or pan-fry your meat correctly, the dish will turn out to be dry. You will also have to think about the area where you will put the extra grease.

Boiling, on the other hand, is foolproof, you have various options of meat to use, for starters, one can use skinless meat, boneless, skin-on or bone-in chicken fillets. For example, when you boil a bone-in chicken with skin, it produces an amazing broth, which is a plus for you. Boiling this kind of meat without bones is quick and does not require a lot of time to prepare.

Healthiness: Boiling boneless chicken breast is a low-fat method of cooking, as it doesn’t require any added fats or oils.

Simplicity: It’s a straightforward cooking method that anyone can do, requiring only a pot, water, and the chicken itself.

Versatility: Boiled chicken can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to soups, sandwiches, and more.

Meal Prep: Boiled skinless chicken breast is perfect for meal prepping as it can be cooked in large batches and used throughout the week. Perfect for a chicken salad dish mid week.

Tenderness: When done correctly, boiling can result in tender and juicy chicken breast.

How To Boil Chicken Breast

First, you place your meat in a pot with water and then add spices, vegetables together with herbs. Boil them over medium or low heat. The time frame for boiling the breasts usually depends on the size of your meat.

You then, add the spices together with vegetables so that they can infuse fragrant flavors to this meat. The vegetables you can employ may include, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, as well as, lemon zest. The herbs to use, on the other hand, include thyme, parsley, basil, and also a bay leaf.

The result of this process is always aromatic. You will have tasty as well as tender meat that falls apart easily. This is the best recipe for weekly dish preparation. Chicken breasts that have been boiled can stay fresh in the fridge for 4 days.

Do you put chicken in before or after the water boils?

You should put the chicken in the pot before the water boils. This method allows the chicken to gradually heat up, ensuring that it cooks more evenly. It also helps to prevent the outside of the chicken from overcooking before the inside has had a chance to fully cook.

Can you overcook chicken by boiling?

Yes, you can indeed overcook chicken by boiling. Overcooked chicken can become tough, dry, and less flavorful. This typically happens when the chicken is left to boil for too long. It’s recommended to simmer the chicken gently and check it frequently to ensure it doesn’t overcook. A safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165°F.

How to Boil Chicken Breast Recipe 🥘

4 from 10 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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In this recipe, we explore how to boil chicken breast in an easy and quick way while ensuring the flavors persist. Boiling chicken breast can be tasty and we’re changing the misconception that it isn’t.


  • 4x Bone-in, skinless, skin-on or boneless chicken-breast, your choice

  • Organic meat broth

  • Spices, of your choice/preference

  • Vegetables, such as tomatoes and green beans

  • Herbs, of your taste as well as preference


  • You can either choose to boil your chicken in water, broth or even a mixture of both. The good thing about boiling the meat in broth is that it will increase fragrant flavor to the entire cuisine. Increasing the tantalizing aroma and taste of the cuisine.
  • Place the chicken in a pot with your liquid of choice. The liquid should be enough to submerge the meat; you then have to add salt and also pepper to season the liquid. Additionally, you can add herbs and other vegetables so that the dish can have a finger-licking flavor.
  • After adding all the desired vegetables together with herbs, you can then go ahead and allow it to boil. It is prudent to cover your pot and heat it at a medium to low heat so that the meat can stay at a constant rapid simmer. You should allow it to simmer for 10 minutes; this, however, would depend on the size of meat you are boiling. After the meat has simmered for 10 minutes, you can remove one and check if it is well cooked, if you not, you can check on them at an interval of 5 minutes. The internal temperature should be about 165 degrees. Do not overcook the meat because they would become rubbery.
  • After you have removed the chicken from the pot, leave it for at least 8 minutes. This is important as it allows your meat to cool down so that they can shred properly. It also ensures that it keeps some moisture in the cuisine thereby evading the problem of dry meat. You should use forks to shred them or you can also slice them up.
  • If you want to have plain chicken then you can serve up now otherwise garnish the boiled chicken to apply a seasoned presentation.

Recipe Video


  • Boiling chicken in chicken broth is how you can add instant flavor.

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Nutrition Facts

4-6 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories136
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 3g 5%
    • Cholesterol 82mg 28%
    • Sodium 51mg 3%
    • Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
      • Protein 25g 50%

        * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

        How to Store Boiled Chicken

        To store boiled chicken wait until the chicken has been boiled and cooled, place it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. If storing in the refrigerator, it should be used within 3-4 days. However, if you need to store it for a longer period, freezing is the best option. Boiled chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.

        How to Shred Chicken Breasts?

        To shred chicken breasts cook the chicken breasts fully until they are no longer pink in the middle. After the chicken has cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool until it’s comfortable to handle. You can speed up this process by cutting the breasts into smaller, more manageable pieces.

        Once cooled, use two forks to shred the chicken. Hold one fork in each hand, and use them to pull the meat apart into thin shreds. You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this task.

        Simply place your cooked chicken breasts in the mixer bowl and turn it on to a low speed until the chicken is shredded to your liking. Whether shredded by hand or machine, the result is perfectly pulled chicken that’s ready to be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and salads to soups and casseroles.


        How long does it take to boil one chicken breast?

        So if you are wondering how long it takes to just boil one chicken-breast, considering that it has both bones and skin on, then the answer is about 30 minutes. This kind of meat is the one that takes up most of the time. Boiling meat that is both boneless as well as skinless will take a maximum of 20 to 25 minutes. One can also decide to cut a skinless boneless meat to 2 inches sizes, this will cut up the cooking time to up to 10 minutes.

        How long does it take to boil a bone-free chicken-breast?

        A boneless meat as stated above, will not take a lot of time to boil. When you simmer meat that is boneless but has skin on, it will roughly take 25 minutes to be ready. It is important to note that you must simmer a boneless skinless meat over medium to high heat, after which you will reduce it and let it –continue to cook the meat for 20 minutes.

        How long should you boil chicken breast for salads?

        When you want to prepare this type of meat for your salad delicacies, it is recommended that you use a bone-in chicken-breast. Simmer it in broth to add flavor to the meat, this means that you should let it simmer for 30 minutes. You have to season the liquid with herbs as well as vegetables to add fragrant flavors to this meat. This will ensure that you acquire that perfect meat for your salad.

        Can I boil frozen chicken?


        Yes you can boil chicken from frozen. There is a common misconception that it needs to be fully defrosted first, however this is not true. With that, it must be noted that you will be required to cook the chicken for longer than normal. USDA have stated it is fine to cook chicken on the stove (and oven) under their Safe Defrosting guidelines, therefore you can safely simmer to your hearts content on the boil.

        My recommendation to our readers is to thaw the chicken first to ensure the guidelines and instructions are adhered to and to ensure optimal results.

        How to know when boiled chicken is cooked?

        There are a number of ways to figure this out and mitigate against the risk of eating undone chicken and checking the color from the outside definitely isn’t one of them. The methods we recommend to allow you to figure this out are as follows.

        1. By using a cooking thermometer (specifically for meat) – having spoken to many chefs this is their preferred method. Our recommendation is 75 degrees and up.
        2. Checking to ensure the juice is clear – There’s a good chance that the meat is sufficiently cooked once the juices run clear.
        3. Cut into the meat – Ensure the color on the inside is white and doesn’t contain any pink.
        4. Follow directions and guidelines from professionals – Although this is only a guide, it’s a good reference point and ensuring you’re doing prior research before cooking will allow you to cook chicken at the right temperature and length of time.



        1. not sure about boiling chicken

        2. Dana Andrakowicz

          I use an instant pot to cook my chicken…

        3. Donna L Holder

          i love chicken in every way you can cook it

        4. Meg Tucker

          So versatile and yes it’s great for freezing. That way I have plenty handy fior quick meals and salads.

        5. Tony Plarz

          We make chicken a lot I will try it .

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