Quick Pulled Chicken

Quick Pulled Chicken-2

For years I thought poached chicken breasts were one of the most boring things to eat. And then I was thinking about easy protein options that my boys might enjoy and I decided to challenge myself to master my poached chicken technique.

The result was this ‘pulled chicken’ which I’m finding myself making more and more frequently because the boys love it. And because I love it too!

The secrets to succulent poached chicken are:
1. Use the best quality chicken breasts you can afford. I get mine from the farmers market.
2. Cut the chicken breasts in half so they cook quicker and more evenly.
3. Allow chicken to rest after cooking.
4. Shred with your fingers instead of slicing. This somehow makes the texture magically more appealing.

Print Add to My Inbox

Quick Pulled Chicken

Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 2 small chicken breast fillets or more


  • Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise so they’ll cook quicker. Place chicken in a medium saucepan large enough to fit them in a single layer. Cover with cold salted water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Set your timer and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. You’re aiming for 73C (165F) when tested with a meat thermometer. Or when no longer pink in the middle if you cut through one to test.
  • Remove chicken from the pot with tongs and place in a clean bowl. I usually discard the poaching liquid but you could save it for soup as a light flavoured stock. Allow chicken to cool and rest for at least a few minutes or up to 30 minutes.
  • Using clean fingers or two forks, shred cooled chicken into bite sized chunks. Eat or refrigerate immediately.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

WINE MATCH: A nice buttery chardonnay .

Recipes to Use Your Chicken

Variations & Substitutions

vegetarianpoached or boiled eggs or cooked chickpeas using this method!

chicken thigh fillets – normally I’m all about the chicken thighs because they have more flavour but for poached chicken I actually prefer the breast. If using thighs check for doneness after 5 minutes simmering

coconut chicken – poach in coconut cream instead of water. Keep coconut cream to use in other recipes.

extra flavour – use chicken stock instead of the water. Or feel free to add aromatics to the poaching liquid like chopped celery, carrot, onion, parsley, thyme or bay leaves. I generally don’t bother but I should!

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just poach chicken as per the recipe. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week or can be frozen. I like it best cold but you can reheat in a pan with a little butter or oil.

Quick Pulled Chicken


Healthy Meal Method modules10 Healthy Meal Method modules2 Healthy Meal Method modules3 Healthy Meal Method modules4 Healthy Meal Method modules5 Healthy Meal Method modules6 Healthy Meal Method modules7 Healthy Meal Method modules8
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
FavoriteLoadingAdd to my Old Favourite Recipes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  • Generally when I want shredded chicken I buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but after the last one my husband brought home (the label said plain, but it was heavily smoked), I’m starting to rethink that plan. So these instructions will come in handy. Thank you for your timely solution.

  • Jules,

    This is exactly how I do chicken breasts, except I add pepper and other seasonings in addition to salt. Can I use the poaching liquid as a soup stock, (even though there are no bones involved)?


    • Great minds Karen!

      Yes you can use the poaching liquid as a stock – it’s not very stongly flavoured though so only use in soups that have lots of other flavours going on.

      And it won’t have the collagen / gelatine from bones so not as nutritious as bone based broths – but better to use it than throw it out!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating