Poaching and shredding is a fantastic – and we think underrated – way to prepare chicken. The resulting meat is moist, and perfect for so many uses – soups, bakes, sandwiches, you name it!
- Arrange 4 chicken fillets or skinless thighs in a single layer in the bottom of a stockpot. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and add 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tsp black peppercorns and 1 bay leaf.
- Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by about 3cm. Place over a medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is completely opaque throughout.
- Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to sit in the hot water for another 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and transfer to a cutting board. Shred using two forks, discarding the bones if using chicken thighs.
- Serve the shredded chicken hot or at room temperature, or allow to cool and then store in the fridge.
- To use the poaching liquid for a soup or another recipe, skim off any foam, then strain the liquid through a sieve and use as you would stock.
Add any other aromatics you like before covering the chicken with water, such as fresh herbs; sliced onions; peeled and sliced ginger; a splash of white wine or sherry; or any spices that will complement the dish in which the chicken will be used.