How To Boil Chicken

Boiled chicken is a healthy and delicious addition to any meal, but sometimes it can be hard to know just how long it takes to boil a whole chicken. Luckily, the process is pretty easy and takes about an hour. Keep reading to learn more about how to boil chicken, what you should do, how to store boiled chicken, and what meals you can cook from it.


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4 Easy Steps How To Boil Chicken

Choose The Liquid

Before you fill the pot with water, you need to decide what liquid you want to use for boiling your chicken. If the liquid doesn’t cover the entire surface of the bird when submerged or it doesn’t match up with your recipe requirements, then add more boiling water or broth as needed until you reach the appropriate level.

Season It

A little salt and black pepper can go a long way to enhancing the flavor of your boiled chicken, so add these ingredients and any others that you want to experiment with. The seasoning can also be added after cooking, but it’s recommended that you season the chicken while it’s still raw for even distribution throughout the meat. You can also add additional flavorings in this step, such as butter, spices, or herbs.

Bring To A Boil

Bring your pot of water to a rolling boil once you’ve added your chicken breast to the pot. If you are using frozen chicken breasts, make sure to leave enough time for them to defrost before cooking begins. You can also increase the length of time you boil your chicken if you include aromatic ingredients like garlic or onions that will need time to cook before being served.

Shred It Up

Shredding boiled chicken is probably one of the easiest steps in the process. Once the water has cooked for an hour, remove your chicken breast from the pot and set it aside to cool for a few minutes. Then, shred up your chicken into bite-sized bits by hand or with a pair of forks.

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How Long To Boil Chicken

Boiling takes about an hour, but this time can vary depending on other variables like how cold your chicken is when you start cooking or whether you’re using frozen breasts or not. The general rule of thumb for boiling is between 45 minutes and one hour, so you should check the temperature before this time has passed to see if it’s ready.

You can also use these time frames for boiling chicken. This is the time how long to boil chicken after water is brought to a boil:

  • Thinner chicken breast cutlets will be ready in about 10 minutes.
  • Larger chicken breasts can be cooked for up to 15-20 minutes.
  • Large bone-in chicken breasts will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on their size.

How Long To Boil Chicken Breast

You can boil chicken breasts whole, or you can boil them individually. If you are boiling your chicken whole, it takes about an hour to cook through. If you’re boiling individual breasts, it may only take 30 minutes to cook the meat thoroughly.

This time will vary if you’re using frozen or defrosted breasts and other factors like how cold the meat is when you start cooking and what spices or other seasonings you’re using during cooking.

How Long To Boil Chicken For Shredding

If you want to boil chicken breasts in recipes like chicken salad, the meat needs to be cooked thoroughly. This means you should boil the frozen or defrosted chicken breasts for at least 45 minutes to ensure that they are properly cooked.


How Long To Boil Chicken Breast From Frozen

You need to cook whole frozen chicken breasts for about an hour. The cooking time will vary if you’re using defrosted frozen breast meat, but the final product should be fully cooked for about 45 minutes. There is no need to precook or tenderize your breast if it has already been processed.

How To Store Boiled Chicken

You can store cooked chicken in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for about one month. Once you’re done cooking your chicken, return it to the cooler, cover it with plastic wrap and store your meat in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How To Use Boiled Chicken

Thinly sliced cooked chicken is best served on green salads, topped with salad dressing or sauces, or used in recipes like fried rice or nachos. If your main objective is to use boiled chicken in recipes that involve frying, you can sauté them before cooking them. This way, you won’t need any additional oil while cooking, and they will be ready to serve right away.

The Bottom Line

When you boil chicken, you can use either a whole chicken or individual breast meat. If you’re boiling a whole chicken, the process takes about one hour and may take longer, depending on whether you’re using frozen breasts or not.

The final product should be cooked thoroughly and ready to shred by hand or with forks once cooled off. Once your chicken breast is cooked, save the meat in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for later recipes. I hope these tips and tricks will help you properly boil chicken for any occasion.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Long Does It Take To Boil Chicken?

    It takes about 1 hour to boil the chicken. You’ll know the chicken is done when poking a fork into the thickest part of the meat – if it doesn’t bounce back, then it’s fully cooked.

  • How Long Does It Take To Cook Raw Chicken In Boiling Water?

    It takes about 20 minutes to boil chicken in boiling water. It’s always best to check the time when cooking so you don’t overcook your meal.

  • How Do You Know If Boiled Chicken Is Done?

    You can tell if a boiled chicken is done using a meat thermometer, which should read 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiled chicken is done when it’s soft and moist on the inside and white on the outside. If cooked correctly, you shouldn’t see any pink areas in the meat.

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