Poached Whole Chicken

This whole poached chicken is poached simply and gently. This is a great way to serve chicken, especially when you want to feature some particularly nice ingredient or accompaniment. Like homemade mustard. Poached Whole Chicken.

Poached Whole Chicken 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6Source based on a method I learned from Martha Stewart LivungPublished


  • 2 carrots, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 stalk celery cut in half crosswise
  • 5 stems fresh italian parsley
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 1 whole chicken, (3–4 lbs )
  • kosher salt


1. Put the carrots, celery, onions parsley and peppercorns into a stockpot just large enough to hold a whole chicken without touching the sides of the pot. Rinse your chicken well. A clean bird will yield a more clear broth. Add the bird to the stockpot and cover with just enough cold water to completely submerge it.
2. Set the stockpot over medium-high heat, and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow the liquid to come to a gentle simmer. The temperature is important so a thermometer might help. 160 degrees F to 185 degrees F is ideal. Even without a thermometer you will know when the temperature is correct. Small air bubbles will start to form at the bottom of the pot, but only a few bubbles will break the surface of the water.
3. Let the pot simmer at this temperature for about an hour. You will need to skim off any of the sludge and foam that forms on the surface as you go. Your goal is a crystal clear stock.
4. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot; set it aside to cool.
5. Strain the stock through a very fine sieve. Discard the solids, and transfer the stock to a metal bowl.
6. In order to have a crystal clear stock we need to remove the fat from the liquid. If you have time chill the stock overnight and peel off the surface fat the next day. But if you plan to serve the stock the same day try this method: Fill a much larger bowl than your stock filled metal bowl with lots of ice. Place the metal bowl inside the larger bowl and fill it with enough water to come up the sides of the smaller metal bowl. When the stock becomes quite chilled (you may have to replace the ice bath several times) you can easily skim whatever fat comes to the surface. It’s time consuming but very satisfying work. This method is borrowed from Martha Stewart so let that mean what it will.
7. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle remove the skin and discard it. Pull the meat off the chicken keeping it in large chunks. It should pull off the bone easily.
8. To serve reheat the stock and taste for seasoning. Additional salt may be needed. The tiniest drizzle of apple cider vinegar could be nice too (less than ½ teaspoon).
9. Coat the bottom of each plate with a small amount of stock. This is not a soup. 1/8” on the bottom of the plate is sufficient. Arrange the room temperature chicken pieces on each plate. Serve this with a green vegetable. I chose crisp room temperature green beans, but asparagus would be nice too. Boiled baby red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs are a nice touch, as are niçoise olives. These choices are completely up to you and your pantry. But please remember to serve it with plenty of toasted baguette slices and a big helping of the homemade mustard.