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Jun 23, 2011 11:14 AM

how to make chicken breast better when cooking in water


I'm on a diet and haven't used any added oil in the past 15 days. Like many dieters I also rely on chicken breast s (and beans) to support my intake of protein.

The chicken breast has been cooked into a soup or just plain water. The taste, everyone can expect, is pretty bad.

I've tried to marinate those meats with some wine, salt and soy sauce and it tastes better, but i'm wondering if there's any non-baked recipe that adds no extra oil to chicken breast? (i don't have an oven)

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  1. Have you tried to make a flavorful broth instead of just water? When I make a poached chicken breast, I first start by simmering my water with some leeks, bay leaf, carrots, fresh or dried thyme, and even some lemon. Anything I have in the fridge, then add the chicken to poach. If you are making poached chicken regularly, then strain the broth and save until the next time. After doing this two or three times, you can have some soup.

    1. Something I do that you could adapt is cook chicken thighs in either cooked-down tomatoes or canned tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes. The citrus breaks down the chicken just like lemon or lime would. I usually saute some vegetables first, toast some rice and then add the tomato and water, let that cook for half an hour or so before putting the chicken in to cook.

      Also look into getting a dutch oven or similar heavy metal cookpot. You'd have to experiment, but if you can find a way to elevate the chicken off the bottom of the pot (a couple of wooden sticks soaked in water might work) you could essentially bake your chicken on the stovetop. A deep frying pan with a lid could give you a similar effect as well if you already have that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ennuisans

        I think you're right that i should take some chicken thighs (skinless) and it tastes better, although its protein is 16% lesser than the breast and contain more fat percentage. Anyway, I will try some. After all, any diet must be sustainable on my tongue if i want to keep it going.

        thighs (66% protein, 30% fat , 119 calories per 100g)

        breast (84% protein 10% fat, 110 calories per 100g

        1. If you have a nonstick pan, you can saute the chicken breast in it without oil, rather than poaching.

          The goal is to get flavor IN, whereas your current method is doing nothing but taking flavor OUT of the chicken. So if you must poach, don't use plain water -- use wine, the flavorful broth smtucker recommends, miso broth, spicy tomato sauce, curry paste, etc.

          You might just try poaching the chicken in boxed chicken broth with whatever spices strike your fancy. You could add cumin, shredded carrots, golden raisins, and onion for a North-African flavor. Or rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, and chilli flakes.

          Good luck!

          1. I would first of all use a whole chicken and cut it up--there is much more flavor in the whole bird than in pieces that have already been cut up. Adding soy sauce will not help you on your diet so I suggest staying off of that. I cook a whole chicken with cut up herbs, onions , spices etc in a crock pot with water and let it simmer all day. The chicken flavors its self plus I get the added benefit of having chicken broth that I strain and then let sit in the refrigerator overnight, skim it and then freeze it in containers for later use. The chicken can then be used for other purposes, however its generally very soft so better as chicken sandwich or added to your beans etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ROCKLES

              herbs and onions (and garlic too) really boosts the flavor of the plain chicken breast and i enjoy it, but i still couldn't resist to use some soy sauce which is quite good for me. The sodium level is a concern but i've limited my use of it carefully.