These step-by-step instructions on How to Boil Perfect Chicken Breasts is the best method for boiling tender, juicy, easy to shred chicken breasts that you can use in a variety of dishes! Each time I boil my chicken breasts using these steps it comes out perfect every time. I love using tender, shredded chicken breast meat in soups, casserole dishes, salads, Mexican recipes or my absolute favorite casserole, my mom's Chicken Tetrazzini!
So ditch the hard, rubbery chicken breasts and use this post as a basic guide for a “no fail” way to properly boil simple chicken breast meat. You’re then ready to shred or chop your cooked chicken breasts and allow the flavors in your favorite dish to season the meat to your liking. Another popular recipe that this shredded chicken breast goes perfectly with is my Chicken Tortilla Soup!
HOW TO BOIL PERFECT CHICKEN BREASTS
More tips and a detailed video are listed below, but here’s a quick overview:
Step One: Add 1-2 pounds of thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 chicken breasts) in a medium pot . Fill the pot half way with COLD water. Making sure your chicken breasts are fully covered.
Step Two: Place your pot on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Turn the heat on to medium-high heat and wait for the pot to come to a slow boil.
Step Three: As SOON as the water starts to boil, turn your temperature down to low or medium-low (depending on your stove setting), cover with a lid (crack the lid a little to allow steam to escape), and simmer your chicken breasts for at least 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. (it's very important not to boil your chicken at a high temperature at this point. Once the water starts to initially boil, turn the heat all the way down to a simmer and allow the chicken to simmer low and slow for 1 hour).
Step Four: After your chicken breasts have simmered for 1 hour, remove the breasts from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. You can also simply turn your heat off, remove the pot from the heat and allow the chicken to stay in the pot for a few extra minutes while you prep the rest of your food.
Step Five: Once your chicken has rested for about 5 minutes, you can carefully and easily shred or chop the chicken based on your personal preference. I usually shred mine and add it to my soups and casserole recipes.
FROZEN OR THAWED CHICKEN BREASTS?
I always use thawed chicken breast when boiling on the stove. If they are frozen I will thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or thaw it in cold water in the sink for 2-3 hours. If the chicken breasts are not completely thawed, that’s fine, but I at least like to start with mostly or partially thawed chicken breasts.
With that being said you can boil frozen chicken breasts, but it will take longer to cook. Add about 30 more minutes to your cook time and then check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature at the thickest part of the chicken should be 165°F for a fully cooked chicken breast.
LET’S TALK SEASONING!
When boiling your chicken breasts most of your seasoning will be added afterwards in your recipe or dish depending on what you are making with your chicken. You may be using this for a specific soup recipe, a Mexican dish, your favorite casserole, chicken salad or just to serve by itself.
CAN’T WAIT AN HOUR?
If you need chicken cooked sooner and don’t have an hour to wait, you can always cook your chicken in an Instant Pot. This is also another favorite way for me to cook chicken as it cooks a lot quicker, uses less water and you can add your seasoning or all of your desired ingredients directly in the pot with the chicken! Try my Instant Pot Chicken Tacos or my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili and you can get tender chicken breasts in just 20 minutes!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR CHICKEN BREASTS ARE DONE
The only safe way to know when your chicken breasts are done is to use a meat thermometer. Your chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of your chicken breast. Digital meat thermometers are inexpensive and simple to use. This is the digital thermometer that I use.
WATCH ME MAKE IT HERE
If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial then check out the video below.