How to Poach Chicken Breasts for Enchiladas

by Sommer Leigh

Poach chicken breasts to shred for enchiladas.

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Succulent, moist chicken breast meat is the result you can get from poaching. This method of preparing chicken causes the breasts to shred easily. Just shred the chicken with forks, and add it to your enchilada recipe. The trick is to make sure you actually poach the chicken, not boil it. Boiling produces a drier chicken breast with less flavor.

Fill the saucepan halfway with water, and place it on a stove burner set to medium heat.

Add the onion to the saucepan for flavor, and bring the water to a simmer.

Add the chicken breasts to the saucepan, and wait until the water starts to simmer again.

Add the seasonings to the saucepan.

Cover the saucepan with its lid, and turn the temperature down to low.

Simmer the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cut into the breasts with a knife to verify they are done; they should have no pink areas.

Remove the chicken breasts from the broth with a pair of tongs.

Pierce and hold the meat with one fork and pull the other fork through the meat to shred it.


  • Skim off foam as it appears on the top of the water with a spoon.

    Use whole chicken breasts on the bone, if possible; boneless chicken breasts dry out more easily.

    Strain the chicken broth, and skim off any fat. Use it in other dishes

    Store the chicken broth in the freezer in small, covered containers.

    You can also poach the chicken in the oven. Place the hot broth and the chicken in a deep roasting pan. Place the pan in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.