Pesto Poached Chicken Breast


In all honestly I’m not a huge fan of chicken breasts.  Most of the time the meat is too dry for my liking, and nine times out of ten when I eat it I am reminded why I stick to chicken thighs.  It’s a textural thing for me too.  What can I say, I’m a total dark meat kind of girl.  But, I recently discovered a new method to cook chicken breast that results in just the opposite of a dry chewy piece of meat.  It’s poaching, using a method that is along the lines of sous-vide.  Nothing fancy though, just a pot of water, parchment paper, and plastic wrap.


Basically you season your chicken to your liking, wrap it in parchment and plastic wrap, and then drop it into hot water and let it poach for 15 minutes.  And voila you have tender chicken breast that is not the least bit dry.  Yes!  We all loved this.  I defrosted a jar of garden basil pesto to use as my seasoning.  If you remember I made many cups throughout the summer to enjoy this winter.  It worked out perfect!  Chicken thighs will still be my go to but I definitely have a new cooking trick to add some breasts into our diets!

Pesto Poached Chicken Breast

Yield: 3

Pesto Poached Chicken Breast

Here is the perfect method for cooking juicy tender chicken breasts!


  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • s&p
  • parchment paper
  • plastic wrap (that can withstand heat!)


  1. Fill a large pot with water and set on the stove over high heat.
  2. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise trimming off any fat if necessary. Place in a bowl and season with s&p. Add pesto and coat chicken evenly.
  3. Cut pieces of parchment paper the length of the chicken sliced wide enough to wrap around each piece of chicken. Tear off a piece of plastic wrap 3 times the length of the chicken.
  4. Place a piece of chicken in a piece of parchment paper and wrap parchment around chicken. Then place onto plastic wrap and wrap tightly compressing out as much as as you can as you roll it. Roll the ends of the parchment and tie them together making a double knot. Repeat with the other 5 pieces of chicken.
  5. Once the water has just come to a boil turn off the heat and add the wrapped chicken. Cover, leaving the pot on the hot burner, and let the chicken poach for 15 minutes. Once the time is up remove the chicken from the hot water, cut the plastic wrap and carefully remove the chicken from the plastic and parchment. Slice and serve.


I served this with a side of cauliflower rice, sautéed brussel sprouts, bacon, and roasted cherry tomatoes.

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