Perfect Poached Chicken

Have you found yourself buying expensive precooked frozen chicken cubes?  This recipe from   "Fast, cheap, good" is so easy you’ll never do it again.  I actually got more cooked chicken than their recipe suggested – usually 1 cup of cooked chicken is about 4 ounces.  I simply put this on the burner while I prepared something else for lunch, by the time we got up from the table it was ready to cut up and package.  It wasn't stringy like slow cooked chicken can be. 
I packaged mine in 4 ounce (1 cup) portions in freezer baggies for two people.  Use it in any salad, soup or casserole recipe.  Save the broth and add it to soup or gravy.  I thought I would have seasoned this more, but this way it is more versatile for a variety of end recipes.    If you can’t home can chicken like I usually do, try this recipe.       
Perfect Poached Chicken
  3             Pounds  Chicken Breasts -- skinless, Boneless, thawed if frozen
  1              Large  Onion
  1              Stalk  Celery
  1              Large  Carrot
     1/4      Teaspoon  Black Pepper
                        Salt -- to taste
Place the chicken breasts in a 4 1/2 quart Dutch oven or soup pot.  (If they are larger 8 ounces each, cut them in half lengthwise.)  Peel the onion, cut it into 4 pieces, and add them to the pot.  Cut the celery into 4 pieces and add them to the pot.  Peel the carrot and cut into 1” pieces, add to the pot.  Add just enough cold water to completely cover the chicken and vegetables, and then sprinkle with salt if using.
Cover the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, as soon as the water reaches a vigorous boil, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand, covered, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes for average-size pieces.  Do not overcook.
When chicken is done, remove it from the pot, using tongs or a slotted spoon.  Allow the chicken to cool enough to cut into bite-size chunks for future use.
Allow the poaching liquid to cool and use for soup.
Freeze the chicken chunks in 1 or 2 cup portions for 2-3 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Use for casseroles, chicken pies, sandwiches and salads.
My Yield:  1 pound 12 ounces or 7 cups (recipe called for 6 cups)
I paid $2.97 for 3 pounds of frozen chicken breasts on sale a few weeks ago.  I also stopped by the store and checked the prices today.  Fresh chicken breasts were $1.99 a pound.  I worked the comparisons out for you below.  Even at the higher prices, the home cooked chicken costs about 53% of the precooked chicken.
2013 Cost: 
Chicken Breasts
Per Pound Purchased
Cooked 1 pound
Cooked 1 cup (4 ounces)
Uncooked Breasts
Uncooked Breasts
Frozen Already Cooked
$8.99/22 ounces

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