How Long To Boil Chicken | Your Guide to Perfectly Boiled Chicken Every Time

If you love succulent and juicy chicken that melts in your mouth, then you know the importance of cooking it correctly. Boiling chicken is a simple yet essential kitchen skill for all aspiring home cooks. However, nailing the perfect time for boiling can be tricky since overcooking results in dry and unpalatable meat. To ensure you get perfectly cooked tender chicken every time, today we are bringing to you our definitive guide on How long to boil chicken! Read on to find out tricks and tips from experts at mastering this classic method of cooking poultry dishes.

Table of Contents

How long to boil chicken?

It depends on several factors including the type and size of the chicken pieces you are using. As a rule of thumb, for whole chickens, allow about 10 to 12 minutes per pound. For boneless breasts, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until an internal temperature reads 165°F (74°C) with a food thermometer. Thighs need around 15 to 20 minutes while wings should be kept in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes.

Delicious boiled chicken recipes

Now that you know how long to boil chicken for a delicious and healthy meal, here are some of our favorite recipes.

  • Boiled Chicken Soup: This classic comfort food is made with broth, vegetables and herbs. Boiling the chicken ahead of time ensures that it cooks evenly in the soup.
  • Lemon Poached Chicken: For an easy weeknight dinner try this light and tasty lemon poached chicken recipe. The addition of fresh lemons creates a tangy flavor while boiling ensures the moistness of the meat.
  • Rosemary & Garlic Boiled Chicken Breasts: Infuse your boiled chicken with flavorful aromas by adding rosemary and garlic to help enhance the taste. These two herbs work together to give the perfect amount of flavor and texture to your boiled chicken.
  • Classic Boiled Chicken: To make a classic boiled chicken dish, start by boiling a whole bird for about 10 minutes per pound. Once cooked through, cut into pieces and serve with roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.

Tips for making perfectly boiled chicken every time

  • Start with cold water in a large pot and bring it to a full boil.
  • Add salt or spices to the cooking liquid for flavor.
  • It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer.
  • Once cooked, strain off the water and place your boiled chicken onto a cutting board for easy slicing and serving.
  • To get that perfect crispy skin, broil or grill your boiled chicken before serving.
  • Add aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pot for added flavor.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices like oregano, basil, paprika, thyme, rosemary or cumin to give your boiled chicken a flavor boost.
  • Aromatic liquids such as wine, beer or apple cider vinegar can also add depth of flavor. Just make sure that you don’t use too much liquid so that the meat doesn’t become soggy.
  • For an extra crunchy texture, try adding some toasted nuts or croutons at the end of cooking time.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, try adding a finishing sauce such as a pesto or balsamic reduction to give it an extra flavor kick.
  • To ensure your boiled chicken is juicy and succulent every time, it’s important to remember that some fats and liquids will help keep the moisture locked in during the cooking process. To do this, add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice per quart of boiling water before placing the chicken in the pot. Make sure it is fully submerged and not touching the bottom or sides of the pan.
  • Once you have finished boiling your chicken, don’t forget to allow it to cool before handling, as this helps retain its moisture. A few minutes under cold running water also works well too!
how long to boil chicken
how long to boil chicken

What are the benefits of boiling chicken?

Apart from being quick and easy to prepare, boiling chicken has many health benefits. Boiling poultry is a more nutritious way to cook compared to other methods like deep-frying or pan-frying. When boiled, the fat content in your food decreases as it renders off into the boiling water. This makes dishes cooked via this method leaner than their fried counterparts. Additionally, because most of the nutrients are retained in boiling liquid (which can be used later for soups and stews), you get a nutritionally dense meal without compromising on flavors!

Boiled chicken also contains fewer calories than other forms of cooking such as roasting or grilling which require additional oils or fats. This means it’s an ideal choice for those who are watching their calorie intake.

Finally, boiled chicken is a great source of protein that is low in sodium and saturated fat. It’s also easy to digest and can be used as part of many diet plans, including vegan and vegetarian diets.

What are some common boiling mistakes to avoid?

One of the most common mistakes when boiling chicken is not adding enough water. While it may seem like a small amount, you need to make sure that the entire bird is fully submerged in order for it to cook properly.

Another mistake people often make is using old or expired poultry. This can result in tough, rubbery chicken that won’t cook evenly and will be unappetizing to eat. Make sure your chicken has not been sitting out of the refrigerator for too long before use.

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when boiling chicken is overcooking it. If your chicken gets too tough or dry, its flavor and texture will suffer drastically. To avoid this, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer after about 10 minutes of boiling. If it has reached 165°F, you are good to go!

Overall, boiling chicken is an easy and nutritious way to cook poultry that can be used in a variety of dishes. All you need to do is make sure you’re adding enough water, checking the internal temperature often, and not using expired or old meat. Once you have these basics down pat, your boiled chicken will be tender and juicy every time!

What are the consequences of eating bad boiled chicken?

The consequences of eating bad boiled chicken can range from mild to serious depending on the type and amount of contamination. If you are consuming raw or undercooked poultry, there is always a risk of contracting foodborne illnesses such as salmonella. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. 

In some cases, more severe complications may arise including fever and chills. In addition to illness-related risks, eating bad boiled chicken can also have an effect on your digestive system. It can cause indigestion due to high levels of fat and cholesterol in the meat which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and heartburn.

Finally, consuming contaminated poultry can also create long-term health issues if left untreated. These include kidney and liver damage as well as an increased risk of developing cancer or other diseases.

What are some other uses for boiled chicken?

Boiled chicken is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different recipes. Here are just a few ideas of what you can do with boiled chicken:

  • Shredded or diced pieces make great additions to soups, salads, quesadillas or tacos.
  • Add cubed pieces to your favorite vegetable stir-fry recipe.
  • Mix cooked shredded chunks with mayonnaise and spices to create tasty chicken salad.
  • Make a classic chicken noodle soup by adding boiled pieces to a broth of your choice.
  • Create delicious sandwiches, wraps or pitas with boiled chicken as the main ingredient.
  • Add some cooked chunks to hearty pasta dishes such as macaroni and cheese or spaghetti bolognese.

As you can see, there are so many ways that you can use boiled chicken in your cooking! With a little creativity, you’ll be able to create tasty meals with this versatile ingredient every time.

how long to boil chicken
how long to boil chicken

What to do with boiled chicken once it’s cooked?

Once your boiled chicken is cooked, there are a few options for what you can do with it.

You can store boiled chicken in the refrigerator by placing it in an airtight container or wrapping it in aluminum foil. It will keep for up to four days in the fridge – just make sure that you discard any leftovers within this time period.

You can also freeze cooked chicken for up to six months if properly stored. Make sure that the pieces are fully cooled before freezing them and wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

When ready to use, simply thaw your frozen boiled chicken overnight on a plate in the refrigerator and then reheat it either in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Finally, you can also use your boiled chicken right away in any recipes that require cooked poultry. Whether you’re making a casserole or salad, boiled chicken is an easy and nutritious addition to any meal!

There are many different recipes that call for boiled chicken – from classic dishes like soups and salads to more creative options like tacos and quesadillas.

Variations on boiled chicken that you can try

Give your poultry an extra kick by marinating the pieces in flavorful sauces or herbs before cooking. Enhance the taste of boiling water with spices, and don’t limit yourself to just chicken – experiment with turkey, duck and more!

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try boiling your chicken in beer or wine. The alcohol will give the poultry a rich and complex flavor that can’t be replicated with other cooking methods.

You could also add vegetables to your boiled chicken dish to create an even heartier meal. Try adding potatoes, carrots, celery and onions to the pot – they will cook right along with the chicken and absorb all of its delicious flavors!

Finally, if you’re feeling creative, try experimenting with global flavors by using different herbs and spices from around the world. Boiled jerk chicken is a popular Caribbean dish that is both spicy and savory; while Indonesian-style ayam bakar is a spicy boiled chicken that is often served with a peanut sauce.

The nutritional benefits of boiled chicken

Boiled chicken is an incredibly nutritious option for those looking to get more protein in their diet.

It’s low in fat and calories, making it a great source of lean protein that can help to keep you full without adding too many extra calories. Boiled chicken is also high in essential vitamins and minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, niacin, Vitamin B6 and iron.

Additionally, boiled chicken has been found to reduce inflammation throughout the body which can lead to better digestion, improved joint health, and even lower blood pressure.

Finally, boiled chicken contains choline – an important nutrient that helps support the brain’s cognitive functions. By incorporating boiled chicken into your meals regularly, you can help ensure your body is getting all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and strong.

No matter how you choose to prepare your boiled chicken, it’s sure to be a healthy and delicious addition to any meal! So don’t hesitate – give this versatile ingredient a try today and start enjoying all its delicious benefits.

Recipes that include boiled chicken as one of the ingredients

• Chicken Vegetable Soup

• Crunchy Asian Salad with Boiled Chicken

• Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Boiled Chicken

• Thai Coconut Curry with Boiled Chicken

• Mexican Street Corn and Boiled Chicken Quesadillas

• Cilantro Lime Rice Bowls with Boiled Chicken

• Spicy Peanut Noodle Bowls with Boiled Chicken

• Creamy Garlic Herb Pasta and Boiled Chicken

• Mediterranean-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Boiled Chicken

• Caribbean Jerk-Style Boiled Chicken Tacos.


Q: How long to boil chicken breast?

A: It usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes for chicken breasts to boil.

Q: Can I freeze boiled chicken?

A: Yes, you can freeze boiled chicken if it is cooked and cooled properly. To do this, make sure the chicken has completely cooled before transferring it to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag and storing in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Q: Is boiled chicken healthy?

A: Yes, boiling chicken is a very healthy way of cooking as it helps retain most of the nutritional value and flavor of the meat without adding any extra fat or calories from oils or butter. Boiled poultry also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, niacin, Vitamin B6, and iron. Additionally, boiled chicken has been found to reduce inflammation throughout the body which can lead to better digestion and improved joint health.

Q: How long to boil chicken thighs?

A: It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes for chicken thighs to boil.

Q: How do I make the boiled chicken juicy?

A: To make the boiled chicken juicy, you can add a few tablespoons of white wine or broth to the water before boiling it and season the meat with herbs, spices, salt, and pepper. Additionally, using a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat can help ensure it’s cooked fully without becoming dry or tough. Once cooked through, take it off the heat and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will help retain the moisture in the meat and make it juicier.

Q: Can I add vegetables to my boiled chicken dish?

A: Yes, adding diced vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery to the boiling water can help infuse the chicken with extra flavor. Additionally, after the meat has cooked through you can add some fresh herbs or a creamy sauce like peanut sauce for extra flavor.

Q: How long to boil chicken drumsticks?

A: It usually takes about 12 to 15 minutes for chicken drumsticks to boil.

Q: How long to boil chicken tenders?

A: It usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes for chicken tenders to boil.

Q: Can I use boiled chicken in salads?

A: Yes, boiled chicken can be used in salads as a tasty and healthy protein source. You can either shred the cooked chicken or cut it into cubes and add it to your favorite salad recipes.

Q: How long to boil chicken wings?

A: It usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes for chicken wings to boil.

Q: Can I use boiled chicken in sandwiches?

A: Yes, boiled chicken makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps. You can either add the diced chicken cold or warm it up with some mayonnaise or salad dressing before adding it to your sandwich. This will give your sandwich extra flavor and texture.


How long to boil chicken is a question with many variables. The size and type of chicken you are boiling, as well the whether or not you want to eat the chicken immediately can all affect how long to boil chicken. In general, it takes about 30 minutes to fully cook a chicken in boiling water. To be sure your chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Keep in mind that larger chickens or those with bone-in may take longer to cook than boneless, skinless breasts. If you’re short on time, consider cutting your chicken into smaller pieces before boiling it so that they’ll cook faster. No matter what method you choose, remember to handle cooked poultry safely by avoiding cross-contamination and ensuring that all surfaces and utensils are properly washed after coming into contact with raw chicken.

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