How long should you boil chicken for tenderness? The size of the breasts and whether or not they have bones determines this.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you’re wondering how long to cook frozen chicken, we recommend thawing it first.

Refrigerate the chicken breasts for at least 9 hours, or use the defrost function on your microwave or the cold water method to expedite the procedure.

Never cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or microwave; however, according to the US Food Safety and Inspection Service, you can boil frozen chicken by increasing our time requirements for boiling chicken by 50%.

Best chicken breast

  • This is a quick method for preparing chicken for casseroles, soups, or salads.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are low in calories and great in nutrition.
  • They always turn out moist and delicious!
  • The broth or cooking liquid can be used to make soups or to prepare rice or pasta.
  • Boiled chicken freezes well, so stock up for quick and easy meals in the future.

How long should bone-in chicken breasts be boiled?

Boiling one bone-in chicken breast takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes on average. The time varies depending on the size of the chicken breast.

To determine whether the chicken breast is fully cooked, place a meat thermometer into the thickest section of the breast. When the internal temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is thoroughly cooked (74C).

When cooking bone-in chicken breast, avoid allowing the thermometer to contact the bone, as this can influence the temperature measurement.

How to boil bone-in chicken breast

The boiling time for bone-in chicken breasts is around 30 minutes. If the meat is still raw, continue cooking it until it is no longer reddish.

Some folks who follow a strict diet eat boiling bone-in chicken breasts right from the pot. They consume it without any additional additives or condiments.

Others include it in other dishes. This means that after boiling, they will shred, cut, or slice it into pieces according to the recipe.

As previously stated, boiling bone-in chicken breasts takes longer than boiling boneless ones. The truth is that whether you’re boiling, steaming, grilling, or frying chicken breasts, bone-in takes longer to cook than boneless.

The heat that radiates from the flesh also plays an important role.

There are no bones to conduct heat and no skin to retain moisture in boneless and skinless chicken breasts. As a result, it cooks faster than bone-in cuts. Boneless ones also dry quickly.

How long to boil chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)

Chicken Breasts

Cook 12 to 15 minutes for skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. This equates to cooking frozen chicken for 18 to 22 minutes.

If you want to make the poached chicken even faster, chop it into 2-inch pieces and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remember that the only definite method to tell if your chicken is done is to check the internal temperature (165°F), so use these times as guides only.

Boiling boneless chicken breast

Here’s a recipe for cooking boneless chicken breast to give you an idea of how long it will take to boil.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized chicken breasts
  • 1 medium-sized onion, cut in half but not peeled
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks but not peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into bits
  • 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns

Procedure for boiling boneless chicken breast:

  1. Put the four boneless chicken breasts, carrots, celery, peppercorns, and onions in a large pot.
  2. Slowly pour in the water or chicken broth. Ensure the four chicken pieces are completely submerged in water or chicken broth.
  3. Bring the large pot to a boil, covered. Reduce the heat after a few minutes to allow it to boil softly.
  4. Four boneless chicken breasts of average size should boil for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Set a 15-minute timer. After 15 minutes, check the chicken. If the meat is still pinkish after 15 to 20 minutes, continue to cook it. Wait until the meat has stopped being reddish.
  5. Remove the chicken and set it aside to cool.

Boiled chicken is quite versatile and may be used in various ways. It’s delicious, shredded into a salad or soup. Serve it on nachos or tacos.

Alternatively, include it in a pasta sauce. With this lean protein source, the possibilities are unlimited. It’s rather tasteless on its own, so season it after it’s cooked.

How long does it take to boil frozen chicken breast?

frozen Chicken Breasts

If you’re boiling frozen boneless chicken breast, you’ll need to wait around 23 minutes for it to come to a full boil. You may have to wait 45 minutes for frozen bone-in chicken breast.

It all depends, though, on how frozen your meat is. I can promise you, however, that whether your meat is frozen or not, it is safe to boil!

How to boil frozen chicken breast

  • Arrange the meat in a single layer in a large pot to hold it.
  • Pour roughly 2 cups of liquid, or enough to completely submerge the meat.
  • Add a bouillon cube, dried herbs or spices, and other ingredients to taste.
  • Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the meat thermometer reaches 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove from the stock and set aside for 5 minutes before shredding or slicing.

Is this method okay for chicken thighs?

This method is most commonly used for cooking chicken breasts, although it can also be used to prepare chicken thighs if you like.

  • The cooking time for boneless chicken thighs is roughly 10 minutes.
  • The cooking time for bone-in chicken thighs is roughly 15 minutes.

Cook as many breasts (or thighs) as you like at once. They cook best in a single layer, so use a large enough pan to accommodate everything.

What is the best way to tell if a boiled chicken is done?

Your chicken is done when it is firm, no pink remains in the center, and a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit (if necessary).

Taking it out of the water and cutting it open is okay. Put it back in to cook if it’s still pink.

The health benefits of boiled chicken breasts

Because it is the leanest chicken cut, the chicken breast is regarded as the healthiest chicken meat of all. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that a four-ounce serving size of chicken breast includes roughly the following nutritional content:

  • 85 milligrams of sodium
  • 110 calories
  • A gram of fat
  • 75 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 26 grams of protein

As a result, if you find it difficult to reduce your calorie intake, eating chicken breasts is recommended.

Aside from being a good source of lean protein, chicken breast is also a good source of minerals and vitamins. These include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

How to use boiled chicken?

  • Make sandwiches using shredded or sliced meat.
  • Add to salads as a garnish.
  • Use chicken meat instead of turkey in this fricassee.
  • Add into soups.
  • Enchiladas with red sauce and sour cream or green enchiladas.
  • Add to tacos.
  • Make a pilaf with the stock and meat.
  • Alternatively, try a chicken and leek pie.


How do you keep boiling chicken from drying out?

It won’t be dry as long as you cook it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you leave it in the water for too long, it will overcook and dry out, but start checking it at the 12 to 15-minute point, and you should be good.

Also, allowing my chicken to rest after cooking makes it less dry (just like you would with roasting or any other method). Don’t cut it open–just set the breasts aside to chill. This aids in the redistribution of natural juices.

What’s that white stuff floating in the water?

As the flesh cooks and the fibers shrink, the protein from the chicken rises to the top. Fatty fish, such as salmon, do the same thing.

It’s nothing to be concerned about and quite normal. If any of it sticks to the outside, simply scrape it away.

How to store boiled chicken

Cook the chicken ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer for usage during the week. It’s the ideal method to save time and effort on hectic weeknights.

Allow the chicken to cool before transferring it to an airtight storage container and storing it in the fridge for up to three days or freezing it for up to three months. That’s all there is to it!

What if I overcook the chicken breast?

As a result, you have hard rubbery egg curds surrounded by the milky liquid that was formerly contained within the proteins.

The same is true with chicken…if it is boiled or cooked too quickly or for too long, the proteins contract tightly and suck out the moisture.

Is it true that cooking chicken breast makes it tough?

It entails covering chicken pieces with water and simmering them on the stovetop until the chicken is tender.

The low temperature and moist-heat cooking method gently cooks the chicken and protects it from overcooking. The cooked chicken is juicy and tender rather than tough.