Juicy and Tender Poached Chicken With Watercress and Miso Dressing Recipe

Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • Starting the chicken in room-temperature water and then cooking it at a gentle heat keeps the flesh tender and juicy.
  • An aromatic poaching liquid with scallion, ginger, and salt becomes a tasty broth for sipping.

Poached chicken may not be as popular as fried, roasted, and braised chicken, but when it's done correctly, its tenderness and juiciness are unmatched. Served with a bright, flavorful dressing like this miso vinaigrette, it makes an easy, light, clean-tasting dinner or lunch.

Recipe Details

Juicy and Tender Poached Chicken With Watercress and Miso Dressing Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 75 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 2 quarts (2L) cold water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15g) kosher salt

  • 2 medium skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds; 680g)

  • 1 whole scallion, root end trimmed, plus thinly sliced scallion for garnish

  • 1 (2-inch) knob peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) white miso

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) toasted sesame oil

  • 7 ounces watercress (200g; about 2 quarts, loosely packed)

  • Warm cooked rice, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine water and salt, stirring to dissolve salt. Add chicken, scallion, and ginger and set over medium-high heat until water temperature reaches between 150 and 160°F on an instant-read thermometer; adjust heat to maintain water temperature in the 150–160°F range. (It's okay if the temperature bounces around a little, but try to keep it above 150 and below 170°F.) Cook until thickest part of chicken registers 150°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from broth and let rest. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer and save for sipping or another use.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, miso, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth. In a medium bowl, toss watercress with just enough miso dressing to lightly coat.

  3. Remove and discard chicken skin and cut chicken meat from bones; discard bones. Slice chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Scoop rice into bowls and top with watercress and chicken slices. Drizzle miso vinaigrette onto chicken and garnish with sliced scallions. Serve.

Special equipment

Instant-read thermometer, fine-mesh strainer

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
267 Calories
12g Fat
2g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 671mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 25mg 126%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 491mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)