1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
10 baby carrots, optional*
3 stalks celery, optional
1 onion peeled and quartered, optional
2 cloves garlic, optional
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, optional
Place chicken breasts in a 4½-quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Add just enough cold water to cover chicken, about 1 quart. If you are planning to use the chicken broth for recipes, add optional vegetables and seasoning. Cover pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. As soon as water boils, remove pot from heat and skim off any foam that may have collected. Let pot stand, covered, until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes.
When chicken is almost done, place 3 handfuls of ice in a 3-quart or larger bowl and fill the bowl with water. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon, (save cooking water if desired), and place chicken in the ice water to stop the cooking. Chill 5 minutes. Remove from water and use as much as is needed for your recipe.
Refrigerate or freeze remaining chicken for another use. To defrost frozen poached chicken, place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on defrost setting according to manufacturer’s instructions. Or, place the frozen chicken in refrigerator for 24 hours.
To use chicken broth: Add 3 chicken bouillon cubes to pot (or more or less to taste), and bring the cooking broth back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer broth slowly for 15 minutes to reduce slightly. Taste and add more chicken bouillon* to reach desired flavor. Let broth cool 15 minutes. Place in a covered container. Refrigerate. Remove any fat that accumulates, and then use the broth in recipes of choice. Broth can be frozen.
Use optional vegetables and seasoning if you are planning to use the chicken broth in recipes.
This amount of skinless chicken will not make a rich enough broth, and this is why the bouillon is needed.