Meat Cooking Expert

How Long Does it Take to Boil A Whole Chicken

how long to boil a whole chicken - picture of a wooden chicken

In this article I will show you exactly how long it takes to boil a whole chicken. With the addition of a few spices and simply hot water you are able to cook through a complete chicken in no time leaving you with succulent, tender white chicken meat fit for your dinner table.

Boiling chicken is a old cooking process and contrary to popular belief is no healthier than roasting a chicken. Given the fat content remains the same (tests have shown that the water content of the boiled chicken is reduced but not the fat content) you can still roast the chicken to produce a similar nutritional value.

That said, boiling chicken in a large crock pot or stock saucepan can achieve some good results.

The technique to boil a chicken is relatively straight forward and is also quite quick to cook. One issue to bear in mind when cooking chicken in this manner is to ensure that your chicken is brought up to room temperature before boiling. Under no circumstances should you attempt to boil a frozen chicken. Always thoroughly thaw a frozen chicken overnight in the refrigerator and then take out for several hours to bring to room temperature before cooking.

The best method to boiling a whole chicken is to use a large pot or saucepan filled with hot water or the same amount of stock. I always add some whole onions and a few diced carrots to the stock along with a spring of rosemary, tyme and a goood pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Simply put therefore, for best results use chicken stock, herbs and added vegetables when boiling.

Boiling a Chicken Method

1. Make up sufficient chicken stock (using a chicken stock cube) to fill your pot or saucepan to the halfway point.

2. Peel 2-3 onions and dice 2-3 carrots and add to the liquid.

3. Place the whole chicken into the pan and top up with stock to cover if needed.

4. Bring the pot to the boil and then reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cover.

An average sized (4lb) chicken will need to boil/simmer for around 1 to 1 and a half hours.

An average sized (4lb) chicken will need to boil/simmer for around 1 to 1 and a half hours.

For the best and safest results from boiling your chicken is to invest in a meat thermometer. These handy kitchen meat gadgets allow you to check the internal temperature of the meat during cooking which you can then use to determine exactly the required finish simply by probing the prong into the heart of the meat.

For a boiled chicken the internal temperature will need to be 180°. You can get this Meat Thermometer which is the one I use, it is cheap and can be easily read without any fuss. Enjoy your cooking.

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