Poached Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, and Green Beans

December 3, 2012

Probably best as a summer recipe with farm-fresh green beans and tomatoes, but hey, sometimes you have to buy veggies from the grocery store, right? :) This is an easy, healthy weeknight recipe that only takes about a half hour from start to finish. Normally the thought of boiled meat isn’t very appealing, but because the chicken is cooked in broth at a bare simmer, it stays tender and the flavor doesn’t leach out into the cooking liquid. Gourmet Today recommends serving this either warm or at room temperature rather than steaming hot; probably because letting it cool down for a few minutes once assembled allows the flavors to meld. The end result is a light, fresh, complete meal – perfect!

As you can see, my dog was quite interested in the plate I had on the table (she’s part poodle so she likes to stand up and walk around)! :)

Poached chicken with green beans

Serves 4


  • 4  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1¾ pounds total), rinsed and patted dry
  • Kosher salt
  • 5  cups water
  • 1¾  cups chicken stock/broth
  • 1  fresh thyme sprig
  • 3/4  pound haricots verts or other thin green beans, trimmed
  • 5  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  pound tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1/2  cup mixed brine-cured black and green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1  tablespoon torn fresh oregano leaves


  1. Sprinkle chicken all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Set aside.
  2. Bring water, stock, and thyme to a boil in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot. Add beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 6 minutes. transfer beans with slotted spoon to a bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper (keep stock mixture at a boil).
  3. Add chicken to stock and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken with tongs to a cutting board and let cool, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together tomatoes, olives, oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a bowl.
  5. Cut chicken diagonally across the grain into 1-inch-thick slices. Divide green beans among four plates, arrange sliced chicken over beans, and top with tomato-olive mixture.

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