Poaching isn’t just for eggs. This super versatile cooking method is also great for gently simmering meat or seafood dishes until they’re perfectly tender and juicy. Most recipes will call for using water or stock for poaching, but there’s an even tastier liquid you should use instead: wine.
It might sound odd or “fancy,” but trust us, this simple tweak will take your meals to the next level.
Benefits of Poaching Meat in Wine
Wine’s nutritional benefits are hard to pass up. It not only boosts your immunity, but it also increases your energy levels and blocks fat storage. Plus, poaching meat in wine will infuse all of its richness and fruitiness into the meal. The end result is a super tender cut of meat that has a more intense flavor versus poaching it in just water.
You can even strain the wine-infused poaching liquid and re-use it as a broth for soups or rice recipes. So rather than pouring yourself a glass of wine after the meal is cooked, use it to poach whatever meat or fish you have planned for dinner tonight.
How to Poach Chicken in Wine
Poaching chicken in wine takes it from boring to delicious! In fact, many restaurants use wine in dishes like the French bistro classic coq au vin (which literally translates to “chicken in wine”). Luckily, you can recreate those same restaurant-quality meals at home with this simple swap. There’s no need to overthink it: You can use any type of wine that you might have leftover from another meal or that post-dinner nightcap after a long day. (Red or white both work great with chicken.)
For a quick and easy recipe, the Kitchn then recommends using one cup of wine plus enough water to completely cover one to four chicken breasts in a pot. Feel free to add herbs like rosemary or thyme and a few garlic cloves for extra flavor. You’re going to want to bring the chicken and wine to a boil and skim off any of the foam that rises to the surface. Then cover the pot and gently simmer on low heat for about 10-14 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
Once cooked, it can be served up or stored away in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days and up to 3 months in the freezer. Your weekday lunch prep just got so much easier — and tastier!
How to Poach Salmon in Wine
Salmon truly lives up to its reputation of being one of the healthiest fishes around with benefits like slimming your waist. Also known as a “meaty” fish, it’s a great choice for poaching in wine.
Similar to poaching chicken, you can use any wine you have on hand. However, most people tend to prefer white wine rather than red in this case. Either way, you should just look for a wine that pairs well with the seasonings that you plan on adding to the salmon — like Sauvignon Blanc for herby and citrus flavors.
Food and Wine’s technique for poached salmon calls for using a generous splash of white wine — simply eye-ball it until the salmon fillets are slightly covered. Then you can cook it in a 500 degree oven for five minutes in an oven-safe skillet or baking dish. You can also let it simmer gently on the stove until the salmon is fully opaque, which takes about 5 minutes (but it could take longer for thicker fillets). Just keep an eye on the salmon for your desired level of doneness and flakiness.
Now you have yet another way to make dinner more delicious! Swapping in wine when poaching meat and fish is such a simple cooking trick that’ll make your weeknight meals feel a little extra special.