How to Pre-Cook Chicken for a Recipe

Q: When a recipe calls for cooked chicken to be used and you only have raw on hand, what is the best way to cook the chicken for the recipe? Sue Jordan, Hamden, CT

A:
Depending on the sort of recipe, chicken can be cooked any number of ways. For chicken salad, where there are myriad other flavors in the final product, the chicken is best cooked with an eye to its texture -- so poaching is ideal. It's quick, you can change the flavor by adding herbs, wine, or spices to the poaching liquid, and it gives you a tender, pull-apart texture.

To use as an add-in for salads or sandwiches, use a broiler or a stovetop grill pan for a browned, crispy exterior and a moist interior.

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