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chef ron’s poached chicken with vegetables

Chef Ron’s poached chicken with vegetables is a versatile dish that needs to be in your regular recipe rotation. Serve it over a bed of cous cous or quinoa for an easy weeknight dinner or slice it for a beautiful, bright appetizer. Don’t forget the garlic dill sauce!

I’m so excited to be collaborating with one of my favorite Charlotte organizations, Community Culinary School of Charlotte, again to help them raise money for chef uniforms for their students during SHARE Charlotte’s SummerSHARE campaign. I hope to raise $400 for CCSC this week and you can click here to learn more about CCSC, my campaign and to donate.

poached chicken stuffed with seasonal vegetables sliced and arranged on a white plate surrounded by a fan of mulitcolored peppers and zucchini

Did you know that July is National Culinary Arts Month?

It’s ok if you didn’t, I didn’t either. But doesn’t National Culinary Arts Month sound like a really fun month to celebrate?

And my friends over at Community Culinary School of Charlotte are doing it up right and celebrating all month long.

Community Culinary School of Charlotte is a local nonprofit providing culinary training, work experience, life skills training, counseling, support and job placement assistance in the food service industry to adults in our community facing barriers to gaining and retaining employment (barriers can really be anything: addiction, homelessness, incarceration and more).

CCSC focuses on their students’ potential much more than their past situations; the 14 week program is provided at no cost to students (potential students must fill out an application, schedule an interview and have a drug screen to be accepted) and is funded entirely by grants, donations, and the business from breakfast and lunch at The Cafe and Encore Catering.

Students pay for their training by polishing their culinary skills, learning life skills, and giving back to the community.

By graduation, CCSC’s objective is that students have living wage jobs with career potential. CCSC graduates work in a variety of jobs across Charlotte’s thriving culinary industry: in local restaurants, hotels, corporate cafeterias, hospitals, schools, churches, universities and more.

poached chicken with vegetables sliced and served on a white plate with red, orange, yellow and green vegetables surrounding it

CCSC celebrated National Culinary Arts Month with a variety of fun events, giveaways, promotions, demos and more all throughout July to inspire cooking within the Charlotte community and to recognize and honor local chefs, restaurants and alumni in the culinary industry.

In their space on Monroe Road, CCSC hosted guest chef demonstrations and giveaways of gift cards to local restaurants and their cafe, and online, CCSC shared recipes and cooking tips, plus profiles and success stories of their alumni.

But my favorite way CCSC celebrated National Culinary Arts Month was with cooking classes: a series of four classes that were open to the public and taught by CCSC’s chefs.

Participants spent two hours in CCSC’s state of the art kitchen learning culinary skills and recipes and then ate all of their hard work at the end of class.

I was lucky enough to snag a seat in the first cooking class of the series that was led by CCSC’s main man, Chef Ron, and focused on knife skills and proteins.

I had so much fun in this class; Chef Ron has a wealth of knowledge and experience (and humor!) and it was an honor and a pleasure to get to learn from him.

slices of chicken stuffed with bell peppers and zucchini on a white plate

We covered everything from how properly hold a knife and use it to slice and dice (“down and forward, up and back”), to properly prepping recipes (and our mise en place) and over course to my favorite part, cooking two of Chef Ron’s really delicious and easy recipes.

I left the class with a newfound confidence in my cooking skills (he told us many times “we are the boss in the kitchen” and I loved it) and new, delicious recipes for my repertoire.

SChef Ron’s poached chicken with vegetables is a versatile dish that is easy to make for almost any occasion.

Since the cooking class, I’ve made this recipe tons of times for a quick, healthy and easy weeknight dinner and I had to share it with you! 

white plate with slices of chicken and seasonal vegetables surrounded by colorful peppers and squash

And while poaching seemed a little intimidating to me (it was my first time!), I was easily able to replicate Chef Ron’s poached chicken tips and techniques in our kitchen at home and since I have this newfound kitchen confidence and “I’m the boss,” I have to say my poached chicken rivaled Chef Ron’s.

Ok, almost rivaled Chef Ron’s.

To support CCSC: make a donation, visit the Café and Bakery Monday through Friday; hire the Catering division for your next event; attend a cooking class; or book a Team Building or a Chef’s Table Event.

What does it mean to poach chicken?

Before taking this cooking class, I thought that poaching and boiling were basically the same thing.

Turns out, that’s not quite true!

Boiling is when you are working with super high heat (you’ll see large bubbles rise to the surface of the water or liquid).

And while you do submerge the chicken in water, similar to when you boil something, poaching, on the other hand, is done at a lower temperature that boiling.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and when you poach you want the water at about 160 to 180 degrees, so like a soft simmer (a lot of cooking experts say to poach, you submerge the chicken in barely simmering water).

Poaching is an easy cooking method that gently cooks the chicken and prevents it from overcooking too quickly.

poached chicken with vegetables on a white plate with colorful vegetables in the background

How to poach chicken breast

To poach chicken breast, you lay the chicken breast in a single layer at the bottom of a deep pot (for this recipe, you’ll first season the chicken and actually wrap it around some sliced vegetables and then wrap it in plastic wrap before putting it in the pot).

Once at the bottom of the pot, fill the pot with your poaching liquid (often water, but you can use broth too) until the chicken is completely submerged in the liquid.

Bring the water to a boil, and as soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low so you get that soft, shimmery simmer.

Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Remove from the water and slice to serve!

poached chicken stuffed with red, orange yellow and green summer vegetables on a white plate

How to served poached chicken

In our class, we stuffed our poached chicken featured a variety of colorful and flavorful summer veggies, but Chef Ron pointed out that the recipe could be easily adapted for any season (and you could swap summer squash and peppers for root vegetables into the fall and winter).

Beyond versatility with ingredients, Chef Ron’s poached chicken with vegetables can be served as a healthy weeknight dinner or a bright and colorful appetizer at a party.

We ate ours with a side of vegetables and quinoa, but it would so pretty to slice it into small bites to showcase on an appetizer tray.

An essential part of Chef Ron’s poached chicken that I can’t forget: his homemade garlic dill sauce.

AJ and I both agreed that it is blow our minds delicious, so much so I have no other words than it’s essential for poached chicken dipping and that I’m still a little pissed at AJ that he ate the rest of it with some cut veggies as a snack and didn’t leave any for me.

poached chicken

PIN CHEF RON’S POACHED CHICKEN TO SAVE FOR LATER!

poached chicken roll ups are an easy recipe that should be on repeat for family dinners, easy weeknight meals, or quick appetizers for your next party. stuff the chicken with seasonal vegetables and serve over cous cous for a healthy meal or slice for a beautiful, easy party appetizer!

poached chicken

chef ron's poached chicken with summer vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 1 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • a bunch of seasonal, regional fresh vegetables (depending on the season squash, peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, or root veggies would be good choices)
  • salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, or a seasoning blend for seasoning (Chef Ron recommends Motown Spice blend)
  • For the garlic dill sauce:
  • 2 cups low fat greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound out until about 1/2 inch thin.
  2. Thinly slice vegetables (you want them thin enough that the chicken breast can be wrapped around them
  3. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper and spice blend
  4. Place vegetables in the center of the chicken and then roll chicken breast tightly around the vegetables. Secure in plastic wrap.
  5. Place stuffed chicken breasts in bottom of a deep pot. Cover them with water until they are completely submerged.
  6. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer chicken breasts until internal temperature is 165 degrees (about 10-15 minutes)
  7. Slice and enjoy with your favorite sauce
  8. To make the garlic dill sauce: mix all ingredients together until smooth. Chill and use as a dipping sauce for your favorite summertime foods!

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