Verjus-Poached Chicken with Herbs


Made from unripe wine grapes, verjus (see Note) is high in acid but fresh-tasting. It’s a killer poaching liquid for lean meats.

Verjus Poached Chicken with Herbs
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 30 mins
6 to 8


  • 3 cups water

  • 5 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (4 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons verjus blanc, divided

  • 2 parsley sprigs, plus 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided

  • 2 dill sprigs, plus 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill, divided

  • 1 tarragon sprig, plus 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 tablespoon flaky sea salt


  1. Combine 3 cups water, chicken, peppercorns, 2 cups verjus blanc, herb sprigs, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high; reduce to low, and cook, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 155°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate; let cool 30 minutes. While chicken cools, pour about 1 1/2 cups poaching liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl; discard solids. Set 3/4 cup strained poaching liquid aside. Discard remaining poaching liquid.

  2. Remove skin from chicken; carefully remove breast meat, whole, from bones. Discard skin and bones. Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

  3. Whisk together olive oil, chopped herbs, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and reserved 3/4 cup strained poaching liquid. Pour herb marinade over chicken in baking dish; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight.

  4. Let chicken come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Transfer to a serving platter, and spoon herb marinade over top. Drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons verjus blanc, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.


If you can’t find verjus, substitute 4 cups water and 1 cup of crisp white wine for the poaching liquid. For serving, drizzle with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar.

Suggested Pairing

Lemony, lightly grassy Sancerre.

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