How To Parboil Chicken For Mouth-Watering Dishes

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Eating chicken as part of your diet is a great way to intake some protein and get a healthy meal. When you parboil chicken, you can make some incredibly delicious meals that are also nutritious and healthy! However, you may be wondering what is parboiling, and what does it mean?

What is Parboiling?

Parboiling is actually very similar to boiling food or blanching, such as vegetables or chicken. However, during the cooking process the food is only partially cooked, or partially boiled…hence the term parboiled. During the parboiling process, the boiling water is poured off or can be used later in another dish. 

We love cooking chicken because it tastes great in so many recipes (or by itself!). However, we also love how versatile chicken can be. Maybe you have a habit of occasionally bringing a rotisserie chicken home from Costco because it’s so affordable. Once you get home with your rotisserie chicken, dinner is on the table. All you need is a green salad and some bread.

However, cooking chicken at home is super easy, too. Now that we have some great small kitchen tools such as the Instant Pot or air fryer, it’s easier than ever to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal.

When you parboil food, you are partially boiling it, ready to cook it in another way or with another method. Parboiling is different from fully boiling something, as when you boil something, you usually cook it on a high heat temperature, whereas parboiling is usually done by heating the food with a simmer. 

How to Parboil Chicken

Many people tend to parboil vegetables such as potatoes before frying them up to make them nice and crispy, so you may be shocked to hear that you can parboil chicken too, in order to make beautiful parboiled chicken dishes! 

If you want to parboil chicken, then you will need to follow our step by step guide. The first thing you will have to do is to choose the size or the cut of the chicken you wish to parboil. In addition, what type of chicken pieces you are parboiling will affect how long it takes. 

You can also either parboil chicken in water, chicken broth, apple cider or even all three if you wish to. In addition, you could add slices of onion, garlic cloves, celery or even carrots to the pan to help flavor the meat as it parboils. 

To parboil the chicken, you will need to place it within a large pan, and add in enough liquid or water to cover the chicken. Throw in your optional onion wedges or garlic and bring the water to the boil on a medium heat. 

As soon as the liquid inside the pan starts to boil, you will need to reduce the heat and leave it on a low temperature. Then, you can cover the pan, and leave to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Once the chicken is done, you can then remove it from the pan and the liquid, and pat off any excess moisture or water. Then, you can use your parboiled chicken in whatever recipe that tickles your fancy!

How Long to Parboil Chicken

To understand how long to parboil your chicken properly, you will need to know that this is different for various cuts of meat or the size of the chicken. In addition, the parboil time will be different depending on whether the chicken still has bones in or if it is boneless. That being said, we have a rough guide that you can follow before parboiling your chicken.

For instance, a whole chicken would take around 30-40 minutes to parboil, whereas chicken breasts should only take around 10 minutes to parboil. If using chicken legs or chicken thighs, you can leave them to parboil for roughly 5 minutes, which is also the case for chicken quarters. However, if using chicken wings, then you will want to leave them for 15-20 minutes for the best results!

Mouth Watering Parboiled Chicken Recipes

Once you have parboiled your chicken, you have a wide variety of options and recipes that you can use to make a mouth watering and delicious meal! Here are just a few of our favorites that will please the whole family.
Parboiled Deep Fried Chicken
Parboiled Chicken Wings
Parboiled Chicken Tacos
Parboiled BBQ Chicken
4.85 from 82 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Barbeque
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal


Parboiled Deep Fried Chicken

    For this deep fried chicken recipe, you will need:

    • 3 eggs
    • 1 lb of chicken tenders
    • 1 cup of all purpose flour
    • 2 cups of canola oil
    • ½ tbsp of red pepper flakes
    • ¼ cup of milk
    • A little salt and black pepper for flavoring

    Parboiled Chicken Tacos

      If you want to put a mexican spin on dinner, then why not try these parboiled chicken tacos? For this recipe you will need:

      • cups of shredded chicken
      • 6 whole tomatillos husked washed and grilled
      • 8 whole corn tortillas
      • 2 tbsp of honey
      • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
      • 1 cup of queso fresco crumbled
      • 1 cup of cilantro chopped
      • 1 whole lime juiced
      • 1 tbsp Olive oil
      • ½ small red onion
      • 1 cup of serrano grilled

      Parboiled BBQ Chicken

        For the parboiled BBQ chicken recipe, you will need:

        • 4 lbs chicken of choice (e.g. breasts/legs) with skin on
        • 1 cup of BBQ sauce
        • 1 pinch A little salt

        For the BBQ sauce, you will need:

        • 4 cloves of garlic
        • ½ medium sized onion
        • 2 cups of tomato ketchup
        • 5 tbsp of butter
        • 3 tbsp of paprika
        • 2 tbsp of chili powder
        • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
        • ½ cup of apple juice
        • ½ cup of brown sugar
        • 1 tbsp of chipotle powder
        • 1 pinch A little salt and cayenne pepper for flavor


        Parboiled Deep Fried Chicken

        • To make parboiled deep fried chicken, you will first have to heat up the canola oil in a pan ready for the frying process. Whilst that heats up, you will want to grab a small bowl and mix together the flour, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
        • With another bowl, you will have to beat the eggs and the milk together until mixed completely. Once this is done, you can dip your parboiled chicken in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture once more. Make sure that the whole piece of chicken is coated completely before placing it inside the frying pan.
        • Add the coated pieces of chicken to the frying pan and cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Once done, serve up with some tasty, tangy barbeque sauce, or a little ranch sauce for dipping.
        • Our top tip is to throw a little hot sauce on top of the fried chicken, and serve with ranch for a cool and spicy combination that you will love!

        Parboiled Chicken Wings

        • If you parboil your chicken wings before cooking them properly, you will be able to perfectly render the fat down and will end up with a much crispier end result. This recipe is so easy to make as you just parboil your wings for about 7-8 minutes in salted water, and then remove, patting off excess moisture and fat.
        • Once this is done, you can place the wings on a baking sheet, and place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes on a heat of 450 degrees fahrenheit, or until you see them turn a golden, crispy brown color. When you notice the color, you can then flip the wings and cook the other side for a further 5-10 minutes until they crisp right up!
        • Then, serve with your favorite sauce or dip, and you are ready to eat!

        Parboiled Chicken Tacos

        • With all of your ingredients gathered, you can turn on the grill to a medium heat. Then, saute the tomatillos, and serrano in a pan with a little olive oil. Then, use a blender to mix together serrano, garlic, red onion, lime, honey, and the tomatillos until they become smooth.
        • Next, pour this paste back into the pan and saute. Whilst this simmers, throw in some of your shredded cooked chicken, and mix together.
        • Then, you can add your tortillas to the grill, cooking for about 20 seconds on each side. Once your chicken mixture is ready, you can spoon it into the tortillas, and put a dash of queso fresco on top, and serve with a little salsa or some jalapenos for a spicy twist!

        Parboiled BBQ Chicken

        • For this recipe to work, we will need to make the BBQ sauce first. To do this, you will have to get a pan, and throw in some butter. Heat the butter up for a few minutes on a lower temperature, and add the onion to saute.
        • Once the onions brown, you can add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes. Once this is done, you can add all of the other ingredients, and stir together until combined. Mix it all up, and remember to taste the homemade sauce to see if it is just right. When it is, you can move onto making the BBQ chicken.
        • When ready to make the chicken, turn your grill on. With your parboiled chicken, you can then use vegetable oil to coat the sides and sprinkle a little salt for flavor. Then, you will need to place the chicken piece over the grill with the skin side down, and sear them for about 5 or 10 minutes, checking as they cook.
        • If you notice that the skin is seared, then you should place it on the colder part of the grill, or reduce the heat down. Leaving the chicken on a medium to low heat, you can then cover the grill and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
        • After this time has passed, you will want to turn the pieces of chicken over, and cover them in the homemade barbecue sauce that you previously prepared. Then, recover and allow to cook for a further 20 minutes. Repeat the process for the other side of the chicken to ensure that those barbecue flavors go all the way through, and remove the chicken from the grill when cooked.
        • To serve, cover in a little more barbecue, and place them on a plate with some homemade coleslaw and fries!


        Calories: 300kcal
        Keyword Parnboil Chicken
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


        The beauty of parboiling your chicken is that you can use it in any recipes afterwards to make all kinds of delicious, tasty meals for all of the family! 

        Frequently Asked Questions

        How long do you boil chicken before grilling?

        The time you need to spend boiling your chicken before grilling will depend on the size of the chicken you are cooking and whether it is in certain areas of the chicken or the entire chicken. 

        If you’re going to boil a whole chicken before you grill it, then you’ll want to bring whatever liquid you’re using on the stove (water or chicken broth) to a boil then reduce the heat until it is gently boiling and then add your chicken.

        Depending on the size of your chicken and what temperature you’re boiling it at, it could take 1-2 hours to cook all the way through. Make sure to stick a knife into areas of the chicken to see if the meat is cooked - if it’s pink or bloody then it’ll need more time.

        If you are just boiling chicken breasts before grilling, then you may only need to boil them for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

        Why do you parboil chicken?

        If you parboil chicken before you grill or cook them, it’ll render down the fat on the chicken which will end up turning very crispy when they’ve been fully cooked.

        Parboiling will make sure the moisture and the juices stay inside the chicken and that when you go on to cook them further they do not dry out. Parboiling is best when you plan to cook or grill chicken wings as the skin and fat on the outside of the wings will go crispy. 

        Is it good to boil chicken before grilling?

        Yes, boiling your chicken before you grill it will ensure that the chicken gets fully cooked all the way through and your chicken will stay moist and lock in the chicken juices so it retains its flavor when grilling.

        Just grilling your chicken to cook it completely can dry it out completely and will often result in a loss of flavor if grilled too fast on high heat. 

        Boiling your chicken beforehand will mean you only have to sear the chicken for a short period on the grill to get it how you like and you won’t have to dry it out trying to get it nicely seared. 

        You can choose to boil your chicken in water or one of the best ways to give instant flavor to the chicken whilst it boils is by cooking it in chicken broth so it retains all of the chicken juices.

        Make sure to season the liquid as you’re boiling it and you can also add in some chopped vegetables to make your chicken taste amazing, even before you add it to the grill. 

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        Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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