Farmhouse Chicken Noodle Soup
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
With its velvety broth and deep flavor, old-fashioned chicken noodle soup is an ideal pressure-cooker candidate since the pressure cooker can extract flavor from the meat, skin, and bones of a whole chicken in just 20 minutes. We started by putting the chicken into the pot with some aromatics, carrots, celery, and water. Placing the chicken in the pot breast side up allowed the thighs and more delicate breast meat to cook through at the same time since the thighs were in contact with the pot’s bottom. After 20 minutes, the meat practically fell off the bones, making it easy to shred and stir back in. Soy sauce gave the broth even deeper, richer meaty flavor. To keep things simple, we cooked the noodles in the broth while we shredded the chicken.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
8 cups water
4 carrots, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
2 celery ribs, sliced ½ inch thick
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (4‑pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
Salt and pepper
4 ounces (2⅔ cups) wide egg noodles
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1. BUILD FLAVOR: Heat oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in water, carrots, celery, and soy sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, breast side up, in pot.
2. HIGH PRESSURE FOR 20 MINUTES: Lock pressure-cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
3. QUICK RELEASE PRESSURE: Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
4. BEFORE SERVING: Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Meanwhile, using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of soup. Bring soup to boil, stir in noodles, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Farmhouse Chicken and Rice Soup
Substitute 1 cup long-grain white rice for egg noodles and cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
MAKING CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP IN A PRESSURE COOKER
When cooking a whole chicken in the pressure cooker, we found it best to keep the delicate breast meat facing up to give it some protection from the direct heat and to promote even cooking.
Once cooked, the chicken will be very ender and nearly falling part. To remove the chicken from the pot for the shredding step, lift it out in one piece using tongs along with a large spoon for support.
The meat is easy to remove from the bones because it’s so tender. Let the chicken cool slightly, then discard the skin and pull the meat off the bones. Shred the meat using two forks, gently pulling the meat apart and into bite-size strands.
The last step is adding the noodles. Simmering them in the soup ensures they absorb flavor. Be sure to do this just before serving or else the noodles can become bloated and mushy.
Can I use a larger chicken?
It’s not OK if you have a 6‑quart pressure cooker; it just won’t fit. However, if you have an 8‑quart pressure cooker, you can use up to a 5-pound chicken and extend the pressurized cooking time to 30 minutes.
Can I substitute chicken parts for the whole chicken?
You can substitute an equal amount of bone-in thighs, and the cooking time will remain the same. You can also substitute bone-in chicken breasts. Because they’re meatier, use 3 pounds rather than 4, and reduce the pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes.
What if I am not going to serve the soup right away?
Because the noodles will become mushy over time, it’s best to add them to the soup and cook them just before serving.
Do I need to alter the recipe for a 6-quart electric pressure cooker?
Yes, quick release the pressure immediately after the pressurized cooking time; do not let the cooker switch to the warm setting. Use the browning (not the simmer) setting to cook the noodles in step 4.
Recipe from our partners at America’s Test Kitchen