Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken

Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken

Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken

A chicken simmering in a pot. Sounds like tradition, doesn’t it? A recipe passed down from generation to generation. “Let the chicken bubble on the stove during a lazy Sunday afternoon…”

[Imagine sound of record scratch here. Or for you kids today, imagine a youtube video getting all pixelated. ]

When I have a whole chicken1, and I want chicken soup, I simmer it…in my pressure cooker.

Cooking a whole chicken is a balancing act. The white meat needs to be just barely cooked enough, and the dark meat needs to be cooked well past the point of doneness. This broth is thinner than my other chicken stock recipe, because I don’t cook it as long – I’m trying to save the breast meat from overcooking. The wet environment of the pressure cooker helps the white meat – it’s not perfect, like it would be if you cooked it on its own – but it’s good, especially if you moisten it with a little broth (or use it in soup).

Beyond that, this recipe is straightforward. Cut the chicken into pieces and put it in the pot. Add some aromatics, cover with water, and pressure cook 25 minutes in a stove top PC, 30 in an electric PC, like I use. Let the pressure come down naturally. Scoop out the chicken and let it cool while you strain the broth. Shred the chicken, and you’re ready. Chicken soup? Bring the broth to a boil, add some noodles, and maybe some vegetables…but that’s a story for later this week.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken

Equipment

 

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken

Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth – simmer a whole chicken, cut into pieces, to make broth and shredded chicken for use in other recipes.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut up into thigh, drumstick, wing and breast pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water

Instructions

  1. Stack the ingredients in the pot: Sprinkle the chicken pieces evenly with salt. Make a layer of the dark meat in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot – stack the thighs, drumsticks, and wings. Add the aromatics in a layer – the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Put the breasts on top, add the bay leaf, and pour the 8 cups of water over everything.
  2. Pressure cook for 25 minutes stove top PC/30 minutes electric PC, with natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes in a stove top pressure cooker, or 30 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. Let the pressure come down naturally – about 20 minutes. Unlock the lid and carefully open it away from you – the steam is scalding hot.
  3. Shred the chicken, strain the broth: With tongs and a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces to a cutting board and let them cool. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it, discarding the skin, bones, and gristle. At this point, the chicken and broth are ready – use them right away if you want to. (If you have one, let the broth settle in a fat strainer for five minutes.) Or, refrigerate for up to 3 days, then scrape the fat off the top of the broth before using. Or, freeze for up to 3 months, scraping the frozen fat off of the broth. I freeze the broth and shredded chicken separately. The broth goes in 2 cup and 4 cup containers. I spread the shredded chicken in a layer in a gallon zip-top bag, flatten it out through the plastic, zip the bag shut, and freeze flat.
Everything in the pot

Everything in the pot

High pressure for 30 minutes

High pressure for 30 minutes

Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Broth Soup-1020164

Scraping the fat layer from frozen broth

Notes

  • Don’t feel like cutting up the chicken? You don’t have to – but it is easier to arrange the pieces in the pot so they are completely covered with water. If you have a whole bird, put it in the pot, breast side up. It doesn’t hurt if the breast doesn’t completely submerge – that whole “don’t overcook the breast” thing.
  • Not in the mood for soup? That’s OK, use the shredded chicken now, and freeze the broth for later. Shredded chicken is great on salads, in sandwiches, as a taco filling, or any other place you need a little protein.
  • Want a heartier chicken stock? Use the carcass from a roasted chicken with one of the pressure cooker chicken stock recipes in the “Related Posts” section.

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock
Pressure Cooker Chicken Gumbo
Pressure Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup in Red Chile Broth (Caldo de Pollo Rojo)

 

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  1. I was in a chicken and eggs CSA a few years back – two chickens, every other week, plus a dozen eggs. We ate a LOT of chicken soup that year.

7 Comments

  1. Todd Chadwick /

    Mike,

    Big fan of the blog!

    I recently purchased an Instant Pot and I was looking forward to trying this recipe. One quick question, after cutting up the chicken into thigh, drumstick, wing and breast pieces, I assume the rest of the carcass is left out. Is that right? If so, I would be inclined to save this for making stock in the future.

    Thanks, Mike!

    • Todd, I toss it all in there, and use the broth from cooking the chicken. If you want to save it for another time, of course you can!

      • Tagore Smith /

        I think stock (and soup) on demand is enough to justify having _both_ my pressure cookers (recently got a Fagor 10-quart, and am jealous of your big Kuhn-Rikon, but not ready to make that investment,) though of course there are lots of other things they do well.

        About the carcass though- in stock recipes like this you’re deliberately stopping short of fully extracting everything from the chicken, in order to leave the meat with some flavor. It’s a bit more work, but I’d be inclined to return both the carcass and what’s left after shredding the chicken to pressure for another 25-30 minutes at high pressure to get all the gelatin, etc. out. What do you think? Worth it?

  2. Two thumbs up from my picky, food-fuss (but very adorable, IMO) son!. “Mom just the right amount of ingredients! You and your website nailed it!”
    He likes the breat meat just like it is out of the broth.
    He doesn’t do soups (too many ingredients), but the meat was perfect for him. Several lunches and dinners right there!
    Thanks.
    P.S. One great thing about having a picky-eating child – no debates about varying up his school lunches. The same thing every day, and you are good to go!

  3. Fred Flint /

    I make shredded chicken breasts all the time I put a vegetable steamer tray in the bottom of my cooker to keep the meat off the bottom whenever I make any kind of meat. It stops the bottom from burning and I believe helps it all cook more evenly

    • I never use a rack with recipes like this one, where everything is submerged in liquid. (In fact, I rarely, if ever, use the rack. Doesn’t seem to do anything for me other than give me something else I have to clean up.)

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