Cooking once, cooking twice, pressure cooking chicken soup with rice.
Apologies to Maurice Sendak and Carole King.
Yes, I know I’ve made that joke before. I apologize. But I have to do it again. I have to!
Chicken Soup with Rice is comfort food for my wife. She listened to a lot of Carole King growing up, and when she’s fighting a cold, she wants a steaming bowl of this soup.
How to make chicken soup in the pressure cooker…from scratch
Chicken broth was my entry to pressure cooking - once I learned how good it was, and how quick it was to make, I could never go back to the boxes on the grocery store shelf. 3 pounds of bony chicken pieces - I use chicken backs, because my grocery store stocks them cheap - an onion, some (optional) carrot and celery, and a bay leaf. Cover with water, pressure cook for 60 minutes, strain, and you have a fantastic broth, one that is so much better than store-bought broth.
I show how to make the broth as part of the recipe, but I usually make the broth ahead of time. I make batches of pressure cooker broth all the time, and freeze them in 2 cup containers. (I use both pint canning jars and 2 cup storage containers.) When I need a quick weeknight soup, I skip the “make the broth step” by pulling jars of broth out of my freezer.
The only other trick to this recipe, if it is a trick, is cutting back on the rice. Rice absorbs an amazing amount of liquid; the first few times I made this recipe, I used 1 cup of rice to 8 cups of chicken broth…and while it looked OK coming out of the pressure cooker, by the time I served it was a rice stew, not a soup. I know that ½ cup of rice doesn’t look like much, but trust me on this one. (Unless you like rice stew. I’m not judging. Just…know what you’re getting into.)
Video: Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup With Rice (From Scratch) (2:01)
Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup With Rice (From Scratch) [YouTube.com]
Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup With Rice (From Scratch) - Cooking once, cooking twice, cooking chicken soup with rice...in the pressure cooker, starting with nothing but bones and water.
Chicken Bone Broth (Makes about 3 quarts of broth)
- 3 pounds chicken backs (or the carcasses from 2 roasted chickens)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
- 1 stalk celery, broken into pieces
- 1 carrot, scrubbed and broken into pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups of water (or to cover, or to the max fill line of the PC)
Chicken Soup with Rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup white rice
- 8 cups of Chicken Bone Broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Minced parsley, for garnish
- Pressure cook the broth for 60 minutes: Add the chicken backs, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and salt to the pressure cooker pot, then add the water. (It should cover the chicken backs - if it doesn’t, add water to cover, or up to the max fill line on the pressure cooker). Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes in an electric PC, 50 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally – about 30 minutes. (It takes a long time for all that water to cool off. If you’re in a hurry, let the pressure come down for at least 20 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.) Scoop the bones and vegetables out of the pot with a slotted spoon and discard. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Reserve 8 cups of broth for the soup, and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use. (I portion it into 2 and 4 cup containers, and freeze for up to 6 months.)
- Sauté the aromatics: Wipe out the pressure cooker pot liner, then put it back in the pressure cooker base. Add the vegetable oil and heat over sauté mode (medium heat for a stovetop PC) until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and the thyme. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cubed chicken breast, then stir in the rice.
- Pressure cook the soup for 4 minutes: Add the 8 cups of chicken broth to the pot, lock the lid on the pot, and pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure (same timing for both electric and stovetop PCs). Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. (If the steam that is released starts to sputter and spit out starch, shut the valve and let the pressure come down for another 5 minutes before quick releasing again.)
- Season to taste: Add salt and pepper to taste, and don’t be shy with the salt – taste as you add the salt, and stop when the broth goes from bland to full bodied and a little sweet. (Homemade stock is bland without salt; I add about 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt to get the taste right.)
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Slotted Spoon and Fine Mesh Strainer for straining the broth. (And, a spare pot liner for your pressure cooker is the perfect place to strain the broth into.)
You can make the entire batch of broth ahead of time, which makes this a quick weeknight recipe. Finish step 1, then freeze all the broth in 2 cup containers. When you’re ready for soup, grab 8 cups of broth from the freezer, and continue with step 2.
½ cup of rice is not going to look like much…but it will expand a lot. Don’t add more, or you will wind up with more of a rice stew than a soup.
If you have leftovers from 2 roasted chickens, use the bones to make the broth, and about 2 cups of shredded chicken instead of the raw chicken breast.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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