This pressure cooker chicken noodle soup is full of flavor and really quick to make! I wanted a faster cooking version of my mom's amazing chicken soup with dumplings since Tyler's always asking for it, so I thought I should adapt it for the pressure cooker. This chicken soup tastes just as good as the stove top version, but can be done in under an hour. :D
It's really important to use skin-on, bone-in thighs here. Most pressure cookers can't fit a whole chicken like the original recipe calls for, but thighs are a perfect substitute since they're the most flavorful part of the chicken. And I love dark meat in my chicken soup!
This chicken noodle soup is also just as delicious without the noodles, so feel free to leave those out if you're not a fan.
Step 1: Ingredients:
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (3 or 4 thighs on average)
- 4 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 3 stalks celery, diced however you want
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- couple handfuls of egg noodles of choice
- salt and pepper
- poultry seasoning (optional)
- fresh parsley for topping the soup (optional)
The poultry seasoning is really just for a little bit of extra flavor! Many times I don't even put it in, so if you don't have any on hand it will still be as good. :)
Step 2: Clean Up and Dry the Chicken
You'll want to check your chicken thighs for any huge pieces of fat and remove them. Fat is flavor and we want to keep some of it, just not the big chunks.
I'll also cut off excess skin if the butchering was particularly bad. :)
Once the chicken is cleaned up, dry it well with paper towels.
Step 3: Brown the Chicken Skin
We want to get lots of extra chicken flavor into this soup, so we're going to lightly brown the skin on the chicken thighs.
This serves two purposes: to render some of the chicken fat to cook the veggies in, and we'll also get a lovely brown fond on the bottom of the pot, which is delicious. :D
Turn your heat to medium and let the pressure cooker pot get nice and hot. Add a little vegetable oil and let it heat. Once the oil is about to smoke, lightly salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place a couple of them skin side down.
Let these cook for a few minutes or until you can smell the chicken skin cooking and you can wiggle the thighs - that way you know they aren't attached to the bottom of the pan anymore! Flip them over and let them cook on the other side for a minute or so, and then transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the other thighs.
Step 4: Sauté the Veggies
Once the thighs are lightly browned, add in the celery, carrots and onion. Turn down the heat slightly if the pot seems too hot. (If the oil is popping a lot and smoking a little, it's probably too hot!)
Add a pinch of salt and cook the veggies for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the onions to soften and go translucent.
Once the onions are translucent, add in the garlic. Cook this for a couple minutes until nice and fragrant.
P.S. Sometimes at this point I'll add a couple pinches of poultry seasoning. It's yummy! If you like herby soup, go for it. :D
Step 5: Combine Everything in the Pot
Once the veggies are done cooking, add the chicken back into the pot. Leave any fat that's drained off it on the plate. We've got plenty in there already!
Add in the four cups of stock and four cups of water. Stir it together.
Step 6: Lock on the Lid and Cook
Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the heat up to bring it up to pressure.
Once pressure is achieved, turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 20 minutes. (If you're using an electric pressure cooker, cook it at "high" pressure.)
Remember that if you're using an electric pressure cooker or at a high altitude, you'll need to add a few minutes. I'm at roughly 8,000 feet up so I added 5 minutes to my cook time. :)
Once the timer goes off, take the pot off the heat (or turn it off, in the case of an electric pressure cooker) and let the pressure release naturally.
Step 7: Finishing the Soup
Once the pressure has released naturally, open up the pressure cooker and pull out the chicken thighs. Set the aside on a large plate for shredding.
You can either skim the fat in the pot OR keep it. It's really up to you. I think it tastes awesome so I only skim if there's LOADS of it. To skim it, grab the largest metal spoon you have and drag it gently across the surface to grab the fat. (I normally skim before I put the noodles in, and then while the noodles are cooking too. The starch from the noodles can sometimes make it easier.)
Now you'll add the noodles! Put the pot back on the heat and get it bubbling again. Toss in a couple handfuls (maybe 1 cup?) of noodles and cook according to the package directions. I know a couple handfuls sounds like nothing, but this is a tiny bit of soup! If you add too many noodles they'll soak up all the broth.
Shred the chicken while the noodles cook - get rid of any fat, bones, connective tissue and skin.
When the noodles are nearing the end of their cooking, turn down the heat a little and add the shredded chicken.
Stir well and then taste - I always add a little bit more black pepper and a good bit of salt. If it tastes bland chances are you don't have enough salt! Sometimes I salt it using soy sauce too. Sound weird but it's delicious. Just keep adding salt (or soy sauce) and pepper until you like the way it tastes. Enjoy!