Friday, March 6, 2015

Instant Pot/Electronic Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade chicken noodle soup, made from a whole chicken in an electronic pressure cooker.
Homemade chicken noodle soup, made from a whole chicken in an electronic pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

If you've been a friend of this blog for any amount of time, you already know that I love my food cooked the old-fashioned way - in the oven or on the top of the stove, low and slow. It's part of the whole process that birthed this recipe website to begin with - connecting to my Mama and Grandma through cooking, after Hurricane Katrina changed my entire career path overnight. There's just something magical that happens with that low and slow process that makes you understand the whole emotional connection to our past while cooking for someone in the present, and how it literally explodes the flavor in a dish that just doesn't happen any other way.

But, just like the rest of you, my life is busy with work, family, events and errands and the craziness of life, so I also enjoy using my convenience appliances from time to time, just like anybody else - microwave cookers, crockpots, infrared ovens, countertop grills and electronic pressure cookers - I own and use them all. I'll be the first to say though, there is some difference in flavor to my taste buds, though all of them still produce good tasting food and the sacrifice for time is sometimes the winner. That'd be the case with this soup too.

I have a lot to chat about today so if you're in a hurry, just scroll or swipe on further down to the bottom of the page for the full recipe and a printable link.

I was in need of chicken soup in a hurry the past couple of months. Since my surgery last year, it's been a rough year with rebuilding my immune system at my age and though that is common after surgery I am now told, it's meant that I've easily picked up viruses despite the vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics I consume. I dunno... maybe it would have been worse without them, but I don't know how, because in late January I was gifted with the flu - 103 fever, body aches, just the general malaise that comes with it. About the time I felt better from that, in came a sinus infection, followed by an eye infection, followed by an upper respiratory infection - all of it viral and nothing that could be helped with an antibiotic. I just had to suffer through it and treat the symptoms.

It was an awfully rough couple of weeks there. I sure didn't feel like cooking, and bless his heart, as good a soul as The Cajun is, well, he's just not a nurturer. By about the 3rd or 4th call from my sick bed on the first day, I could tell I was trying his patience. He's not much of a cook either really, so as soon as I could crawl out of bed long enough to stand up in the kitchen, I put my electric pressure cooker to work on some chicken soup. Now, I won't say that it's quite as good as my stovetop version, but I will tell you it runs a very close second, and it certainly wins the prize for ease. I made this soup three times in that 2 week period of illnesses, and ate every bit of it up. With this most recent cold wave, frankly, I could go for a bowl right now!

Since we don't finish up a pot of soup in one sitting, I don't typically add noodles into my soups. The pasta soaks up too much of the liquid from the broth when they are stored, leaving it more like chicken and noodles, and less like soup. My preference is to prepare any pasta I'm using separately, then put a serving of them in a bowl and top with soup. In this case, I wasn't about to boil pasta separately though, so I threw caution to the wind and put everything in the pressure cooker all at once and it worked out okay for the purpose.

In other news, if you are one of the folks who has been asking me for years to please publish a cookbook you could hold in your hands, remember that I will be live on "In the Kitchen with David' on QVC, Sunday, March 15th, 2015 at around noon Eastern time with the debut of my brand new Deep South Dish Homestyle Southern Recipes cookbook. I am so excited!

It's an exclusive, pre-launch, pre-order opportunity, so be sure to save the date and tune in, because you'll be one of the first to have it in your hands, way ahead of the nationwide debut. I hope that it's everything y'all have asked for all of these years and hoped it would be. I can tell you that it is a true reflection of my blog and my recipes, and, as it turns out I still have tons of recipes to publish, so if this one is successful, y'all just might have a volume two coming up behind it at some point!

Also, even though this is a recipe website, I am still a human being living on the other side of all this chat, just like everybody else. Please keep me in your prayers for both the television debut and for peace after the passing of a beloved pet this week.

I already know that many of you are pet lovers too and will understand the heartbreak I am experiencing right now. My eldest cat, Sunny Boy, suddenly passed away late Tuesday night while simply laying in my lap on my bed. The cats have their own spot with a cat condo in the mudroom where they sleep at night and when we have company, but Tuesday night I had not been feeling well, and went to lay down early to watch television in the bedroom. Because we have a Sleep Number (air) bed, the cats aren't typically allowed in there, but two of them bounded up on the bed when I went in there and I let them stay.

I was dozing off when my Sunny Boy, who was laying in my lap, seemed to have a seizure, went limp and died, nearly instantaneously. We rushed him to pet emergency, but I already knew he was gone. The vet said he likely had a heart attack. I was shocked because he was a healthy cat with no obvious health issues, and was playing, eating, drinking and acting perfectly normal all day that day. I never expected this.

Sunny Boy showed up on my porch 11 years ago, as a tiny kitten, one bright and sunny Sunday morning - that's how he got his name. He looked up at me and tried to meow, but no sound came out. Of course I took him in!

His favorite things to do was to play in boxes and run around the house chasing my dog and the other cats. During the day, he was often curled up right by my leg, or even in my lap, as I worked on the blog, if he wasn't already snuggled up in the cat bed with my other cat and his best buddy, Smokey.

I never realized that there was such a thing as sudden cat death caused by the heart - cardiomyopathy the vets call it and often the only symptom is sudden death. I've had animals all of my life and cats who lived nearly 20 years so I was not even prepared for anything like this. Whether you are a cat lover or not, I know that many of you have experienced this loss with your own pets, some of you many times like me, but it never gets easier. We love our fur babies and they truly are an important part of our family and our lives. I loved my Sunny Boy and I miss him so much every day and I am just devastated to have lost him so unexpectedly.

There's no easy way to segue from that back to the recipe, so I'll just say here's how to make my pressure cooker chicken noodle soup. For those who do not yet own an electronic pressure cooker, you'll find directions for my stovetop recipe here.

Add chicken and all stock ingredients to electronic pressure cooker. Seal and pressure cook on HIGH for 25 minutes.

Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully do a quick release. Remove chicken and veggies, and leave broth in the cooker; discard veggies and set chicken aside to cool. Pick off 2 cups of chopped or torn chicken and reserve remainder for another use.

Meanwhile, for the soup, add the fresh onion, celery, carrots, pasta and the additional broth or water with chicken base, along with the thyme. For pasta, I've used egg noodles and bow ties, but pretty much any pasta will work. Seal and cook on HIGH for 4 minutes.

Carefully quick release pressure, add the cooked chicken, frozen peas, corn and parsley; switch to saute and simmer until cooked through.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


For the stock:
  • 4 to 5 pound whole chicken
  • 1 cup rough chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, rough chopped
  • 1 celery rib, rough chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
For the Soup:
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup scraped and sliced carrots
  • 2 cups egg noodles or 1-1/2 cups bowties
  • 4 cups of additional chicken broth, water with chicken base (like Better Than Bouillon), or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups reserved cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

Add chicken and all stock ingredients to electronic pressure cooker. Seal and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully do a quick release. Reserve broth and discard vegetables. Remove chicken and set aside to cool then pick off 2 cups of chopped or torn chicken. Reserve remaining chicken for another use.

Meanwhile, for the soup, add the fresh onion, celery and carrots, the pasta and additional broth or water with chicken base, and the thyme. Seal and cook on HIGH for 4 minutes. Quick release pressure, add the cooked chicken, frozen peas, corn and parsley; simmer until cooked through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Cook's Notes: Total cook time will be dependent on how long it takes your pressure cooker to come up to pressure. I have also used frozen, thawed boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts strips to make this soup, however skip the entire section on the stock. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and using the BROWN setting on the pressure cooker, add chicken and brown, about 5 minutes. Add all of the soup ingredients, except for the peas, corn and parsley, substituting 6 cups of chicken broth. Seal and cook on HIGH for 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Quick release pressure, add the frozen peas, corn and parsley and simmer until cooked through.Taste and adjust, adding salt and pepper if needed.


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©Deep South Dish
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