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.

Instant Pot 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 (and now, the Instant Pot) - 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, I finally did it and I am so excited to share it with you!

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!

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.

Posted by on March 6, 2015

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