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Farmhouse Chicken Noodle Soup (Pressure Cooker Style)


1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil.)
1 onion, chopped fine (I used a large yellow onion.)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme** (or ¼ tsp. dried)
6-8 cups water (*depends on the size of your pressure cooker)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
2 celery ribs, sliced ½ inch thick
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Optional: (My addition was to make a “bouquet garni” of a few springs of fresh parsley and a bay leave, tied with kitchen string, so it can be removed and tossed)
Optional: 6-8 peppercorns, wrapped in cheese cloth and tied, for easy removal.
1 (4 -pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded (Or, you can buy a chicken cut-up, but NOT boneless. I buy 2 breasts with four legs.)
Salt and pepper
4 ounces (2⅔ cups) wide egg noodles (I used extra wide.)
¼ cup minced parsley

Heat oil in pressure cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering (For the Instant Pot, I use the saute button). Add the onion (and a pinch of salt) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Be careful not to brown the garlic.)

Stir in water, carrots, celery, and soy sauce, scraping up any browned bits.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, breast-side up, in the pot. Putting the chicken breast side up ensures more even cooking of the chicken.
NOTE: I have now opted to buy a cut up chicken, as this makes shredding the cooked meat a lot easier to do.

After adding the chicken, be sure that the contents of the pot do not exceed the max fill level of your pressure cooker.)

Lock pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat for a stovetop PC. As soon as the pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
NOTE: For the Instant Pot, set on manual for 20 minutes, on HIGH.

Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove the lid, allowing steam to escape away from you. (Follow your pressure cooker’s manual for quick-release instructions.)
NOTE: The first time I filled my pot with 8 cups of water, which was just below the max line. When I did a manual pressure release, a lot of liquid spurted out– and I had to put a towel around the lid, so as not to risk being burned by hot liquid. Be careful!

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. (I went for big chunks of chicken.)

Using a large spoon, skim excess fat from the surface of the soup. Bring soup to boil, stir in noodles, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

*NOTE: I do NOT cook my noodles in with the soup. Instead, I cook the noodles in salted water, separately, then rinse and drain.
If you use a bouquet garni, and a cheese cloth with peppercorns, toss that, too.

Stir in shredded chicken and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

NOTE: If cooking noodles separately (highly recommended by me), place some noodles in a bowl, and then the broth, with chicken meat and vegetables to serve. Garnish with parsley.

TASTING NOTES: At first, I wasn’t sure if adding soy sauce was all that great. My family loved it. The next day, the soup took on a whole new life, and it tasted even better! This is now my “go to” chicken soup recipe, and I keep a quart or two in the freezer at all times.