Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

1 3- to 4-pound chicken, or an equivalent mix of bone-in thighs, legs, or breast meat
4 ribs celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium parsnip, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
12 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
4 teaspoons salt
2 quarts water

Put the chicken in the pot of a pressure cooker, breast side up.

Layer all of the other ingredients into the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Adding four teaspoons of salt at this point will result in a well-seasoned soup broth. Use less salt or eliminate if you’d like to make basic chicken broth to use for other purposes.

Cook the soup: Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual” program, then set the time to 25 minutes at high pressure. (Instant Pot users can also select the “Soup” program and follow the same cooking time. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook at high pressure for 22 minutes.)
It will take about 35 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about one hour.

When the soup has finished cooking, wait about 15 minutes before “quick” releasing the pressure. This helps prevent a lot of steamy broth spitting out of the valve. You can also cover the valve with a kitchen towel while it vents to help disperse the steam.

Prepare the chicken meat: Use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the pot, and transfer it to a dish to cool until you can comfortably handle it, about 20 minutes. It may come apart as you are removing it from the pot, so go slowly and carefully.

Take the meat off of the bones, and discard the bones, skin, and cartilage. Cut or tear the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Stir the chicken meat back into the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Let any leftover soup cool completely, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. The soup may gel as it cools; it will liquefy again when heated.

To make chicken and dumplings, mix up a basic dumpling dough (see next recipe), spoon it over the finished soup, and lock the lid back on. Cook on “low pressure” for 10 minutes (or 8 minutes for stovetop pressure cooker, or 20 minutes simmered over low heat for stovetop).

Stovetop Instructions: Put the chicken in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, breast side up. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Cover the pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.
When the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender and the meat is just beginning to come away from the bones, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Continue with the remaining steps as described in the recipe.

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