This recipe uses frozen chicken to create a flavorful and healthy chicken soup in no time. It comes with a bonus recipe – a 5-minute crispy chicken.
Since I discovered how to use a pressure cooker to make a quick chicken soup, I’ve been cooking this dish every week. Sometimes two days in a row! It is the easiest way to create a hearty soup and add plenty of vegetables to your dinner table.
The greatest part about this recipe is that you can use frozen chicken without thawing it. Simply pull it out of the freezer and dump it into your pressure cooker. Add a few herbs and some water. Set the timer for 30 minutes of high pressure cooking. You’ll have a quick and rich chicken broth in no time.
After cooking the broth, you can add some vegetables (and/or noodles, if needed) and continue cooking. I have tried adding kale, asparagus, cabbage, carrot, and many others. My favorite combination is carrot, zucchini, and mushrooms. These three ingredients will add a sweet and savory flavor to the soup and make it even more delicious.
I have tried cooking the vegetables with the broth at high pressure. Of course, I used root vegetables like potatoes and carrots in that case. The soup turned out good, but the vegetables were way overcooked. Now I prefer to cook the vegetables separately, after releasing the pressure. It only takes 10 minutes.
In the bonus part of this recipe, you can re-purpose the boiled chicken and use it to make a main dish in 10 minutes (Woohoo!).
Of course you can serve the chicken in the soup. But I found it quite plain and not very interesting. So I usually remove the chicken from the soup, coat it with spices, and then cook it in a separate pan. The process will further render some oil from the chicken skin, to create a perfectly “fried” chicken with crispy skin. The chicken will also be properly seasoned this way, and stay tender in texture.
I usually serve the chicken with some brown rice as a main dish and the chicken soup as a side. The whole process involves about 20 minutes of active cooking time, and yields a delicious and healthy two-course meal. Isn’t it wonderful?
A quick tip. After you prepare and cut the vegetables, do not throw the tough ends and rinds away. Save your mushroom stems, carrot peelings, and zucchini seeds in a gallon-sized ziplock bag, and then freeze them. When you’ve accumulated a bag full of vegetable scraps, you can make a very nice vegetable stock with them 🙂
Want to read more pressure cooker recipes? Check out the one-pot rice pilaf, braised whole lamb leg (3 ways to serve), and crispy potatoes.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it #omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup (with Frozen Chicken)
- 4 frozen bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (*see footnote 1)
- 2 cups chicken stock (or water) (*see footnote 2)
- 2 slices ginger
- 4 green onions , chopped (or 1/2 onion, chopped)
- 4 carrots , peeled and sliced
- 2 zucchinis , peeled, seeded and sliced
- 1 pound mushrooms , stemmed and sliced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Combine chicken, chicken stock, 2 cups water, ginger, and green onion in a pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. If using an Instant Pot, choose manual, and set timer to 30 minutes. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, cook over medium high heat until high pressure is reached. Turn to medium low heat. Continue to cook 30 minutes.
- While cooking the stock, prepare and cut the veggies.
- (Optional) When the broth is cooked, you can remove the chicken and use the recipe below to cook a 5-minute crispy chicken. Alternatively, you can continue to cook the soup.
- Remove ginger and green onion from the soup and discard. If you’re using onion, leave the onions in the soup.
- (Optional) If you prefer not to have a bit of fat content in the soup, you can strain the soup, transfer it into a fat separator and remove the fat. I always keep the fat because it adds great flavor.
- Add carrot, zucchini, and mushroom to the soup. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables turn tender. If using an Instant Pot, choose sautee and let cook until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Add salt and black pepper to adjust seasoning according to your taste.
- Serve warm.
- You can use fresh or thawed chicken thigh as well. Reduce cooking time to 20 minutes in this case.
- You can use water and get a less concentrated soup. But it will still be very delicious.
Bonus recipe: 5-Minute Crispy chicken
- 4 boiled chicken thighs
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of any chicken rub you like (I used satay spice mix in my recipe. If you don’t have a chicken rub, some curry powder, or cumin and chili powder will do the trick as well)
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Remove chicken thighs from the broth and place on a colander to strain any extra moisture.
- Transfer the chicken onto a plate. Sprinkle with spice mix and sea salt on both sides. Sprinkle your favorite chicken dry rub on both sides. I used a bottled satay spice mix. You can also try out mixing 1/2 teaspoon of each of: curry powder, turmeric, paprika, garlic and cayenne.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Carefully place chicken thighs into the pan, skin side down. Let cook without moving for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom side turns golden brown and crispy. Gently flip with a pair of tongs and try not to tear the chicken apart. It will be very tender! Cook until the bottom side is charred. Transfer to a plate.
- Serve over rice or noodles as a main, with the soup as a side. Don’t forget to save the chicken bones so you can use them to make chicken stock later.
Questions and Reviews
Everything looks so good. I never thought about using a pressure cooker, thanks for the idea
Pressure cooker does a lot of magic when you try it out. Me too, never thought about this before, but once I learnt about it, I’d never stop cooking it again and again 🙂
i think my favourite part of this whole thing is that crispy chicken. YUM.
I love those crispy chicken too! I even thought about separated it into a new post, because it’s so yummy!
So happy to see that you’re enjoying your pressure cooker! 🙂 The great part about this meal is that you don’t even need to defrost the chicken. 😀
Yep that is the best part. I found out this tip online the other day, and I was surprised by how nice the chicken turned out. Will keep trying out new tricks with my Instant Pot!
I’ve never cooked with a pressure cooker– they are so popular here in Asia! Maybe I will need to get one.. anything that makes homemade chicken soup easier 🙂
I think one of the reasons is because we don’t really use oven in Asia, so anything slow cook will be easier in a pressure cooker. I’m testing a batch of bone broth with pressure cooker today. Hopefully it will turn out great! Yes, you definitely need a pressure cooker if you prefer homemade chicken soup. It’s so easy and fast to cook!
Dumb noob question here. Do you blend your own spice rubs (and if so, can share the recipe please :P) or do you purchase them off the shelves? Thanks for reply!
Hi Thian, I purchased these mix spice rubs: http://amzn.to/24z5cyz
The satay and tandoori mixes work really great with chicken. Very flavorful and fragrant 🙂
Thanks Maggie! I can identify with the first two since I am from that country 🙂
One final noob question – you only rub one spice per chicken piece, right? You do not mix the two spices together on one chicken piece? (or am I not understanding correctly? :P)
Thanks once again!
Yes, only rub on spice per chicken. I don’t mix the two spices together. Sorry my blog post wasn’t very clear!
Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂
The supplier of spices you recommend for this recipe has permanently closed. Do you have another suggestion for a supplier or recipe for the spices? This chicken looks really good and I want to try it. Thanks. Linda
Hi Linda, unfortunately I still cannot find a nice satay blend. It’s relatively easy to find tandoori mix on Amazon or in Asian grocery store.
One thing you can try:
Mix 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon cumin powder, and 1 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Pinch of turmeric for color, if you have it.
Hope the cooking goes well and let me know how it turns out!
after 30 minutes pressure cooking chicken what release method do you use?
Hi Sylvia, I usually use quick release, but I’ve tried natural release as well. Both methods work for this recipe.
Maggie, I’ve been thinking about your endorsement of the Instant Pot for some time. Today, (7/8/17) read the Wekend Wall Street Journal – my lifeline to life and the arts, not to mention Gear & Gadgets. This weekend the main article in “Off Duty” recommended the Instant Pot for some Julia Child recipes for beach vacation cooking! We are going on such a getaway the first week in August. I recall that we, as your loyal fans, can order such things as these through you. I would like to do that. Of course, I’m going to plan for a few of your recipes instead of Julia’s. Could you remind me how to place the order so that you benefit. Best, Tom Ledbetter
Hi Tom, thanks so much for asking for the Instant Pot link! You’re too kind 🙂 If you want to place an order on Amazon, you can do it via this link: http://amzn.to/1OVjmvK
Re cook Julia Child recipes with Instant Pot – I haven’t tried it yet but think it should yield great result, especially for stews and soup. Are you guys going to sea side in August? Which dishes are you thinking about cooking?
Seems like you’ve been extremely busy with the car wash business in the past months. I hope you’ll able to take some time off, relax, enjoy the time with family, and recharge! 🙂
Hi Maggies, can you make the soup and 5 min crispy chicken with drunsticks as well or would it not work?
Hi Maggie, can you make the soup and 5 min crispy chicken with drunsticks as well or would it not work?
so much I got a new pressure pot and wanted to do the frozen chicken as I watch 10 kids and have no time for fussing with food I’m going to love your recipes thank you trying the frozen chicken soup Nancy
You’re the most welcome Nancy! Happy cooking and hope your chicken broth turns out great.
Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂
Just to clarify the stock/water, aside from the substitution footnote. That’s 2 cups of stock PLUS 2 cups of water added, correct?
I’m wondering the same thing. Water was not listed in the ingredients list, but appears in the directions.
This was never clarified, correct? I’m hesitant to try the recipe. This is my first use of the pressure cooker.
Hi Cynthia, the broth is not clarified. It’s usually served this way in Chinese cooking. But if you’re afraid the broth being greasy, you can clarify it as well.
This recipe is perfection in so many ways! Thanks for saving dinner the night i forgot to defrost the chicken! This was SO good too… i will never get rid of my pressure cooker now! Also… LOVED the spice mix for the 5-minute Crispy Chicken, but it isn’t listed anymore… can you let me know what the mixture was so i can make it again! I keep it in a special jar and it’s almost out! THANKS!!!
So glad to hear you like the recipe! I just added the 5-minute crispy chicken recipe back (under the chicken soup recipe). Happy cooking! 🙂
Using only two cups of chicken stock gave barely any soup. I’m not sure what went wrong…
Hi Hoju, I kept the chicken stock amount very low because I like the soup very rich. The veggies and chicken will release some juice as well. If you prefer more soup, I think using 4 cups of chicken broth will work as well.
I made this soup for a senior who is recovering from colon issues. He wanted “chicken soup” and I thought about all the veggies I could put in this soup but he made it clear he just wanted chicken and broth, period. I followed your recipe minus the veggies (I did add some garlic, onions, and celery finely cut and unnoticeable for a good flavor). He wanted “fall off the bone chicken soup. This recipe was a winner! He tasted it and said, ” perfect, don’t touch it, leave just like this!” Thank you for this simple beginning of a recipe. In the future I’m making the whole recipe for me.!
This is so easy to make food in pressure cooker. I really love this idea. A quick an easy way to make chicken soup in pressure cooker, thank you for sharing this amazing recipe of chicken soup. Really love it.