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HOW long to cook chicken for soup?

 
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georgeX6
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: HOW long to cook chicken for soup? Reply with quote

When chicken soup is cooked too long, the chicken gets tough and stringy. About how long should chicken be be boiled at sea level for max tenderness and no stringiness?

Thanks.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think "overcooked" chicken in chicken soup gets tough and stringy, you never cooked it long enough or did something else wrong. Overcooked chicken in soup literally falls apart and is TOO tender, but I like it anyway because the flavor of the soup is stronger. I like to boil the chicken (about 4 pound chicken) for 45 minutes or so, larger ones for an hour to get out all their flavor. I might use two chickens depending on the amount of soup I am making. Other people may like it cooked longer or shorter, but tough chicken coming out of soup isn't cooked long enough.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, are you using whole chickens (cut up bone in counts too) or boneless skinless breasts? If you're using boneless, skinless breasts, they will never get truly soft because there just isn't enough collogen to convert to gelatin and coat the muscle fibers and so little fat that there's just no natural lubricant. The muscle fibers will just tighten up and stay tight.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: HOW long to cook chicken for soup? Reply with quote

georgeX6 wrote:
When chicken soup is cooked too long, the chicken gets tough and stringy. About how long should chicken be be boiled at sea level for max tenderness and no stringiness?

Thanks.


Hey, yeah sounds like you're in the mid-section there. The chicken can tend to seize up, but it'll loosen after more simmering. Simmer until it's how you like it. Sometimes you'll wind up with stew, which isn't a bad thing.

When making a version of chicken soup, small dice on the veggies so they'll cook quick and evenly. Dice up the chicken breasts in to bite sized pieces and simmer in good stock about 30 minutes or so. You want the carrots just soft and that's it. The chicken will be completely done, yet tender.

Perfection.

Biggles
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention that for the best taste, cook the vegetables for 45-60 minutes to fully extract their flavor into the water prior to putting the chicken into the pot. That way their flavor gets into the chicken. If you must have firm vegetables, you can throw out the "well cooked" vegetables and put in fresh ones to come out just tender or el-dente as you finish cooking the soup. I agree with Michael, cut up bones like neck and spine or cleavered/broken rib bones are also great in the soup.

Chicken soup should ALWAYS be made with the skin on the chicken. If you don't cook it with the skin, you'll never get all the chicken flavor into the soup. For the fat-o-phobes, skim the fat off the top or you can let it cool and lift the congealed fat off the top and then re-heat the soup. The taste is worth the effort if you must have completely de-fatted chicken soup.
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