Have you ever had a bowl of chicken soup and thought to yourself that the chicken in that soup was just so amazing? That’s probably because the cook knew a little trick to improve the taste of the chicken without ruining the soup.
The secret to great, homemade chicken soup is to roast the chicken ahead of time. That can take extra work, and you could cheat by just using precooked chicken if you wanted to, but I don’t recommend taking any shortcuts if you’re making chicken soup at home on your own.
I want to share with you directions for how to roast chicken for soup, and once you know this important step, the rest is pretty easy. I mean, chicken soup is basically just a combination of chicken broth or stock, tender, juicy chicken, and then celery, carrots, and onions.
When you have those key ingredients, you have chicken soup, and you may want to add a few little herbs and spices to flavor it up, but that’s essentially it.
How Long to Roast Chicken Thighs for Soup?
If you ask anyone who’s made chicken soup before a number of times and had it turn out well, they will tell you that chicken thigh meat is the best kind of meat to use. While chicken breast meat may be healthier, the characteristics of thigh meat is that there’s a lot of it on the thigh (so that’s plenty for your soup), and the chicken meat stays really tender even while it’s cooked and put into a soup.
You don’t get that with breast meat. Some of that chicken flavor and texture gets lost when it’s in a soup. That’s why I highly recommend you cook with chicken thigh meat, if possible. You can actually buy thigh meat alone from the store and work with that.
You should cook the thigh meat pieces in broth for about 30 minutes on high heat. This should allow them to cook all the way through, especially if you cut them into small, bite sized pieces for the soup.
You want to be careful that you don’t overcook the meat. Doing that can make weak and limp, meaning it will shred within the soup rather than retain its stability and form. Or it could become very tough.
How to Roast Chicken Bones for Soup
You can make chicken soup from bones, creating bone broth. This makes a very flavorful soup.
Now, if you’re simmering bones to make a broth, that can take a long time. Usually, it will take around 8 hours if you’re cooking it in a covered pot on the stove. If you have an Instant Pot or some other pressure cooker, however, you can take your chicken bones and turn them into a healthy broth in about 2 hours.
You can use the same pressure cooker to make your soup too, speeding up the process and creating soup from the broth at about 20 more minutes.
Chicken bone broth doesn’t just make soup that tastes good. It’s also a very nourishing, nutrient-rich soup that’s excellent for your immunity. This is the kind of dish you should be making if you have a cold or you’re entering cold and flu season and you want to boost your immune system with a preventative measure.
Now that you know how to make bone broth soup quickly, there’s no need to set aside half the day for it.
How to Roast Chicken Breast Fillets for Soup
If you’re looking to roast chicken in the oven before adding it to soup, chicken breast filets are a good place to start. You won’t have any trouble taking them apart, as you’re not taking them off the bone. So, there’s no chicken meat going to waste this way.
If you’re going to add roasted chicken breast to your chicken soup, I suggest not cooking the chicken in the soup or broth. That will help it retain its consistency and flavor better.
To cook chicken breast in the oven to use for chicken soup, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can season your chicken breast while the oven is heating up. Then, place your chicken breasts into a baking dish. You can add the soup at this time if you want or cook the breasts on their own.
If you’re cooking the soup in the oven, then cover the baking dish with aluminum foil as it bakes. If not, though, you can leave it uncovered.
Bake the chicken at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. You can use it instant read thermometer to see if it’s done, checking the internal temperature for 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Allow it to cook in increments of five minutes at a time, if it needs to cook for longer.
How to Roast Chicken Backs for Soup
The chicken backs of the chicken are a meaty part of the bird that’s left behind on the bone after the wings, thighs, breast, and legs have all been removed. These are rich in nutrients and make a great soup base.
Let me share with you a method for cooking them up, and you can use this same method for how long to boil roast chicken carcass for soup.
- Start by letting them thaw out. You can place them into the fridge overnight or rest them covered on the counter at room temperature until they are completely thawed.
- Then, place them into a pot and cover them with water. Heat the water in the pot on medium high until it starts to boil. Then, lower the heat and keep cooking at a simmer.
- It should take about an hour for the meat from the bones to cook all the way through. Don’t let him cook too long, or they will become tough. The bones can go back into the pot after the meat is removed.
- You can use the bone broth method above for cooking the bones, and you can create a broth like this, throwing in your chicken back meat and herbs and spices to finish off the soup.