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A Fast and easy chicken recipe!
Pre-cooked shredded chicken is the Fastest way to have a delicious chicken dinner. Make versatile boiled chicken breasts your go-to ingredient to get dinner on the table Fast.
Boiling or poaching chicken means cooking it in hot liquid with a mixture of aromatics and salt. This is an ideal Fast method for cooking chicken breasts. Cook it in large batches and freeze to toss into dishes as you need it. Having some ready-to-eat white meat on hand is the ultimate time-saver. Ideal for salads, chicken pies and soups.
The liquid used to cook the chicken works well if you want a basic light and flavourful chicken broth to use in recipes or freeze for later.
What Is Broth?
Technically speaking, broth is any liquid with meat cooked in it.
The broth is made mainly from meat (which can contain bones but does not have to), mirepoix (a mixture of onions, carrots, and celery), and aromatics in water simmered.
Unlike stock, the broth is typically seasoned. It finishes as a thin, flavourful liquid that does not gel when chilled and is used in all the same ways you’d use stock, including soups, sauces, and braises. And since it’s seasoned, it is flavourful and delicious sipped on its own.
A broth is super easy to make, but it takes a LONG time to cook. It can be challenging to find a good block of time to simmer it to perfection.
The stovetop method is classic for making chicken broth, but you can also use other appliances instead. My favourite one is using the pressure cooker, which is the fastest. However, using the slow cooker is also a good option that you don’t have to babysit a stockpot!
A pressure cooker speeds up the process and helps seal in flavour that otherwise boils off into the air as the broth simmers and steams. After only 20 minutes, you’re rewarded with a rich, flavourful broth that tastes like it simmered all day.
Or, with the slow cooker, you can throw everything together in the evening, set it to low and simmer it all through the night and the next day.
I have included the 3 methods for you to choose from.
Note: I updated this post on June 3, 2022.
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To cook the Chicken
- Olive oil - and or butter – optional if searing
- 1.5 kg Chicken - whole or bone-in chicken legs, thighs or breasts
- 8 cups Water - enough to cover the chicken – cold
Mirepoix aromatic base
- Olive oil - and or butter – optional if searing
- 1 Onion - peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk Celery - trimmed and chopped
- 1 Carrot - trimmed, peeled and chopped
- 1 head Garlic - chopped
- 1 cup Leek - chopped white part only – optional
- 1 branch Thyme - fresh sprigs
- 2 sprigs Parsley - fresh
- Bay leaves
- Peppercorns - whole crunched
- Salt - optional to taste
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Prepare the chicken
- Rinse and chop chicken parts into 5-7 cm (2 to 3-inch) pieces.
Prepare your vegetables for the Mirepoix aromatic base
- Trim the root ends and tips from the vegetables.
- Rinse and scrub the celery.
- Rinse and peel your carrots and onions.
- Then dry well with a clean cloth.
- Chop the carrot, onion, and celery. The finer you chop the veggies, the quicker the aroma and flavours will be released.
- Note: If using, don’t salt your broth too heavily before it’s done simmering. Taste and adjust AFTER it has reduced.
Making in a Pressure cooker— The fastest way
- Note: if you prefer, you can sear the chicken and the vegetables first and then add the water and seasonings.
Place all ingredients into the pot
- Place the chicken, onion, carrot, and celery into the pot of an electric pressure cooker.
- Add the seasonings and cover with water.
- Note: Do not fill above the 10-cup line.
Pressure cook the chicken and mirepoix
- Lock the lid onto the pressure cooker and pressure-cook for 20 minutes at HIGH pressure.
- Important: Let the pressure cooker release pressure naturally. This takes about 30 minutes. Do not do a quick release, or the hot broth may spurt out of the valve.
- It’s okay if your pressure cooker turns to the “keep warm” setting. This will not affect the time it takes to release pressure.
Making in a Slow Cooker
Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker
- Place the chicken in the middle of the slow cooker.
- Note: if you have more than one chicken, break them into pieces, so it all fits. Loose bones, like drumsticks, can be tucked inside the chicken carcass to save space. Roughly chop the vegetables and scatter them around the chicken. Add the seasonings.
Cover with water
- Add enough water to cover the chicken. It's fine to fill to within an inch (2-3cm) of the top of the slow cooker.
Cook for at least 8 hours
- Set the slow cooker to "low" and cook for at least 8 hours or longer (even up to 24 hours!). If your slow cooker has a timer, you may need to reset it once or twice during cooking.
Making using the stovetop method
Place all ingredients into the pot
- Place the chicken into a suitable-sized stock pot.
- Cover it with cold water by about 5 cm (2 inches).
Bring to a simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, ensuring it does not come to a boil. You want a gentle, constant bubbling, mainly around the edges.
- Keep at a gentle simmer, reducing the heat if needed.
- After the broth has simmered for about 30 minutes, you can occasionally skim off the scum that floats to the surface if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
- Add the mirepoix after 30 minutes.
- Let the broth gently simmer for another hour or so, skimming the surface as needed.
- Then add the seasonings and gently tuck them underneath the surface. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Check by tasting after 2 hours.
- If the broth isn’t as flavourful as you’d like, keep simmering and taste every 15 minutes again.
Strain the broth
- When the broth is ready, first, skim off as much fat as possible from the surface.
- Then, place a strainer over a large bowl. Use tongs to gently transfer the big bones and vegetables from the pan to the strainer.
- When only small bits remain, pour the broth through the strainer into the bowl.
- Discard the bones and vegetables.
- If you'd like a cleaner, clearer broth, strain the broth again through a fine-mesh strainer (or colander lined with a coffee filter or double layer of cheesecloth) and strain the broth again.
- Salt the broth to taste, if desired.
Prepare the chicken to use
- Remove the chicken from the Strainer or Colander and discard any vegetables and seasonings (if any).
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, if the chicken has skin and or bones, pull it off and discard it.
- From that point, you can use your chicken any way that you desire. From serving it with side dishes to shredding it to use in all sorts of recipes. I like to do both!
Serve or store the chicken
- Serve the chicken as desired.
- Or cool the chicken completely and transfer it to a food storage container.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Skim the fat from the broth if desired
- If you’d like to remove the fat from the broth, let it cool until the fat settles at the top, then skim it off with a spoon.
- You can also more easily remove the fat by chilling the broth and spooning the congealed fat from the surface later.
Use or store the broth
- The broth is now ready to be used.
- To store, pour into storage containers (it’ll cool faster that way).
- Let it cool uncovered at room temperature for an hour, and then cover and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to four months.
- Make sure you leave 10 - 15 mm (1/2-inch) of space at the top of the container if freezing, as liquid expands when frozen.
Concentrating the broth
- You can also concentrate the broth by boiling the finished broth down and reducing it by half.
- Cool, pour into ice cube trays or small containers, and freeze.
- Pop the cubes into a Ziplock bag for longer-term storage.
- To reconstitute the broth, add an equal amount of water back to the concentrated broth.
What size should I chop my vegetables?Be sure to cut the vegetables relatively uniform in size. The finer you chop the veggies, the quicker the aroma and flavours will be released. The shorter the cooking time of the ultimate dish, the smaller size the pieces should be. For longer times, they can be cut into larger pieces. For broth, broth, or blended soups, you can cut them large - 25-51 mm (1-2 inches). Regardless of the size you choose, it is important to chop everything approximately the same size so that your vegetables cook evenly. Read more about mirepoix
Do I need to sear the vegetables and chicken first?If you have the time, it will intensify the flavours. However, you don’t have to.
Can I use boneless chicken breast?If you are preparing the cooked chicken and do not need the intense flavour and gelatin of the bones for the broth, you can use boneless chicken breast. Opt for skinless, boneless chicken breast for a Faster cooking time and use cubed chicken breast in an electric pressure cooker.
Can I use Chicken Broth Mix and omit the vegetables?It won't have the same flavour; however, if you don't have time to prepare the vegetables, you can use 1 tsp (5g) concentrated Chicken Broth Mix for 1 cup of water. Chicken broth powder usually has high sodium content, so treat it as flavoured salt. If more "saltiness" is desired, add a teaspoon of salt at the end, stir and taste.
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Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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