Food safety can be a huge point of concern. How do you know your food is safe to eat? How do you cook it safely?
I had these fears too when I first started cooking. But it’s not as scary as it seems!
Raw chicken is a big one, especially in foods like soup. Using an already-cooked rotisserie chicken is convenient, but I know that using raw meat can be cheaper!
To get more details on how to fully cook chicken and what to look for, read on to have your questions answered.
Can you put raw chicken in soup?
Yes, you can put raw chicken in soup. I do this all the time. You just have to cook the soup long enough to fully cook the chicken.
A whole chicken breast will take longer to cook than a breast that’s been cut into small chunks, so keep that in mind.
What type of chicken works best?
Honestly, you can use a variety of cuts.
I mostly use boneless skinless chicken breast, although you can use chicken thighs too. Both will easy make shredded chicken. Really, the main difference is that chicken thighs are made with dark meat, so they’ll have more fat than chicken breast.
Can you cook raw chicken with vegetables?
Yes, that’s perfectly fine. As long as you cook them long enough, there are no issues. I do this all the time- roasting them all on a baking sheet, cooking in soup, etc. The cooking process usually kills all of the bacteria.
Can you put frozen chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, this is my favorite way to cook chicken!
For soup, I put the frozen boneless chicken breasts on the bottom, then place everything else on top. Let it all cook for a long time (Usually 6-8 hours), and the chicken will be fully cooked.
Can you put raw meat in a slow cooker?
Yes, this is perfectly fine. Raw meat will not take as long to cook as frozen meat.
How long do I cook raw chicken in soup?
The cooking time depends on your cooking method.
- Stovetop: Raw chicken pieces (chicken that’s been cut into small cubes) can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook fully. Bring a large pot to a boil with your ingredients, then let it simmer on medium heat. A whole chicken breast (Either boneless or bone-in chicken breast) can take 25-30 minutes or even more.
- Slow cooker: Cooking on low temperature, a slow cooker will typically cook chicken in 4-6 hours.
How do I know the chicken is fully cooked?
A safe temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F. The best way to check is by using a meat thermometer, placed right into the center of the chicken to check the internal temperature. But you can also slice a piece of chicken and check the middle. If it’s completely white and there’s no pink, then it’s typically safe to eat.
What to do with the chicken bones
You can actually make homemade stock with leftover bones! It’s super easy and brings SO much flavor into a recipe.
Start by adding the bones to a large soup pot along with any fresh vegetables or vegetable scraps you have. I keep the ends of carrots and onion peels in the freezer to save for stock! Pour in 6-8 cups of water. Add salt and pepper and any favorite seasonings (bay leaves, fresh parsley, poultry seasoning, etc.) and set it to medium-high heat.
Once it comes to a boil, put it on a low simmer for 30-ish minutes and strain the liquid, removing the bones and vegetables. You’re left with a soup broth that’s full of flavor and ready to add to your own recipes!
You can freeze or can this bone broth and use it for later! I’ve made homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade chicken broth and it’s absolutely amazing.
Can I freeze soup?
Absolutely! One of my favorite things to do is double a soup recipe and freeze half.
When the soup cools completely, add it to a gallon-size freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer. Alternatively, store it in freezer-safe airtight containers. Thaw in the fridge overnight and heat it up in the slow cooker or on the stovetop!
The soup will stay fresh in the freezer up to 3 months. It’s still safe to eat, but you just risk it getting freezer burn.
Best Chicken Soup
I can’t leave you without providing an amazing recipe, right?
If you’re looking for a great homemade chicken noodle soup recipe, try this one from Ambitious Kitchen. It has simple ingredients like:
- Celery stalks
- Fresh herbs like fresh thyme and rosemary
- Salt and black pepper
This recipe also uses couscous, but you could use different types of noodles like wide egg noodles. Go on over and print the recipe!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.