In a 6-quart Instant Pot, add chicken, carrots, celery, spareribs, if using, and one Chinese herbal packet.
Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the entire chicken, 8 to 10 cups. The pressure cooker should not be more than two-thirds full.
Seal the lid and valve. Set for high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow the soup to come to natural pressure release. Please Do Not use quick release.
For slow cooker, cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or up to 24 hours.
For stovetop, bring the ingredients to a boil in a soup pot, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. You may need to add a bit more water to compensate for evaporation.
Season with salt to taste. Add garnish before serving if desired.
You can also use whole chicken legs or drumsticks instead of a whole chicken.Get 10% off from Root and Spring with my discount code "IHeartUmami"Storage/Reheat/What to do with the cooked herbs
To store, allow the soup to come to room temperature and is no longer hot. Leave the herbs in the broth. They flavor will deepen after you reheat the soup the next day.
In general, you can debone chicken and remove the herbs after it’s done cooking, the flavor will be much lighter. However, I recommend that you leave the herbs in the pot and reheat with ½ to 1 cup water the next day to fully experience the flavor. Season with more salt to taste.
Personally, I leave the herbs in the pot until I finish the entire broth. The broth will turn golden dark amber color and herbal flavor will become even stronger.
I usually leave the whole chicken (without deboning) until after I reheat the soup the next day. I found that I'm able to extract even more flavor from the bones and the herbs after first reheat. However, this is my personal preference. You can absolutely de-bone it after it's done cooking.
To store the chicken breast, I recommend shredding and storing it separately from the soup. This way, it won't turn dry and tough when you reheat the broth.
For chicken thighs, I leave them in the soup pot and reheat it with the broth together.
More About Chinese Dried Herbs for Cooking
There are hundreds and thousands of Chinese herb variety. Some are edible - for example goji berries, Chinese almonds - and others are for flavor and to balance the yin and yan in Chinese cooking. The best way to tell is to take a small bite after all the ingredients are cooked. You’ll know the difference right away.
Root and spring has many more Chinese soup herbal packets. They have different Chinese medicinal purposes. For example: good for chi, good for lung, good for preventing colds and flues...etc. In general, you can follow the same recipe cooking time and methods for all of their packets.