I know I can boil a chicken for about 30 minutes

I want to boil a chicken with vegetables, lemons and some spices for 3+ hours. Can I do it safely?

How is the chicken fat going to affect the texture/taste?

  • 6
    What are you trying to accomplish? You will make a nice stock. The chicken will have given up its flavor to the broth, and the meat will not be a pleasant texture.
    – moscafj
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 19:51
  • Either separate the breast in advance or remove the breast when cooked and put the carcass back in. You don't want overcooked breast meat.
    – user50726
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 18:29
  • @moscafj Trying to cook multiple things at once to save time :) - aris good point, so did I. thanks for the feedback!
    – dragonmnl
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


After maybe 45 minutes to an hour, the chicken will be very soft and falling off the bones, the broth will have a strong but pleasant chicken flavor, and the lemons and vegetables will probably be completely depleted and disintegrated. This is usually a good start for home made chicken soup. At this point you'd probably strain it, let it cool, remove the meat from the bones and be left with soup.

After 3 hours the chicken meat will start to get mushy and disintegrate, the cartilage and connective tissue of the bones will also be melting and releasing gelatin into the broth, the vegetables will also disintegrate. This would result in a pretty strong chicken broth that is full of gelatin, which would be good once you strained everything else out.

If you did not remove the fat and skin from the chicken, the will mostly melt and leave rendered fat in the broth, but some of the skin will never melt and will remain with a very unappealing texture and flavor. The fat will generally float to the top and can be pretty easily removed once the broth cools.


If you intend to cook the chicken at a full rolling boil (submerged in water at approximately 100 degrees Celsius), there are no safety concerns with this. Your chicken, particularly the breast meat, will almost certainly be overcooked, resulting in meat that is more 'dry' and stringy than many people consider ideal. If you are serving the chicken in the broth, this may not be an issue.

However, you might be able to obtain similar or even superior results by reducing the cooking time drastically. Without knowing how you intend to serve the chicken, this is hard to predict

  • thanks for the very good answer. my goal is to make veggies and lemons very soft and also save time cooking the chicken together. Perhaps you can advice a better approach to achieve this?
    – dragonmnl
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 22:19
  • As @UncleLongHair's answer mentions, after 3 hours of cooking your vegetables will disintegrate. They will be soft much sooner. I would suggest cooking until you have achieved your desired texture in both chicken and vegetables (perhaps even taking some out of the water if they are done before the others), rather than looking for a specific timing.
    – LSchoon
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 7:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.