When I try to make chicken soup I usually find parts of the meat don't seemed to be cooked properly: red, purple, or brown bits which I think should be white. Sometimes some pieces come out white while other are white on the outside but inside they are coloured. I use a standard method: I cut 1kg chicken into 4-8 pieces, add 2 litres water, add salt, bring to boil, then simmer for 1 hour. On occasions I have managed to cook it all white but this is the exception not the rule.

  1. Does the size of pieces make a difference as to how well it cooks? Does size make a difference as to how I should cook it? e.g. should large pieces be cooked slowly while smaller pieces be cooked fast?

  2. Does the speed at which I bring to a boil affect the cooking? Should I bring it to a boil slowly or is it ok to do it fast so long as I lower the heat once it's boiling?

  3. Sometimes I notice some chicken bits start ripping, e.g. skin opens, tears. My guess is this is due to boiling or staying on the lower surface centre of the pot. What causes this, and is it a problem?

  4. How long are soups meant to be cooked for? Mine is usually 1 hour 15 minutes. Sometimes I add more time but it doesn't still cook the insides properly.

  5. Could it be the temperature? Even if I don't go above a simmer, it still doesn't cook properly.

  6. Does stirring make a difference? I have tried this, but it doesn't seem to.

Do you have any idea why I cannot get it right or what I may be doing wrong? Is there a sure procedure to cook chicken soup to make sure it cooks fully every time?

  • 1
    I've cleaned up your question a little bit; I think I preserved the meaning.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 24, 2012 at 23:16
  • I'm not sure I see how it could not be cooked; after an hour, everything in that pot is going to be sufficiently hot. When you say parts of the meat aren't cooked properly, because they're funny colors, is that the only indication they're not cooked? Is the texture like that of cooked chicken? Are you sure it's not fully cooked?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 24, 2012 at 23:18
  • Yes I believe it is not fully cooked because the inside parts should looks the same white colour as the outside parts. Sometimes even the parts of the outside look discoloured. If I cut it open I don't think it should be showing red or anything like that. Feb 24, 2012 at 23:33
  • So it's just the color? Does the texture seem like it's cooked? Have you tried sticking a thermometer in it?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 24, 2012 at 23:40
  • 1
    @Jay From the question - " I cut 1kg chicken into 4-8 pieces" - that could be a half pound piece of chicken.
    – rfusca
    Feb 25, 2012 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


Your chicken is fully cooked after simmering for an hour. The red bits are from the bone marrow and don't indicate that it's undercooked. You'll see the same thing if you roast a chicken, and you'll notice that the red bits are always in the meat surrounding bone joints.

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