Pineapple Chicken, A Semi-sweet Asian Influenced Dish
I almost called this “Hawaiian Chicken”, but I realized that just because something has pineapple in it doesn’t give me the right to call anything “Hawaiian”, so “Pineapple Chicken” it is! I was kind of going for Hawaiian flavors, but this isn’t exactly a traditional Hawaiian dish. It is more of a semi-Teriyaki-BBQ type dish.
Quick and tasty, this is an excellent dish for a “school night”.
Let’s start by browning a couple pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs. Since many of you seem to be using the Instant Pot these days, I used the “normal” sauté mode for this. Work in batches and remove chicken to a plate after browning.
When chicken has all been browned, sauté some ginger and garlic for 30 seconds or so, stirring continuously.
Add an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, a tablespoon of hoisin sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Place the chicken back in the pot.
Turn off sauté mode and lock the top on the pot.
Switch to manual mode and set for 15 minutes at high pressure.
When time is up, turn sauté mode to “normal”.
Stir some cornstarch and water together, add to the pot and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring often until thickened.
I don’t know why, but it’s difficult not to go into pun mode when discussing Pho. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the Pho restaurants around have a bad pun for a name. My favorite is 9021-Pho in Beverly Hills. I’ve never eaten there, it’s just my favorite name.
Why do I call it “Faux Pho”? Because traditional Pho broth is simmered for many hours, sometimes days. And like my recipe for Saurbraten before it, my goal here is to take something that normally can take days and get the essence of the dish in a mere fraction of the time. Is it exactly the same? Er, no, hence the “faux”. But I can say that this is a super fragrant, tasty Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, or “Chicken Soup For The Seoul.” Sorry, that’s the last pun, I promise.
So, how do we go about constructing this thing? Well, get your spice bag ready first. Yeah, you could just dump the spices in the pot since we are going to strain the broth at the end anyway, but I like use a bag since you can whack it with the side of a cleaver or a mallet, to crack the cardamom and coriander without having spices shooting all over your kitchen. Put a cinnamon stick, about 4 star anise, 10 whole cloves, 5 cardamom pods (I used black cardamom) and a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a spice bag (or you could wrap in cheese cloth). With the side of a cleaver or a meat mallet (the smooth side), give the bag a little whack to crack the cardamom and coriander. Set the bag aside for the moment.
Quarter an onion, peel and divide a piece of ginger into two pieces and crush a couple of cloves of garlic.
Turn your electric pressure cooker to the medium sauté mode and plop in the onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté until it gets lightly brown.
Place 2.5-3 pounds of chicken breast (with skin and bones attached) on top of the onions.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the salt, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke.
Toss in the spice bag.
Turn off the sauté mode.
Lock the top on, turn on manual mode and set the time for 12 mins.
While soup is cooking, cook a package of rice noodles according to package directions. When finished, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. I like to use the flat rice noodles that say “Pad Thai” on the package, but you can also use the narrow rice noodles.
Get the toppings ready and arrange on a platter. I like to use fresh mint, lime wedges, bean sprouts and thinly sliced jalapeño. Put platter in the center of the table and a bottle each of Sriracha sauce and Hoisin sauce.
When the time is up for the soup, let the pressure come down naturally for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
Remove the chicken to a plate, and let it cool for a couple minutes.
Pour the broth through a strainer over another pot.
Pour the broth back into the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
Remove the skin from the chicken and pull the meat from the bones.
Stir the chicken back into the soup.
To prepare the bowls, put some noodles in each one and ladle the soup into each one.
Sprinkle the green onions over each one and serve.
Let guests customize their bowl with whichever toppings they prefer.
Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani is a North Indian dish that can be found in most Indian restaurants, and I have even seen frozen versions in my local market. But why buy mediocre frozen versions when you can make it fresh?
My goal with this recipe was to strip it to the basics to make a fast and easy version that is perfect for a weeknight meal.
The chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven, but wouldn’t you know it, mine was in the shop. So, I just browned the chicken in the pressure cooker pan.
Some may scoff at the fact that I eliminated the yogurt marinade, but that can add anywhere from another couple hours to an entire day. So if you are one of the scoffers, I will allow you a minute or so to finish your scoffing.
Ok, we are back. As you may have noticed, this is not a super authentic recipe, but it is super tasty.
As I have mentioned, boneless, skinless chicken is not really my favorite but it works well for this recipe (and it was cheap at the store). I brown it with the breasts intact to make things easier, then cut it into 2-inch chunks before adding into the sauce.
Let’s start by heating a little coconut oil and butter on medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pan. Mixing the coconut oil and butter helps keep the butter from burning.
Add the chicken breasts to the pan and brown them until they are a nice golden color, then remove them to a plate.
Lower the heat to medium and add in the rest of the butter.
When the butter has melted, add some diced onions, along with some finely chopped ginger and Serrano chiles. If you have read many of my recipes you have probably noticed that Serrano chiles are my favorite chile to cook with. I have no idea if they are readily available everywhere, but we have them up the ying-yang here in SoCal. If your local ying-yang is not full of Serrano chiles, jalapeños will work fine. Sauté the onions, chiles and ginger until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes).
Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.
Dump in some garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and sauté for 30 seconds or so. I usually put all the spices together in a small bowl so I can just add them in one swell foop, which makes things a lot easier.
Add a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of brown sugar, one cup of coconut milk and some salt.
Stir everything together.
Now cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the sauce mixture.
Lock the top on the cooker and turn heat to high to reach high pressure.
When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 7 minutes.
When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for about 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release.
If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often.
Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread. You can top with a little yogurt, which I had planned on doing but totally forgot until my dinner was totally digested. I did remember for the leftovers the next day, though.
Quebecois Hot Chicken Sandwich. Comfort Food At Its Finest!
Ok, I’m not Canadian, but my heritage traces back to there. I also grew up so close to Canada that one time I accidentally got stuck in the line to cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada because I was looking for parking to attend a concert in Downtown Detroit.
Once I reached the border guard, he let me make a U-Turn and go back to my search for parking. So, Canadian food is one of the cuisines I grew up with. And since a lot of it involves gravy, you can count me in!
There are quicker ways to make this recipe, such as buying a rotisserie chicken and jarred gravy, but I think this way is tastier, and it only takes about 40 minutes or so total.
It would not be a proper hot chicken sandwich if it wasn’t served with peas. You can use either frozen or canned, I have used both and I probably like canned better for this, but I used frozen this time. I usually just heat them in the microwave, but you can heat them on the stove if you prefer.
Plain white bread is traditional, but sometimes I switch it up with sourdough. Use whatever you like, but keep in mind that the bread should never be toasted! In fact I never understood this obsession with toasted bread. I don’t know if it is just here in SoCal, or it is everywhere, but it is difficult to order a sandwich in a diner without the bread being toasted. You usually have to specify “not toasted” to get the bread in its natural state. Sure, some sandwiches, such as a BLT are normally served on toast, but something like a tuna sandwich or a corned beef sandwich? Come on!
To get started on the sandwich, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat.
Stir in 3 cups of beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, along with a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet (you can leave this out if you want, but I like the flavor and color it adds to the gravy.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this recipe utilizes the steam rack or trivet that came with your pressure cooker. All 3 of my pressure cooker came with such an item, so hopefully yours did as well.
Season the skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is stirred together, lower the steam rack into the pot and place the chicken on top of it. The chicken will be partially submerged, this is fine.
Lock the top on the cooker, turn heat to high (or set your electric to reach high pressure and maintain for 10 minutes).
When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure (does not apply to electrics) and set timer for 10 minutes.
While chicken/sauce is cooking, mix 3 tablespoons flour with about 6 tablespoons of water (just enough to make a thick liquid).
You can also heat up a can of peas at this time.
When time is up, do a quick release.
Remove the chicken to a plate.
Carefully remove the steam rack.
Put the pressure cooker pot over medium high heat and bring to a simmer (electric use the sauté mode on high).
Stir in the flour/water mixture. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and to bring to the desired thickness, stirring frequently.
Shred the chicken meat with two forks. It doesn’t need to be finely shredded, just pull it apart.
Arrange 1 piece of bread on a plate for each sandwich you are making.
Pile chicken on the bread (one breast half for each sandwich is good).
Put a little gravy on top of the chicken, then place another piece of bread on top. Add more gravy to the top of the sandwich, then top with peas.
Looking around the interwebs at various recipes for Quesadillas, there seemed to be quitej a few recipes for “Cheese Quesadillas” (yes even Paula Deen doesn’t know any better), “Cheesy Quesadillas”. But seeing as how “Queso” is Spanish for cheese, that would be akin to posting a recipe for a “Tuna-y Tuna Sandwich”.
But this recipe is for a quesadilla with the addition of chicken, so “Chicken Quesadilla” is appropriate.
Sure, there are quicker Chicken Quesadilla recipes, but this one has a tasty, braised chicken filling that would take longer if prepared in a conventional manner.
I have made a smaller batch of this in my stovetop pressure cookers, but in my electric the minimum liquid is 1.5 cups, so a larger batch of chicken is necessary.
This is a bit of a hybrid recipe, in that it utilizes the pressure cooker as well as the oven or griddle. I probably would do them on a griddle if I had one, but because of the size limits of my kitchen that probably will not happen soon.
This can also be done with smaller tortillas, using two tortillas with one on the top and one on the bottom, but my preference is to use large “burrito size” tortillas and fold them. This is also better if cooking them on the griddle, since your can just pivot them from one side to the other, whereas if you were doing it sandwich style, there would be a lot more difficulty in flipping it without losing all of the tasty filling.
I like to use a 9 or 10 inch tortilla. The ones I used this time were 12 inch and a little difficult to work with.
So let’s make the chicken filling. If you want to make the chicken dicing a little easier, you can pop the chicken breasts in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so to firm it up a bit.
In a couple tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil (it doesn’t have to be your favorite, your are welcome to cook in one you hate if you really want to), sauté a chopped onion until it becomes translucent. Add in 5 cloves of garlic (smashed with a press) and sauté for another minute.
Add a couple pounds of cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast and cook until the outside starts to turn white.
Add the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and stir together.
Pour in 1/2 cup of beer and stir it all together.
Add two cans of Ro-Tel, after draining the liquid from one of the cans.
Put the pressure cooker over high heat (if using an electric PC, switch to pressure mode). Put top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 3 minutes.
When time is up, do a quick release.
Remove the top from the pressure cooker.
Put pot over high heat (for electrics switch to the highest sauté or brown mode.
Add about 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is reduced to desired thickness.
So, that’s it for the filling. Let’s put together our quesadillas.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Depending on the size of your tortillas, get out two or three of them (however many will fit on the baking sheet folded in half. If making a lot at once, use two baking sheets.
On one half of each tortilla, put one or two large spoons of the chicken mixture. Put a generous amount of cheese on each one as well.
Fold each quesadilla in half and put the baking sheets in the oven.
Set timer for 5 minutes.
When time is up, remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Cut into wedges with knife or pizza cutter and top with your favorite toppings.
A Super Fast And Zesty Chicken and White Bean Chili
Yes, I know, another chili recipe. But even here in SoCal the weather has been cooler, or as I call it, Chili Weather, although I’m sure many of your who reside in other places would make sport of me for calling 69 degrees “cool”.
I came really close to not posting this. I made this chili a few times and thought it would be a good one to post, but in looking around on the interwebs, I noticed that pretty much everybody, and I mean everybody, has a recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chile. Rachel – Check. Emeril – Check. Pioneer ladies, ladies and their sons, shoeless contessas, paleo people, everybody. What can I do with these ingredients that hasn’t already been done, I thought to myself (which is my favorite way)? Well, after making this recipe several times and doing some tweaking, it has become one of my quickest recipes to prepare, yet is still quite tasty. In fact, if you use boneless skinless chicken tenders as I did, you don’t even have to cut up the chicken.
Put the pressure cooker pot over medium heat, or put your electric PC on “brown” or “saute” set to medium.
In a couple tablespoons of oil of your choice, brown the chicken a bit. I bought skinless boneless chicken tenders (sure, I grabbed them by accident, but they worked perfectly for this recipe). You can use 1-1/2 pounds of boneless skinless breasts and just cut them into couple-inch strips.
Remove the chicken to a plate and put the chopped onions in the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder and stir into the onion mixture. Cook for another minute.
Now pour in just a splash of the chicken stock to deglaze, scraping any stuck chicken bits off the bottom.
Pour in the Salsa Verde. Make sure to use 16 ounces. I tried it with a 12-ounce jar and it just didn’t have enough flavor. If you can only find 12 ounce jars, buy 2. With the extra 8 ounces you can serve on the side with tortilla chips. And while you’re selecting your salsa, make sure it is made with tomatillos, not just green tomatoes. I think the tomatillos are what gives it a unique flavor, and I wouldn’t want to deprive you of that now, would I? No, I would not.
Add in 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans. I have tried it with both Great Northern beans and with Cannelini Beans, and I prefer the Great Northern, but I will leave it to your discretion.
Now is the time to pour in the rest of the chicken stock.
Add a little salt and pepper and toss in the bay leaves.
Cover the pressure cooker and set to high pressure.
When pressure is reached, set timer for 8 minutes.
When time is up, do a quick release then remove the lid.
Put the pressure cooker pot over medium heat.
Make a slurry with 2 tablespoons of the Masa and about 1/4 cup water, and stir it into the chili. Note: If you like more of a soup consistency you can skip this step, but I like it thicker. Plus I think the masa adds a little flavor. If you cannot find masa, or don’t want to buy it just to use a couple tablespoons for this, you can substitute fine grind cornmeal. Or you can try the Alton Brown method for thickening chili. I haven’t tried it myself, but in one of his recipes for pressure cooker chili, he substitutes crushed tortilla chips for the masa. And since tortilla chips are basically masa harina in chip form, it makes sense. It is also something that you may already have on hand. So, I say go for it, and let me know how it works!
Simmer for another 3-4 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
Add a squeeze of lime to each bowl.
You can serve it over rice, or with tortilla chips or bread on the side. I served it with rice this time.
You can top it with shredded cheese, or with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. I went for the yogurt this times (mostly because I didn’t have sour cream of cheese).