Pressure Cooker “Roast” Chicken

A Super Quick Weekday Pressure Cooker Meal

Chicken_On_Plate

Lately I have been juggling several projects at once (as I explained here), so my cooking has become more focused on speed. Influenced especially by episodes of “Chopped“, I try to use the ingredients I have on hand and make a meal as quickly as possible. I admit I usually don’t do it in the 30-minute limit that they have on “Chopped”, but I can get a good meal cooked in about an hour, and that ain’t so bad.

Roast_Chicken_Ingredients

Slightly influenced by French-style “Chicken In A Pot”, I get to use my two favorite pots for this particular recipe, one of course being my Pressure Cooker. The other, my dutch oven, which is probably feeling a bit neglected since I acquired my pressure cooker. I have found that I like the texture of the skin using this method much better than browning the chicken in the pot first, then pressure-cooking.

Fruit_And_Veg_Cut

This recipe allows for a lot of improvisation, such as varying the fruits and vegetables as well as the seasonings.

I don’t usually believe in using herb and spice blends, partly because when I post recipes on this blog, I try to use things that people might have on hand (and also because it seems like cheating). In this case, since it is all about cooking like “The Flash”, I used the “Tuscan Sunset” blend from Penzey’s, but if you have a favorite Italian seasoning blend feel free to use that. Herbes de Provence would probably work quite well also. This is all about saving time by using the minimum amount of ingredients.

Chicken_Filled

This time I used all citrus fruits. I have also done this with apple. With the apple, it imparted much more of the fruit flavor. With the oranges and lemon, it was more subtle, but still resulted in a very juicy bird.

Use caution when transferring the chicken from the pressure cooker to the dutch oven. I use two large, sturdy spoons to move it. It will be close to falling apart, so be sure to be very careful.

Chicken_In_Cooker

I was a little heavy-handed with the Italian seasoning this time, but a heaping tablespoon should be plenty.

I have found that around a 3.5-4.5 lb. chicken fits pretty well in my cooker, so keep pressure cooker size in mind when selecting your chicken. I have read some recipes where they say the chicken should not touch the bottom or sides of the pot, but to be honest I haven’t had a problem by placing it directly in the pot. If you would be more comfortable to not have it directly on the bottom, place the trivet in first. Slightly touching the sides should be ok, just make sure that your chicken is not so large that you have to wedge it in there, as that could definitely be problematic (i.e, turning your pressure cooker into a chicken launcher).

Pressure cooker time will vary a bit depending on the size of your chicken. I have found about 25 minutes works best for a bird that will fit in my cooker.

I used about a 1/4-1/2 cup of wine, but if your cooker requires more liquid than that, make up the difference with water or broth, since that would be way too much wine for pressure cooking since nothing evaporates once pressure is reached.

Chicken_In_Dutch_Oven2

I use the quick release method, as the natural release would result in the bird being a bit too “falling apart tender” to be able to transfer it to the dutch oven. I have to admit that I lost the wings when I cooked for 30 min., so 25 min. is probably about right.

It will definitely make a loud sizzle when you transfer to the dutch oven, but I haven’t had any issues with burning or sticking.

If you have extra vegetables or fruit after filling the cavity, throw them in the pot.

Chicken_On_Platter

I’d like to hear of any variations that you might try, and how you it turned out.

 

Pressure Cooker "Roast" Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: French
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A French-influenced whole chicken cooked in the pressure cooker and finished in the oven.
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5-4.5 lb chicken (make sure it will fit in your pressure cooker)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • a few cloves of garlic (optional, I didn't use any because I forgot to buy some)
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning chicken
  • ¼ to ½ cup white wine (or a combination of wine and broth or water)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon italian or french seasoning (I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset)
Instructions
  1. Place the dutch oven in the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Remove giblets from chicken and wash inside and out
  3. Cut the onion, lemon and orange into quarters
  4. Stuff as much of the fruit and onion as will fit into the cavity of the chicken (add the garlic too, if using)
  5. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder
  6. Pour wine (and other liquid, if using) into the pressure cooker over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer
  7. Let simmer for a few minutes to give some of the alcohol time to evaporate
  8. Lower chicken into pressure cooker
  9. If you have any fruit or onion left, throw it in the pot with the chicken
  10. Cover pressure cooker and bring heat to high
  11. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 25 min.
  12. When timer sounds, use quick release method
  13. Carefully remove hot dutch oven from oven
  14. Using two large, sturdy spoons, carefully transfer chicken from pressure cooker to dutch oven, placing one spoon inside the cavity and using the other to hold it steady. Be very careful, as chicken will be very tender and could easily pull apart.
  15. Spoon a few large spoons full of the cooking liquid over the chicken and place dutch oven back in the oven.
  16. Set timer for 15 minutes.
  17. While chicken is in oven, remove large pieces of fruit and onion from pressure cooker with a slotted spoon.
  18. Put pressure cooker pot with cooking liquid over high heat and reduce liquid a bit. Add salt and pepper to the cooking liquid, if desired.
  19. When timer sounds, remove dutch oven from oven and let cool for five minutes or so.
  20. Move chicken to platter, cut and serve.
  21. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the chicken.

 

Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo

A Pressure Cooker Take On The Philippine Classic, Chicken Adobo

ADOBO_PLATE1

Often called the “unofficial” national dish of the Philippines, Chicken Adobo can be a quick and easy meal when prepared in the pressure cooker.

I was a little hesitant to post this recipe, seeing as how there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of adobo recipes online (such as here, here and here), some even using the pressure cooker. And what do I know about Philippine food? Well, the answer to that would be absolutely nothing. In fact, I have never even had Chicken Adobo in an actual Philippine restaurant (something I should remedy, since there are plenty of Philippine restaurants in Los Angeles) but now that I have made Chicken Adobo so many times that it has become one of my go-to weekday recipes, I think I have dang near perfected it.

Authentic? Who knows. Tasty? Heck yeah!

ADOBO_INGREDIENTS

Like my sauerbraten recipe in my last post (I swear I am not going for a theme here, but I was out of town for a week due to a family emergency and these two recipes were already on deck), Chicken Adobo is also something that is typically marinated first (but usually only for a few hours as opposed to three to ten days for the sauerbraten). The first time I made it, I did soak the chicken in the marinade for a couple hours, but the second time I made it I skipped the marinating part as an experiment, and I could detect no discernible difference to make it worth adding a few hours to the preparation time.

Also, the first time I made it, I put the chicken in the broiler after pressure cooking, which was good, but didn’t make a big enough difference to make me want to do it every time. If you think you might like it broiled or grilled after the pressure cooking, it is certainly an option.

After much tweaking, I think I have finally hit on the perfect recipe (said every person that ever made an Adobo recipe ever), but no, really, mine is the best.

Most of the time I use whole chicken legs cut into drumsticks and thighs, but this time I happened to have a whole chicken so I cut it into ten pieces. If you buy pieces, I strongly suggest you stick to the legs and thighs. It just turns out a whole lot tastier than the white meat. If you use a whole chicken, it’s fine since you have a mix of white and dark, but I think just white meat would be a little bland.

I like to brown my chicken first, and even though once pressure cooked, the skin is no longer crisp, the pre-browning does give it a nice color and texture.

SAUCE_REDUCING

It is also important to use a good soy sauce, so make sure you use real fermented soy sauce. If you have a local Filipino market, I am guessing that soy sauce from the Philipines would be great, but I haven’t been able to track any down yet. My favorites that I have tried so far are Lee Kum Kee which is made in Hong Kong and Aloha Shoyu from Hawaii. If you have nothing available to you besides the usual suspects such as Kikkoman, it should be fine. I would be a little hesitant to use low sodium soy sauce, since I understand it is just watered down regular soy sauce, according to this article (I see that the article is no longer there) at culinate.com. It also mentions some other brands that would be worth a try.

I also use onions, which is not unheard of, but is not a common ingredient.

As for the vinegar, after trying various vinegars and combinations thereof, I have found that I prefer a half and half mixture of rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

ADOBO_CLOSEUP

I serve it with turmeric rice (which seems to be becoming my “house rice”), and a vegetable, which seems to usually be green beans with this particular dish.

Easy, quick and not a ton of ingredients. Perfect for a weekday night. Give it a try  and let me know how you like it.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Filipino
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A pressure cooker version of the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces, or 8-10 pieces legs and thighs
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5-10 cloves garlic, chopped (I usually use 10, but you can adjust to taste)
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • Black Pepper (Don't be shy! I usually use 15-20 twists of the pepper mill)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat
  2. When oil is hot, brown the chicken pieces on both sides then remove to plate
  3. If there is a lot of chicken fat, you can drain some of it (but I usually leave it all)
  4. Add onions and saute until they start to soften
  5. Add in garlic and continue to saute for another minute or so
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer
  7. Add the chicken back into the pan
  8. Put on the lid and bring to high pressure
  9. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 12 minutes
  10. When time is up, let pressure release on its own
  11. When pressure is released, remove chicken to plate once more
  12. Put pan with sauce over medium high heat, and let sauce reduce, stirring often until thickened (about 10-15 minutes)
  13. Serve chicken, and cover with sauce (Put some on the rice, too. It's yummy!)

 

 

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken

And It’s Paleo, Too!

Paprika_Chicken_Plate3

I don’t like to tout any particular diet on this blog, but with the S.O. trying to stick to the Paleo diet (with no help from yours truly), I have been adding a few Paleo-friendly dishes to my pressure-cooker repertoire.

Paprika_Chicken_Ingredients5

This isn’t quite chicken paprikash, but I was definitely inspired by it, so I just called it Paprika Chicken, which I assume is what Chicken Paprikash means, so I guess I still called it Chicken Paprikash, but in English. Oh well, so much for being creative. It’s like a chef I used to know who made a special dish called Chicken Poulet, and Poulet being french for chicken, the dish was basically called Chicken Chicken… Sorry, I’m back now.

Chicken_Cut_Pieces3

For frugality’s sake, I have been buying whole chickens lately and cutting them up myself, which I highly recommend. I admit that it can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you work up the courage to try it, it only takes around five minutes and depending on what pieces you normally buy, it can be as much as five bucks a pound cheaper. And (I’m sorry, I’ve gotta say it) that ain’t chicken scratch. There are many YouTube videos around the interwebs demonstrating how to cut a chicken. Oh look, here’s one now!

I used a 4-pound chicken cut in ten pieces, so if you still aren’t ready to cut your own, buy an equivalent amount of pieces, but I would reccommend thighs and legs, they are so much more flavorful than breasts. If you do cut it yourself, it is very important to check the cavity first for any giblets, liver, neck etc. before you start (don’t ask).

Chopped_Vegetables

I also used a combination of almond and coconut flour as well as coconut oil, but if you’re not concerned about it being Paleo, all-purpose flour and any cooking oil will work.

Coconut_Milk_Pouring

However, I don’t reccommend substituting anything for the coconut milk. I have been using it a lot lately. It adds the creaminess of dairy cream, but plays better with the pressure cooker than dairy products tend to. And although I didn’t used to be a big coconut fan, I have since warmed to the flavor it adds to dishes (I still don’t like sweetened coconut flakes, I feel like I’m eating suntan lotion).

Chicken_Browning1
But the real star of this dish is the paprika, so get the good stuff! I used a mixture of smoked and hot Hungarian paprika, and that turned out to be just the right combination to give a little heat and an almost bbq taste to the bird.

Paprika_Sauce_Simmering2

I served it with colcannon (just because I had potatoes and kale on hand). It went really well with the chicken, though.

Paprika_Chicken_PC

So, whether you’re on a paleo diet or not, give it a try. Come on, don’t be poulet…

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hungarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A Paleo version of Chicken Paprikash, substituting coconut milk for the sour cream
Ingredients
  • 1 broiler-fryer chicken (or an equivalent amount of pieces)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika plus 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix the two flours and 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and hot paprika in a bowl
  2. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  3. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then brown in coconut oil. You will probably need to do two or three batches.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate
  5. Sauté onion and bell pepper until it starts to soften
  6. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so
  7. Stir in the white wine, chicken broth and coconut milk
  8. When it comes up to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste and then the paprika
  9. Add some salt and pepper
  10. Add the chicken back into the pan
  11. Turn heat to high, put the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
  12. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for twelve minutes.
  13. When time is up, remove from heat and release pressure naturally.
  14. Remove chicken to plate, put pan with sauce over medium-high heat and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens.
  15. Add chicken back in, simmer for a couple minutes longer, and serve.

 

Quick Pressure Cooker Chicken Cabbage Curry

Chicken-Cabbage-Curry-Aromatics-Plated
I have made a quick Thai-style pressure cooker chicken curry a few times before, but this time I decided to make it more of a one-pot meal and add some cabbage as well (although I did make some rice in a separate pan. As often happens, just when I think I have come up with a totally unique recipe, I search on the web just to check, and what should come up, but a recipe very similar to the one that I had just made on a blog I had never come across before, called Paleo Pot.

Chicken-Curry-Cabbage-Ingredients2

Despite the similarities, I decided to post my version anyway, since whereas that version requires 4 hours of simmering in a crock pot (I have included a link to the crock pot version if you happen to use a crock pot), my pressure cooker version can be on your table in less than an hour, including prep time. In fact, I usually try to keep a jar of curry paste and a can of coconut milk on hand for those evenings when I don’t have a lot of time.

Chicken-Cabbage-Curry-Aromatics3

The cabbage turns out to be a good match for the chicken and coconut, and I will definitely be using this particular combination again.

Chicken-Cabbage-Curry-In-Pressure-Cooker

Oh, and pay no attention to the tomato paste in the ingredients “group photo”. I had originally planned to use it, but once the whole thing started coming together, it was unceremoniously dropped from the lineup.

I like to serve it with turmeric rice. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Quick Pressure Cooker Chicken Cabbage Curry
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Thai
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
A perfect dish for those evenings when you don't have a lot of time to get dinner on the table.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons canned or jarred curry paste
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Lightly brown the chicken in 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat
  3. Remove to plate
  4. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat
  5. Saute onions, garlic and jalapeno until they start to soften
  6. Stir in curry paste and continue to saute for another minute
  7. Add white wine and stir, scraping browned bits off the bottom of the pan
  8. Add cabbage, coconut milk, fish sauce and cayenne then stir
  9. Stir the chicken back in
  10. Add salt to taste (it may not need any because of the fish sauce and curry paste)
  11. Cover the pressure cooker, turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  12. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure
  13. Set timer for 20 minutes
  14. When time is up, remove from heat and allow pressure to come down naturally
  15. Serve with rice