A Super Quick Weekday Pressure Cooker Meal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’d like to hear of any variations that you might try, and how you it turned out.
|Pressure Cooker "Roast" Chicken|| |
- 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)
- Place the dutch oven in the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Remove giblets from chicken and wash inside and out
- Cut the onion, lemon and orange into quarters
- Stuff as much of the fruit and onion as will fit into the cavity of the chicken (add the garlic too, if using)
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Pour wine (and other liquid, if using) into the pressure cooker over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer
- Let simmer for a few minutes to give some of the alcohol time to evaporate
- Lower chicken into pressure cooker
- If you have any fruit or onion left, throw it in the pot with the chicken
- Cover pressure cooker and bring heat to high
- When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 25 min.
- When timer sounds, use quick release method
- Carefully remove hot dutch oven from oven
- 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.
- Spoon a few large spoons full of the cooking liquid over the chicken and place dutch oven back in the oven.
- Set timer for 15 minutes.
- While chicken is in oven, remove large pieces of fruit and onion from pressure cooker with a slotted spoon.
- 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.
- When timer sounds, remove dutch oven from oven and let cool for five minutes or so.
- Move chicken to platter, cut and serve.
- Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the chicken.