Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo

A Pressure Cooker Take On The Philippine Classic, Chicken Adobo

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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!

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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.

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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 Three-Season Lamb Stew

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With the weather we have been having lately, you never know how the heck you are supposed to shop. You buy your groceries when it is 45 degrees, then two days later when it is pushing 80, you don’t know what to make with the stuff you bought to prepare lots of heavy, wintry dishes. Such was my dilemma recently with some lamb that I had earmarked for a hearty winter meal.

Once again, TV to the rescue! I was watching an episode of My Little Paris Kitchen, and Rachel Khoo, who hosts the show (and manages to cook some good stuff in a kitchen even smaller than mine) made a Spring Lamb Stew, which seemed to be just right for the warmer weather. I used her basic recipe as a jumping off point and made a few of my own changes. I would have used a cheaper cut of lamb if my store had it, but I ended up using some bone-in lamb steaks. I threw the bones in with everything else and removed them before serving.

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This is a much lighter stew than the heavy, gravy-rich stews that you would serve to warm your chilled bones in the cold winter weather. It is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Served in bowls, it is substantial enough to serve as a meal, but not so much as to induce hibernation. In fact, I think this would be appropriate for all but the hottest summer days, which is why I called it Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew.

It was a Friday evening so I just wanted to make something quick and easy. I used packaged pre-peeled carrots and probably would have used pre-cleaned beans as well if the store would have had them. It needs to cook at pressure for only twelve minutes, but the time it takes to bring to a simmer and the natural pressure release brings the cooking time to about 30 minutes. It is very tasty topped with Dijon mustard.

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For the pearl onions, I used this method on StartCooking.com to peel them so as not to drive myself crazy peeling many tiny onions.

You could serve this with a salad on warmer days or some good bread on the cooler days, and you’re all set.

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American/French
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A French-inspired rustic lamb stew
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lamb, cut into one inch chunks. If your lamb has bones, save for the pot and remove later
  • 2 tablesppons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can beer (12 oz.), lager works well for this recipe
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 generous tablespoon Herbes de Provence (I use Penzey's, but it is a pretty standard blend, so use your favorite)
  • 1 package (around 20-25) pearl onions
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pound tiny potatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker, Brown the lamb in the oil on all sides
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts to soften
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute or so
  4. Add beer, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Herbes de Provence and thyme
  5. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add the celery, pearl onions, carrots, green beans and pototatoes
  7. Season with a little salt and pepper
  8. Put the top on the pressure cooker 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 timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  11. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  12. Remove any bones and thyme stems
  13. Serve in bowls and top with Dijon mustard

 

 

Oktoberfest, Pressure Cooker Style

‘Twas the last day of Oktoberfest and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even Klaus.
We were all nestled all snug in our beds, while spaetzle and bratwurst danced in our heads.
In the morning, well rested, we’ll head out of here, down to the ‘garten, for sausage and bier!

Ok, perhaps I’m no Longfellow, but that piece of poorly-executed prose was just meant as an introduction to my Oktoberfest dinner last weekend (using the pressure cooker, of course).

After reading that last Sunday was the last day of Oktoberfest in Germany (in Germany, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September), I had a sudden craving for sausage and sauerkraut. So I headed for Whole Foods, where I knew that while not exactly healthy, I could at least get sausages with no nitrates. I ended up with kielbasa, which I know is not German, but is quite tasty nonetheless.

I also picked up a jar of sauerkraut (I swear I’m going to try making my own some day) and some potatoes. This was going to be the inaugural voyage for my brand new Fissler Vitaquick 4.2-liter pressure pan.

I felt a sense of guilt as I drained the sauerkraut of its juice, but the feeling was soon quelled as I replaced it with beer.

Here’s the basic recipe:

1 package 12-16 oz.kielbasa (kielbasa is generally fully cooked, if you use a raw sausage, some adjustments would have to be made.)

1 jar sauerkraut
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 bottle beer (I used a dark German beer)
2 tsp. caraway seed
1tsp. dry mustard
fresh ground pepper

Drain the sauerkraut. You can rinse if you like, but I didn’t want to rinse the “sour” flavor off, I just wanted to get rid of the liquid since I would be adding more liquid.

Brown the sausage in the pressure cooker in a little butter or oil. Remove to a plate.

Add onion and saute until soft

Add sauerkraut to pressure cooker, then pour in the beer (about 12 ounces), the beer I used was 1/2 liter, so I only used around 3/4 of the bottle.

Add in mustard and caraway. I used 2 tsp caraway, but since the pressure cooker seems to intensify the flavor of the caraway, you may want to use less. I know some people find caraway quite strong (think rye bread).

Put on the lid and bring to full pressure for 7 minutes.

Let pressure neutralize naturally, open and serve!

Oddly enough, we ended up having this with some red wine rather than beer.
I also prepared some potatoes simultaneously utilizing the other pressure cooker, which I will cover in another post.