Whole Chicken in a Pressure Cooker

March 29th, 2013 § 4 comments

All of us food bloggers are in a tizzy over the new book from America’s Test Kitchen called Pressure Cooker Perfection.  Pressure cookers are not used as much in America as they are in other parts of the world, I think we are still kind of afraid of them based on stories of them exploding.  Today’s pressure cookers no longer explode and they really are the best pot for cooking highly nutritious food quickly.

I bought my pressure cooker quite a few years ago.  Another cook where I was working at tje time, who grew up in Indonesia raved about pressure cookers.  She insisted that the Kuhn Rikon was the best, so that’s the one I purchased, only to find out that it did not rank well in America’s Test Kitchen’s exhaustive research! I’ve only used it a half a dozen times over the years.  Even though I’ve been assured they’re safe now, it still kind of scares me, plus since my kitchen is so friggen small, like many pieces of lesser used equipment it’s hard to get to.  However after reading about this book on Nom Nom Paleo’s site, I immediately went to Amazon where I ordered the book which arrived at my house with the light of internet within 48 hours.  I must say, everything in the book looks delicious and the cooking times are crazy short!

Since I have an obsession with the perfect roast chicken that was the first recipe I decided to try.  It’s a very simple preparation, brown the chicken, remove it, and sautee the onions and garlic, add some flour, wine and broth, and reduce a tad, add the chicken, cover bring to high heat and cook 25 minutes!  Release the valve and remove the lid, let the chicken sit a bit and reduce the sauce some more if you’d like it thicker (I did), and voila you have a moist delicious chicken with a lovely sauce.  The flavors are deep and rich and since the chicken is cooked whole there’s the benefit of the nutrtiion of the broth that comes from cooking with bones.  While purchasing my chicken I couldn’t resist the fresh artichokes, so we had it with artichokes.  The recipe called for fresh or dried rosemary and I have some lovely dried rosemary which was purchased at our lovely new spice shop in Oakland called Oaktown Spice Shop.  Ordinarily I’m not a fan of rosemary, but this is cracked rosemary and it has a very gentle flavor.  And the critiszm of my Kuhn Rikon pot was well founded, America’s Test Kitchen noted that it’s extra thick bottom makes it tend to scorch, and it sure did!  I had a quarter inch of scorched onions when I removed the chicken.  Luckily it cleaned up easy and didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the chicken or the sauce, I removed the sauce to a clean pan to reduce and in the end it gave a mildly smoky flavor to the dish.  If this inspires you to try a pressure cooker the top rated most which was the best buy according to America’s Test Kitchen is the Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless Steel, it retails for around $100.00.

I can’t provide the recipe since it’s in a published book, but stay tuned as I cook my way through the book.  I can’t wait to try making risotto in it, or mashed butternut squash, or the smokey beef brisket.  It can be a one pot meal, like the crockpot, only waaaaayyyy faster but with no loss of nutrition…or at least that’s what they tell us!

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§ 4 Responses to Whole Chicken in a Pressure Cooker"

  • Jim McClaren says:

    The presentation with the artichoke leaves is just gorgeous!

    My Mom loved her pressure cooker. She used it to make perfect stuffed bell peppers and porcupine meatballs.

    She did however also use it once for split pea soup. And yes, there is a reason they suggested against that….Sheesh we were cleaning the ceiling for days.

    • Dorothy says:

      I guess we were too Greek for pressure cookers because we never had one. I can see how something as thick as soup might explode! However there are all kinds of vents now so that doesn’t happen. I have to say, the chicken was good enough for me to really want to explore using it. I’m going to try risotto this week, I’m curious about the texture if I’m not stirring it while it cooks.

      Thanks for the photo compliment.

  • coco says:

    Pressure cookers will always remind me of my mom, especially that particular sound of the release vent doing its little dance when things reached the pressure point! The photo looks great!

  • Dorothy says:

    What did your mom use it for?

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