Pressure cooker cooking involves using the pressure of steam, built up inside a sealed pan, to dramatically increase the cooking temperature, which decreases cooking time and energy consumption.
How to cook chicken in the pressure cooker
Pressure cooker cooking involves using the pressure of steam, built up inside a sealed pan, to dramatically increase the cooking temperature, which decreases cooking time and energy consumption. The original models, dating to the 1600s, required a heat source like a stove to create heat and pressure.
Nowadays, you can choose either classic cooking models or newer electric models, which come with useful features like digital timers and built-in sensors to automatically adjust pressure while cooking.
Many pressure cookers also function as multicookers, incorporating other devices such as a rice cooker, slow cooker or steamer,
Successful pressure cooker cooking requires a liquid which can then turn into steam. For this reason, recipes that rely on baking, roasting or frying are not suitable for the pressure cooker.
Any action of searing or browning a food should be done before cooking in the pressure cooker (this can often be done in the same pot – however, avoid using the pressure cook option until the golden effect is complete).
Soups, stews, rice dishes, and any other meal that can be prepared with broth or liquid are perfect candidates.
There are several ways to prepare chicken in a pressure cooker. You can keep it simple by cooking the whole, unseasoned chicken for use in other recipes, or you can completely customize your dish with the spices and flavor.
Cook a whole chicken in the pressure cooker
Cooking a whole chicken is remarkably easy. All you need is your pressure cooker, the accompanying grill or steamer basket, a cup of chicken broth or water, and a whole chicken.
Pour the cooking liquid into the bottom of the pressure cooker, then lower the steamer basket. Prepare your chicken by cleaning it and sponging it up with a paper towel. You can enhance the flavor by stuffing your chicken with onion and lemon or brushing the skin of the chicken with seasoned dry marinade.
Then lower the chicken into the steamer basket. Secure the lid and adjust the cooking time according to the size of the chicken. Typically, a 3lb chicken requires 18 minutes of high pressure cooking. Add 6 minutes of cooking time for each additional pound.
Note: you can immerse your chicken directly in the cooking liquid, especially if you want to make a broth. However, the steamer basket method ensures a crispy skin and does not remove the seasoning.
Chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks
Pieces of chicken can be cooked in the same way as a whole chicken. By pouring the cooking liquid into the bottom of the pressure cooker and placing the chicken in the steamer basket on top of the liquid, you are sure to get tender, juicy chicken every time.
However, you can also use the pressure cooker to prepare the sauce and cook your chicken by immersing it in the herbs. The method is similar to that of making a sauce in a pan. Start by browning the meat in the pressure cooker (be sure to do this by adjusting the proper setting).
Remove the chicken and sauté your herbs. Then add the cooking liquid and stir in the chicken again, then set the pressure cooker to the high pressure position until the meat is cooked through.
Another simpler method is to submerge and cook your chicken pieces in a liquid marinade. This allows the chicken to absorb all of that tasty goodness in a short period of time. Since the pressure cooker needs liquid for cooking, the sauce should be fairly liquid.
It can be thickened to the desired consistency after pressure cooking. Whichever method you choose, pressure cooking is a great way to whip up a delicious chicken meal in no time.
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