October 12, 2018
I finally succumbed to the hype and bought an Instant Pot, and I think I'm hooked. Among other things, I've made black beans (the recipe will appear in the Nov/Dec issue), white beans, and Butter Chicken-- all very good, and much faster than my traditional stove top method. The real test, though, was a pot of red beans and rice; I cook mine low and slow for about 4 hours, and they develop a nice, thick, natural creamy gravy, and I was skeptical that the Instant Pot would produce to my gold standard. But it did! They were delicious and creamy in an hour. The biggest drawback I've encountered so far is not being able to taste and season as I go.
Below, I've linked to a recipe for chicken stock for soup that I believe will go into regular rotation in my kitchen. Normally, I make stock using necks, wings, backs, and carcasses, because it cooks for so long all the flavor is leached from the chicken-- not going to waste a whole chicken on that. But in this version, I brown off the chicken, then cook some aromatics behind the chicken (I don't use carrots because I don't like a sweet stock), then return the chicken to the pot with water to cover and cook it under high pressure for just over half an hour. The chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender in that amount of time, is moist and tasty, but has added plenty of flavor to the cooking liquid.
After it cools a bit I pull off the meat, and add the skin and bones back to the pot with the cooking liquid. I cook that under pressure for another hour then strain the stock. After it's refrigerated overnight, the fat that congeals on the top is perfect for flavoring matzo balls and dough for dumplings or a chicken pot pie topping; the cooked meat makes sandwiches, chicken salad, or most anything you'd use tasty cooked chicken for. And the stock! It's so good, it inspired me to make egg noodles from scratch for a pot of chicken noodle soup.
Do you have a newfound favorite in one of these new pressure cookers? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Drop me a line!
Enjoy this week's recipes, share them with family and friends, and, as always, let me know what's on your mind.
Susan Ford, Publisher and Editorial Director
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