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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

I've been on a pressure cooker kick lately.  I've had a Fagor stove top pressure cooker for several years now (gifted to us by my mom one Christmas) & I have always liked it, but felt unsure of how to use it most of the time.  I used to have one standard recipe that I made in it, but I have been branching out lately & loving the results.

I will say the pressure cooker is AMAZING for making risottos!  I can't possibly make a traditional risotto with a 4 year old in the house, but now I can in the pressure cooker & it's fabulous!!  Note to self: post pressure cooker risotto recipes in the future!

It's also really amazing for making shredded chicken.  Just cook chicken breasts a little longer than usual & then start pushing down on them with a spatula & they just fall apart into shreds!

When I was a kid on camping trips we would eat the canned Dinty Moore Beef Stew.  I don't even know if they still make it, but I sure did love it.  And anytime I eat stew or pot roast I am comparing it to my memory of the canned variety of my camping childhood days. 

In more recent years I was eating a lot of Trader Joe's canned chicken stew.  For some reason I stopped buying it (I think we just got tired of it) & then when I went to buy some once again they no longer carried it.  :(  (And seeing as I'm now gluten free I would bet that Trader Joe's chicken stew is NOT gluten free, so I wouldn't be able to buy it now anyways)

I've done a lot of googling for chicken stew recipes & all I've found are really difficult & complicated recipes, most of which require using a whole chicken.  Not really what I was looking/hoping for.

So once I got started on my pressure cooker kick & started feeling more comfortable with using it I started doing some experimenting & making up recipes with it.  One night I decided to try my hand at chicken stew & couldn't believe how good it turned out! 

This was so casual & informal that it's almost hard to write an actual recipe for it.  I cut up a couple of potatoes into cubes & placed them in the bottom of the pressure cooker (I do suggest a light spray of oil in the bottom just to make sure they don't stick).  Then I cut up a few carrots & layered those on top of the potatoes.  Then I cubed a chicken breast (or 2 depending on how many you're planning to feed) & layered that on top of the veggies.  Now you just need a sauce/gravy to pour over it all.  The first time I made this I used Imagine brand turkey gravy (it's gluten free!).  But the next time I made it I made my condensed soup recipe, the cream of onion version (adding dried minced onion & onion powder to the base) & my hubby said he liked it even better than the turkey gravy version.  I thought they were both pretty great. 

So you put all of that into your pressure cooker & you seal it up & bring up to pressure.  Then I lower the heat slightly (high enough to maintain pressure though) & cook 8-10 minutes.  It's that simple.  You could add on a side of biscuits or corn bread & have a complete meal.  This is definitely better in colder weather, but I really enjoy it as long as it's not extremely warm.