Hello friends, the weather continues to be so nice and sunny! Tomorrow is going to be 60° for November 11! We’ve been crazy busy…and I’ll share more on that later.
You know I love meals that can be cooked in one pot, right? There are several ways to accomplish this, by using a slow-cooker, skillet, dutch oven or pressure cooker. But, slow-cookers are limited because you can not brown the meat. Let’s face it, to have great flavor, when making a meat dish, the meat must be browned/seared. No slow cooker that I know of can do this. If I need to brown meat in one pan then add to a slow cooker does not accomplish my goal.
Now don’t get me wrong, slow-cookers are a great addition to our kitchen but has it’s limitations.
One of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment is a pressure-cooker. You can sear you meat in, add the rest of your ingredients, then cook the food in the least amount of time, without sacrificing flavor. I have several pressure cookers, but my electric one died over a year ago and I just haven’t bought another one.
Last month, while at Aldi’s, I spotted this, its a pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice cooker all in one. It was a “special” for $39.99! Whoa, my last pressure cooker only cost over $100. It also had a year guaranteed to I snatched it up and headed home.
Now you might be thinking, aren’t pressure cookers “dangerous”? Well when they first were made many a year ago they were, but that’s not true anymore, they’re improve the design and operation. They are very safe, so let that fear go.
I am quite pleased with it, and works well, but I much prefer an oval pressure cooker, and an eight quart, this is a six quart…but for $40 its worth every penny.
You might also be thinking, well what if I don’t have one, don’t worry I’ll also include a dutch oven method too.
This recipe, for Easy Chicken and Rice, bone-in chicken thighs were used and can be substituted with bone-in chicken breasts rather than boneless for better flavor and meat that stayed moist. I would NOT use boneless chicken breast because they would be done cooking well before the rice is done under high pressure.
This is also a healthy version of Chicken and Rice, low in fat, since most of the released grease is not used. Chicken broth is used for the light gravy.
Browning the chicken before cooking gives the broth a deeper, richer chicken flavor that then gets absorbed by the rice. second, it gives the chicken a little color so that it looks more appealing when served.
Not rinsing the rice before adding it to the pot will prevent it from sticking to the pot’s bottom and may scorch during cooking. Once the rice is added stirring the rice into the pot, before adding the broth, coats the rice with a thin layer of oil that prevents clumping as it cooks.
After the broth is added, scrape those delicious browned bits off the pot’s bottom; leaving them might make the rice stick.
Another thing I like about Pressure cookers, this dish took 15 minutes to cook version 45 in a Dutch oven, so it is a time saver.
Easy Chicken and Rice is a very flavorful and healthy meal.
Easy Chicken and Rice
6 chicken thighs or 4 (12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon light olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped fine
1 ½cups brown rice or long-grain white rice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Pressure Cooker or Dutch Oven:
1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pressure-cooker/dutch oven pot over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken, skin side down, until golden, about 6 minutes; transfer to plate.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat left in pot. Add carrots, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth. Using wooden spoon, scrape up all browned bits stuck on bottom of pot and brush any rice off sides of pot. Nestle chicken, skin side up, firmly into rice.
3. HIGH PRESSURE FOR 15 MINUTES: Lock pressure-cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. QUICK RELEASE PRESSURE: Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. BEFORE SERVING: Transfer chicken to serving dish and tent loosely with aluminum foil while finishing rice. Sprinkle peas, parsley, and lemon juice over rice, cover, and let stand until for 5 minutes. Fluff rice gently with fork and season with salt and pepper to taste. ***Stirring the rice can made the dish gluey, so just fluff the rice with a fork when incorporating the peas, lemon juice, and parsley. Serve with chicken.
3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low to simmer for 40 minutes.
4. After the 40 minutes add peas, parsley and lemon juice cook for 5-10 more minutes or until chicken is done.
5. Remove lid, fluff rice and serve with chicken.