Today is the last day of our Christmas holiday. We’re taking the ornaments off the tree, last minute homework is going on at the kitchen table, and the first snowstorm of the year is falling outside the window. We had a good time together over the holiday, and no one is looking forward to the return of the daily grind.2My oldest is doing doing a snow dance – like a rain dance, only colder – in the hopes of a snow day. I keep showing him the weather report, which forecasts less than an inch of snow. But he’s sure he’s getting the day off. UPDATE: Nope. No snow day. Awww…too bad.
The fun part of winter is over; all I want to do is curl up under a blanket until spring. Here is the next best thing – a straightforward chicken stew from the pressure cooker. Since I know the power of the dark side (of the chicken), I load it up with thighs, and then add potatoes to make it a one pot meal.
There are two finesse points to this recipe. The first is browning bone-in chicken thighs. It takes about twenty minutes to brown the chicken thighs – it takes two batches – but the extra time is worth it. Searing the chicken thighs adds roasted flavors to the stew, from the browned bits of chicken around the edges; also, it renders a lot of fat out of the chicken skin, so we can pour it off before continuing. Also, the bones add depth to the liquid – they give up some of their goodness, just like making stock. After the stew is cooked, I lift the chicken out with a slotted spoon, peel off the skin, remove the bone, and rough chop the meat before stirring it back in.
The second finesse point is floating the carrots and potatoes above the stew in a steamer basket. This keeps them above the liquid; they steam gently, instead of boiling (and overcooking) in the liquid of the stew.
Both of these finesse points can be skipped if you’re in a hurry – but if you don’t brown the chicken thighs, peel the skin off before adding them to the pot, so the stew doesn’t wind up too fatty.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot Duo electric pressure cooker)
- Steamer basket (I use a collapsible basket)
- I made baked potatoes and smothered them with this stew. I know that sounds a little strange, since there were already potatoes in the stew…but it was fantastic.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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