Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pressure Cooker Chicken

I love the pressure cooker.  I love how easy it can be and how fast food can be cooked and how great it taste.  After cooking with a pressure cooker I can never live with out it.  It is amazing.  Pressure cookers totally changed my life in so many ways.  

My earliest memories of a pressure cooker were of my mother calling us to turn it off.  Although her bedroom was right off the kitchen, she called us from her window to "hurry up and turn if off".  I didn't realize until much later in life she was terrified of the thing.  To this day the hissing sound of the older pressure cookers raises the hairs on the back of my neck.  I remember crawling on the floor and quickly turning off the gas stove and running as fast as I could from the kitchen.  We were all afraid of the beast.  It actually spit beans all over the kitchen once.  It was not a pretty site.  So as you can tell I grew up fearing them.  

About 20 years ago I started a job and one of the requirements was that I sell and cook with pressure cookers.   I was terrified, but once I started using the new and improved models, I fell in love with pressure cooking.   That was twenty years ago and since then pressure cookers have reached a whole new realm.  Safe and so easy to use.  I love them and actually own many and could not part with any one of them.  

My first experience with an electric pressure cooker was amazing.  A good friend wanted me to demo it in her shop.  I remember telling her that I could not demo something without trying it out first.  I picked it up and within a day I called her and told her she was never getting the cooker back and I would love to teach her class.  It was great.  I love the electric pressure cooker and can't imagine life without one, or more.  

Electric pressure cookers are like Cock pots on steroids.  I personally don't like or own a crock pot, but what most people like about them is that you can place the food in them and leave it alone.  No worries, no hassle.  But no flavor and no food if you forget.   The new electric pressure cookers allow you to put the food in and set the pressure and leave.  No worries, it cooks it fast and holds it warm until you are ready.  What is the difference?   The fact is that foods cooked in the pressure cooker quickly under pressure have more intensified flavors  and the quick cooking  retains the nutrition of the foods.  I think most crock pot foods taste the same.  

I love pressure cooking and I love the way foods turn out.  I firmly believe that a pressure cooker is essential to health and wellness in every life style.  Beans, legumes, and grains, which should be the foundation of our diets cook quickly and taste better when cooked in a pressure cooker.  Brown rice in 20 minutes that is fluffly and tasty.  

This recipe is one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy it also.  
Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy
Changing the World One Grain at a Time 

Israeli Chicken
10 chicken thighs, skin removed , breaded in whole grain flour and peanut butter powder
( I use 1 cup fresh ground spelt flour, amaranth or brown rice for gluten free and 1/2 cup peanut butter powder)
1 28 oz. can whole roma tomatoes
1 jar pitted  kalamata olives, drained 
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon garlic granules or 3 minced garlic cloves
1 sweet onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cups baby carrots
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock  
Place olive oil in pressure cooker and sauté onion in oil.  Add  dredged chicken and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add tomatoes, crushing them in pieces, with juice, add oregano, garlic, vinegar, stock, and baby carrots.  Place lid on pressure cooker and pressure for 12 minutes on high.  Serve over cooked Israeli couscous or brown or red rice.  
Israeli Couscous
2 cups Israeli Couscous    3.5 cups water    ½ small onion    2 tablespoon oil
Place oil in medium sauce pan and add onion.  Sauté for 2 minutes, add couscous and cook stirring constantly until couscous is golden brown.  Add water, bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.  Turn off heat and let set before serving.   The left over is great in salads.  

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