An Easy Pressure Cooker Meal
Until recently, I had been irrationally terrified of the pressure cooker. The Husband always thought I was crazy, but the aversion traces back to the early days of our marriage where even the stove had its intimidating moments. Tackling an appliance that could literally explode freaked me out more than it probably should have.
But I’m a big girl now, and I’ve learned that I can make Indian lentils in a pressure cooker! Ok, maybe I haven’t branched out very much since then, but I have to start somewhere, right? (Also: apologies for the lack of a finished product image. Lentils aren’t exactly photogenic.)
I had seen a recipe for a similar stew on Serious Eats, but I modified it to suit my needs. For one thing, I added garlic and a lot more carrots. I also used my very flavorful (and always on-hand) vegetable broth in lieu of the regular old chicken stock.
Since I have a finite amount of time on my hands when I return from baseball practice, I took the liberty of preparing everything ahead of time. Onions were diced, garlic was peeled, carrots had been chopped, and lentils had been rinsed and sorted through for small stones. They were all queued and ready to go when we walked through the door.
Don’t skip the splash of vinegar at the end. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, then use a splash of red. It really brightens the flavors.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Lentil Stew
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||40 minutes|
|Total time||55 minutes|
|Meal type||Main Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot|
- 4oz pancetta (cubed)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 10 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 2lb chicken (with bones and skin)
- 4 carrots (large chunks)
- 8oz French lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
|In your slow cooker, saute the pancetta until it begins to render its fat, 3-5 minutes.|
|Saute the onions and garlic cloves in the rendered fat until softened, 3-5 minutes.|
|Sear the chicken, fat side down, 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, lentils, broth and bay leaves.|
|Seal the pressure cooker and cook on low for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to cool naturally, 10-15 minutes, then release the valve and open the cooker.|
|Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove and shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the cooker. Add the tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Season to taste. Serve immediately|
The Kitchen Assistant had no problem with them, but was much more preoccupied with a game that he wanted to play with The Husband than actually eating dinner. But he did eat a decent portion without complaint. “I like that you got to use the Spanish vinegar,” he said. “I mean, you brought it all the way from Málaga. It’s been waiting for a recipe.”