under pressure

food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Well Equipped, Posted on January 7, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)

I’m not a fan of gadgets and hyped appliances. Who needs a multi-chopper when one has a knife? Or an egg cooker when one has a pot? But I succumbed on cyber-Monday with what looked like an incredible sale on everyone’s seemingly must-have: the Instant Pot.

I never needed a slow cooker, I have my Le Creuset dutch oven. And flashbacks of pressure cookers from the 70’s still frighten me. So, I’m not sure why I caved. Perhaps it was because it all seemed to be too good to be true- “cook absolutely everything in a single pot with the touch of a button”.

After I took my present out of its box and read the directions about seven times, I gave it a whirl. I must say I was underwhelmed with the short ribs. I followed the directions precisely, but they tasted nothing like my tried and true Marcella Hazan’s braised short ribs. The next day I was lured by the promise of a no-stir risotto. I obviously let sit it in the pot for an instant too long and my al dente grains were quite mushy.

On the third day I thought I’d give it one last shot and tried a recipe for shredded buffalo chicken from the Ultimate Instant Pot cookbook. Well this was an absolute homerun! 

And I was thrilled at how my now new favorite machine perfectly poached the chicken, rendering incredible shredded chicken. I could think of a hundred ways to incorporate this kind of chicken into my monthly menus. 

For shredded buffalo chicken add one cup of water, one teaspoon salt, and two pounds of chicken breasts in a single layer to the Instant Pot.

Secure the lid and set the pressure release to “sealing”. Select the “poultry”, “pressure cook” or “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure. The pot will take 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.

While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl stir together one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch.  Stir in one half cup of Frank’s hot sauce, two tablespoons honey and two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Set aside.

When the cooking ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release to “venting” to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and with tongs transfer the chicken to a bowl or cutting board. Discard the cooking liquid in the inner pot. Return the inner pot to the housing and press “cancel” to reset the cooking program. 

Using two forks, finely shred the chicken. Set aside.

Select “sauté” and add one tablespoon of melted butter with the minced garlic. Sauté the garlic until it is cooked through but before it begins to brown, about one minute. Stir the hot sauce mixture to recombine and add four minced cloves of garlic. Cook for about one minute until thickened. Press “cancel” to turn off the pot. Add the three remaining tablespoons of melted butter. Stir well.

Add the shredded chicken, tossing to coat evenly with the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Add more hot sauce and salt if desired.

Serve hot on soft rolls or slider buns.

And for an outstanding Buffalo Chicken Dip mix 2 cups shredded buffalo chicken with four-ounces room temperature cream cheese until well combined. Transfer to a small baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with one third cup shredded montery pepper jack cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes until the dip is warmed through and the cheese begins to brown. Serve warm with pita chips and celery and carrot sticks.

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