Thursday, November 7, 2013

Whole Chicken in the pressure cooker, the new Nesco Digital Pressure Cooker, a slight redo. One chicken, one pressure cooker equals loads of cooked meat and 8 cups of the absolutely delicious stock. In my world, that's under $6.00 and it makes at least 4 meals plus extra stock.

I do this once a week so that I have a fridge full of delicious, moist, tender, chicken cooked to access at my whim as well as 8 cups of rich, flavorful, pure, stock to cook with or freeze.  I can buy a whole chicken here, about 5 lbs, for about $5.00 so that's a pretty ridiculous way to get meat to make a number of dishes to feed my family for a week.  

I have posted this before, here's the new version, in the NEW Nesco Digital Pressure cooker that I recently had delivered to my door. I love this thing and even though the hinge placement bugs me, it's absolutely no reason not to rush out and buy one of these.

BACK to my chicken: 

**recipe follows for chicken and rice**

1 chicken, 3-6 lbs, cleaned and empty
1 onion, cut in quarters, not peeled!
2 carrots, broken in chunks, not peeled
1 celery rib, broken in pieces
salt, peppercorns, herbs du Provence (my fav), thyme, any herb you like really

Toss it in the pressure cooker, cover with water to about 1 inch over the chicken when you press it down.  Lock and load 30 minutes, leave it to let pressure come down naturally, for NO other reason other than ease :)  IF you're pressed for time, open it!

Pull the chicken out, strain the stock into jars and leave to cool.  Skim the fat off the stock and move to freezer container labelled, "chicken fat" for cooking later.  Cut the stock with water to bring it to 8 cups, divide and freeze or store the stock

Pick the meat from the chicken, store or freeze or eat or use in any recipe you have. 

Next week, repeat! 

Here's the play by play:

IN your beautiful Nesco pressure cooker...  c'mon, it is a looker, drop one chopped onion, with skin, a couple of broken carrots and celery rib (and leaves), some coarse salt and some pepper corns

drop the fat from the inside of the chicken... we are harvesting (euwww) fat here too, to keep in the freezer and cook with.  Drop the chicken on top, I cook it upside down, no good reason, I just do so you should as well.  Cover with water so that, when you press down on the chicken, the water covers it by an inch.  Be careful not to go past your fill line in the cooker.
Close the lid, turn the valve to SEAL, Lock and Load, high pressure, 30 minutes.  Go do something.  You can go shopping if you want because I ALWAYS leave it to come down from pressure on it's own, it flips to WARM when it's done cooking and I have left it that way for HOURS when I've gone out and forgotten about it.  Don't fret, it'll be waiting for you when you come home.  You can also do this with the delay time feature, very very handy.


Turn the valve to VENT, if you've left it to come down on it's own, there'll be no dramatic squirt of steam.  If you're into it as soon as it's done, there WILL be a HUGE squirt, just keep your hands and face out of the way, regular common sense here.
Open it quickly (the trick to avoiding any unfortunate wrist mishaps) and LOOK!  I DEFY you to get chicken of this quality and stock THIS beautiful for the cost of this little bird.

LOOK at the color of this stock!  *gasp*  it's gorgeous.  Use the biggest scoop you have, I use a Chinese spider, to lift the bird out of the stock and into a waiting vessel.
Scoop out the veggies, they are spent and have given their flavor to the amazing stock. I give them to my chickens. Tip the stock from the insert into waiting jars and LOOK at what you have.  This golden liquid is nectar to the Gods, truly.  As I said, I make this weekly.  

The stock is fabulous as a broth if you're feeling sick.  Add to any recipe instead of water.  Make dumplings and drop them into boiling stock for something richer.  Make matzo ball soup, you'll be a hero.  I freeze it in small containers after and use it for everything.

Pick the meat when it's cooled down enough to handle and either use it right away or freeze portions or make whatever you want with it.  It's delicious, tender, juicy and for $6.00 you have quite a haul of food, healthy, fresh, and you made it. 

Go on, do it.  


OH OH  I wanted to throw a quickie recipe up today as well.  So, I was so enthralled with the 'sticky rice' recipe in the Nesco book that I thought I would test it again but with Basmati rice. 

I added 2 cups of un-rinsed Basmati to the pressure cooker and added 2 cups of liquid, one cup of the broth I'd just made above and one cup of water, plus a little bit of salt.  Lock and Load on RICE setting, which defaults to 12 minutes.

slightly sticky but each grain perfectly cooked and it fluffs beautifully with a fork.
Butter a casserole dish that you like and drop some of the rice into it.  Shred some of the poached chicken and cover the rice.  Pour a little of the stock over the chicken, cover and bake for 20 minutes or so in a hot oven.
Steam some broccoli, make a little brown chicken gravy and VOILA!
It's not pretty but it's one of my favorite meals.  You can steam the broccoli in the pressure cooker while the chicken bakes, here's a link to how: 

here's a couple of  "beauty shots"


So, there you have it, chicken, rice, broth, broccoli and all cooked in one vessel.  I am, indeed, a pressure cooker junkie and will be coming up with more and more and more ideas for you. 

In the mean time, you might want to run out and buy an electric pressure cooker.  This Nesco is available at a number of stores as well as their website.  I got my original Nesco at Walmart and it didn't give me a moment of worry.  The new one is working out beautifully and I anticipate a long, loving relationship.  

I see the Nesco also makes a counter roaster, I may have to get my hands on one of those, I've never used one and I think it might have to be my new toy. 

Go cook something, let me know how it turns out! 



  1. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions. I just made this chicken tonight and its so tender!

  2. oh i'm thrilled you like it!!

  3. Sounds soooo good. Why not puree the veggies for a veg soup?

    1. You certainly can but the veggies have given up all they have in the cook. I will just toss fresh veggies in and cook them if I want a soup. :)

    2. I am making mine tonight. it smells so good.

    3. I am making mine tonight. it smells so good.

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