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At the risk of sounding boastful, I am the queen of leftovers (or previously served/prepared food) meal preparation. While in Seattle, I make three meals a day, seven days a week except the occasional times we are invited to dine with members of our “bubble”, aka family. It’s nice to have a brief respite, but unlike most of you during this “stay at home” time, I do not miss restaurants at all. Cooking is my stress relief, my creative time. Bring it on.
If there were a TV show where a fridge could be loaded with normal fruits, vegetables and condiments and contestants could create a meal, I would win hands down. I hate to brag, but that is my superpower: to be able to create delicious and beautiful meals with ordinary ingredients.
This chicken stew came to be because I decided to try to make due with the ingredients in my freezer and refrigerator/cupboards rather than buying more food. I had a pack of frozen boneless/skinless chicken thighs that needed to be used. For the record I prefer chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on, but whatever.
I also had half an onion, a parsnip, some crimini mushrooms, a bit of yellow pepper and about a quart of butternut squash chunks I saved while dicing the rest for risotto. Oh, and fresh dill and limes and just a few cherry tomatoes. And some cooked brown rice.
I decided not to use potato or carrots or garlic, because these veggies are way overdone in my opinion.
I am pretty pleased with how this turned out and I’ll make it again and probably add some different vegetables (green beans? Sweet potato?) The sweetness of the squash complimented the other veggies beautifully and the colors looked appealing.
Here is what I did, if memory serves me correctly:
Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew
- 1 ½ Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 ½ lb (about 5-6) boneless skinless chicken thighs, dried and seasoned with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
- ½ onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 10 large crimini mushrooms cleaned, destemmed and sliced into 6 chunks each
- ¼ yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped into large pieces-about 1 inch thick
- Handful of fresh dill, stems and all
- 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Juice of one lime
- 1 cup chicken broth (I cheated and made this with Better than Bouillon)
- ½ Tbsp dry vermouth, which I always keep in my fridge to use when white wine is called for in recipes
Dry the chicken thighs and season with a bit of salt, fresh ground black pepper and smoked paprika.
Heat the pressure cooker, then add the oil and wait until it is hot Sear the chicken thighs a couple minutes on each side until browned a bit. Remove the thighs with tongs to a rimmed plate so juices can collect.
Add the onion, mushrooms, pepper and parsnip and saute five minutes. Top the veggies with the chicken thighs and pour any juice that has collected into the pot. Top with the cherry tomatoes and dill, pour broth and vermouth over the top.
Secure the lid and bring to high pressure for nine minutes. Manually release the pressure and remove the top, placing the chicken on one end of the platter and the veggies on the other end.
There will be some amazing juice left over in the pot, at least a cup. You can serve this as is but I thickened mine a titch with a teaspoon of cornstarch whisked into two tablespoons of cold water
I then poured this slurry into the hot juice l while it was still on low heat to thicken it . I served the juice in a gravy boat but it could be combined with the stew. Oh, and I put a scoop of heated brown rice on the bottom of my stew and had some fresh challah to dip in the juice too. It tastes like a four star meal.