(How) can I eat this?
December 1, 2017 5:09 PM   Subscribe

I mean, I know I can eat it. I just need to know how to make it...

I have:

1) 1.3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
2) A 6 quart instantpot electric pressure cooker
3) A Jar Of Sauce

I actually have three jars:
- 10 oz of peanut sauce, OR
- 12.5 oz of tikka masala sauce, OR
- 15.5 oz of marinara sauce

Plus a decent range of spices and shredded cheeses in house. I can also pick up other ingredients if they're not too exotic. But to be honest, my goal is to put the chicken in the instant pot with the sauce and an hour later have food. Specifically, for dietary reasons, I need it to be super tender falling-apart consistency, or at the very least really really really soft. Is this a thing I can do?

I can generally cook as needed, but pressure cookers are strange, even this one that's been sitting in my kitchen for over a year. Bobby Flay I am not. I'm not even Alton Brown.

Advice welcome!
posted by invincible summer to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: this is what it's for.

here's a simple video.

if your chicken isn't frozen you won't need as much time and if you aren't using rice your result will be soupy. but perfectly edible and tasty.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:20 PM on December 1, 2017

oh and you can certainly take an hour to do it on the slow cooker setting but it should only take a few minutes pressure cooking.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:21 PM on December 1, 2017

Best answer: This is how I do it: Cook the chicken in .5 cup water and some general spices - salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, cumin if you've got it - just a good shake of each. Close and seal the lid and the swively thing on top, press Manual, adjust the number on the screen until it says 9, wait about 45 seconds and it'll beep and switch to ON. Now it's starting to cook.

It will beep a bunch of times about 12-20 minutes later when the 9 minutes of pressure are up. Leave the pot alone for at least another 10 minutes, then turn the bobble on top so the last of the pressure vents out and let it do that for 1-2 minutes, then remove the lid.

Poke your chicken with a fork. Is it soft enough for you? It should be very soft, fall apart if you try to lift a thigh out with a fork soft.

If not, reseal everything and do it another 3 minutes of pressure and 3-5 minutes sitting before you vent.

When the texture is good for you, decide if you want to mix your sauce with all the liquid in the bottom of the pot (it will be a lot, chicken is injected full of saline). If yes, put your sauce in and stir and let it sit on Keep Warm mode for 5+ minutes. If that's too much liquid take the chicken out to a bowl or container, mix in your jar sauce, and add some of the cooking juices if you want to thin it.

Voila. I do this several nights a week, though I tend to set it to 7 minutes but then forget it for a good 20 after the beeps. Usually the pressure has gone down naturally by then. This makes a very soft chicken for me, and you are welcome to use this timing, I just feel like the numbers I gave you are sufficient for the texture you want without waiting extra time.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:24 PM on December 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

Note: where I said "press Manual" above is for older versions of the IP. Newer ones simply have a button that says Pressure Cook. Same instructions otherwise.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:27 PM on December 1, 2017

Best answer: Put chicken in Instant Pot
Put jar of sauce in Instant Pot
Select Manual (or I guess Pressure Cook per Lyn Never)
Ensure light indicates High Pressure; if not adjust until it does
Close lid & turn venting thing to Seal
Set to 8-9 mins for fresh chicken, 12-13 mins for frozen
When it beeps done, turn venting thing to Vent/Release, wait till metal stopper drops down, open lid, check chicken by cutting into a thick part. If still pink, either pressure cook for a few more minutes (like 3) or hit Sauté and simmer for a few

Congratulations, you now have falling-apart tender chicken in sauce!
posted by snowmentality at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2017

I personally would put the Instant Pot on saute and brown the chicken first for about 5 minutes, jumbling about occasionally, then add whichever of the jars of sauces most strikes your fancy, hit "cancel" and reset to pressure cook for 15 minutes (25 mins if frozen), close and seal lid and come back to tender, tasty chicken. Any of those jars is will contain enough liquid to keep the IP happy, and I'd err on the high side of cooking times to achieve falling apartness.
posted by drlith at 9:08 PM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would do 15 minutes rather than 8-9 if using thighs (vs breasts) FWIW. I usually sautee some onions, spices, then add chicken, sauce - 15 minutes pressure, boom, done.
posted by peacheater at 1:11 AM on December 2, 2017

Best answer: I often do chicken in the IP for 20-30 minutes (though it's from frozen, usually) to make sure it gets to falling-apart and not "springy". If you don't think it's done enough you can turn it back on for longer. Experiment! Go wild!
posted by Lady Li at 10:25 AM on December 2, 2017

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