Friday, April 25, 2014

Jamaican Curry Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

My toy from this past Christmas was a pressure cooker.  I got it in my head that I'd like to have one, so I did a bit of research.  I found that there were two options....stove top which is a manually operated unit......or a fully automatic.  The automatic gives you the convenience of being able to walk away from it...much like a slow cooker or rice seal it up and let it do it's thing.  Also it does not take up a spot on your stove as it sits on your counter or where ever you decide to put it.  The manual pot style of course is manual in it's operation and you control the heat and the timing.  It is a very simple unit with very little to fiddle with.....which means.....there is not much to break on it.  My strong suspicion is that you will get a LOT more years out of a manual unit than an automatic unit.  For me, I liked the ability of more control over the cooking process, better sauteing ability for browning meats before cooking, the quality of construction, not having to worry about the electronics failing so I decided on a manual unit.  I ended up choosing to go with a Fagor Duo 8 quart and 4 quart set for it's balance of price and quality and have been extremely happy with it.  I can tell you more about my selection process in another post....but for now let's move on to the recipe.

Jamaican Curry Chicken
(from a local cooking class)

3 lbs chicken thighs
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
2 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 medium onion chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce...or one pepper seeded and minced
3 springs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 stalk of green onion cut in thirds and crushed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups water

Wash chicken pieces with lime juice or vinegar and pat dry with paper towel. Mix the 9 ingredients following the chicken together in a large zip lok bag (or in a large bowl) and add washed and dried chicken pieces to it.  Mix it up to coat the chicken.  Let sit at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.  Heat oil on medium high heat in the pressure cooker and brown the chicken pieces  without crowding the pan.  I could do 6 thighs at a time....and remove to a side plate and brown the remaining thighs until all are done.

Once the pieces are all browned and are waiting on a side plate, add water to the pressure cooker and in scrape up any browned bits from the pan.  Add in any marinade remaining in the bowl or zip lok bag to the pot and add in all chicken pieces.  Put on the lid and turn up the heat to high and bring to 15 lbs pressure.  Once at pressure, reduce heat to maintain a small steam flow out the relief vent and begin timing.  Cook at high (15 lb) pressure for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow pressure cooker to naturally depressurize.  This will take 10 minutes or so.  Once it has depressurized, release any remaining steam and open pot.  Remove chicken pieces to side plate and cover with foil.  Boil the liquid in the pot over high heat until it is reduced in volume to around 3/4 cup and is thickened. (This will take about 10 minute)  Add chicken back into the pot for a little heating up.....and serve over rice.