Saturday, January 2, 2016

Chicken Enchiladas in the Pressure Cooker

I've been wanting to cook with a Pressure Cooker for a long time. When I heard that the kitchen gadget made it possible to have a meal during the work week that I would normally hold for a weekend, I was instantly curious. 

My first go at Pressure Cooking went well, but the recipe I chose took me twice as long to prepare as planned. Luckily I'm on vacation and had the time to work in the kitchen.

Serious Eats has a great round up of Pressure Cooked receipes and for the New Year I chose a Chicken Enchilada meal. I loved that this was the real deal - no canned enchilada sauce here! For the first time EVER I bought bone-in-skin-on chicken thighs. I know. I know. Everyone says this is the most flavorful chicken but I've struggled with the "bones" and have only used boneless skinless chicken breast in my previous cooking.

You basically rough chop everything and dump into the cooking bowl of the Pressure Cooker.

For the Chicken and Sauce:
2 whole dried ancho chilies
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 Serrano or jalapeƱo pepper, roughly sliced
1 pound roma tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 4)
1 medium onion, sliced
4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
2 whole chipotle chilies packed in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons sauce from the can
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

After 15 minutes on High Pressure, there is considerable liquid released, the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.

I pulled the chicken thighs out and set them aside to cool enough for me to pick them apart. This is the step that I enjoyed the least. Some people really get into picking apart chicken and trying to see how much meat they can get from the bones. It was my least favorite, but I did it and there was about 3 cups of pulled chicken there.

I took an emulsion blender stick to the sauce and got this gorgeous color - from the dried ancho chilies no doubt. At first taste I thought it was way too spicy for my family and immediately turned to Jim to start making cheese quesadillas for the kids.

In all actuality, the sauce was perfect. It wasn't like we were drinking it. The enchilada sauce had a nice kick but it was full of deep flavors and spices that I didn't think I could create at home.

The final product was delicious. I didn't make it in under an hour like the recipe said, but maybe with more practice I can get faster. These enchiladas were tasty, and I attribute those beautiful flavors to the Pressure Cooker for sealing in all the ingredients and helping them meld together in 15 minutes.

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