Friday, January 8, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chicken, Lentil, and Bacon Stew With Carrots

I'm learning that my pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, lentils are flavored with big chunks of bacon, chicken stock, carrots, onions, bay leaves, and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken. It all cooks in under an hour from start to finish.

Serious Eats hit it out of the ballpark again with this super simple stew. Instead of dump and cook there was some browning and sauteing before I started the pressure cooker.

First we brown bacon and then saute an onion inside the pressure cooker.  
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
8 ounces slab bacon or pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

Then dump the rest of these ingredients in and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
8 ounces dried French lentils, such as Le Puy
12 sprigs parsley, leaves roughly chopped, stems tied together with a piece of kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (a mix of thighs and drumsticks for best texture, though breasts will work as well)
1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

My least favorite part... removing the chicken, waiting for it to cool and then shredding the meat.

Oh yes, this was super flavorful without adding a lot of seasoning at all. The carrots softened and absorbed the flavors of the chicken and bacon. I would definitely make this easy meal again on another cold day.

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