Don’t Be Afraid! (Your Pressure Cooker Won’t Kill You) » Little Learning Lovies

Don’t Be Afraid! (Your Pressure Cooker Won’t Kill You)

DontBeAfraidOfYourPressureCooker

 

See that pressure cooker up there?  I promise you.  It’s not going to kill you.  You don’t have to be afraid of it. It isn’t evil.  It doesn’t want to hurt you and your family.  In fact, it’s probably sad that you’ve been neglecting it and would LOVE for you to take it out and dust it off and let it make a delicious dinner for you tonight!

Don’t have a pressure cooker?   You’ll want one when you see the recipe below!  Try THIS ONE. It’s just $30 for the 6 quart and $38 for the 8 quart! (affiliate link)

 

We’re linking this post up today!

 

First, let’s learn how to be safe with our cooker.  It’s so easy!  Ready?

Tip1_Gasket

First, every time you take out your cooker, check the seal.  That black gasket is rubber and rubber hardens and cracks over time.  So, take the 3 seconds and check it.  Just pull it off, run your hands around it and make sure it’s still flexible and you don’t feel any cracks in it.  That’s it!  You’re good to go…

I hear you.  You’re worried you won’t notice a problem in time.  You don’t have experience with this kind of thing.  What if you make a mistake?  Well, it’s okay.  Two things might happen if this seal fails during use.  It might not hold pressure OR it might lose pressure during cooking.  Neither of these are convenient but they aren’t going to kill you either!


Another Gift For You!

(Opens in a new window so you don’t lose your current page. ♥ ENJOY!)

 

Tip2_CheckStem

Your cooker has a weight on it.  It’s purpose is to keep just enough pressure in your cooker without letting it go critical.  (Usually this is 15 lbs pressure).  Take this weight off before you use the cooker.  Hold the lid up to the light and look through the stem that the weight was on.  You should see nothing but light.  If you see any obstructions in there, clean it out with a pipe cleaner and put the weight back on.

Easy so far, right?

Now, how about we make a delicious meal that would otherwise take at least 2 hours to simmer?

RecipeThumb

Sweet Asian Chicken in a Pressure Cooker

Time: 30 minutes (including prep!)

Ingredients:

Ingredients

You will need:

  • 8-10 chicken legs (you can use thighs too… just make sure you have bones in there!)
  • 3/4 cup sugar WITH 1/8 Cup Molasses (OR.. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 20 oz can Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 cup water (or chicken stock)
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch
  • mixed with 1 cup water
  • Oil (a few tablespoons)
  • 3 Cups Rice
  • 6 Cups Water
  • Dash Salt
  • 1 Tbs oil

ALSO: California Style Veggies (or your favorites)

 

Directions:

OilandChicken

Put a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of your pressure cooker.  Then put the chicken legs in on top.  I really don’t like raw chicken.  It’s just so…. icky.  The oil is important so don’t omit it… It will help make sure that the liquid doesn’t boil up the valve and clog it.

StartTheSauce

Put your sugar and molasses in a big mixing bowl.
TIP: if you lightly oil your measuring cup for the molasses, it will slide right out instead of leaving a sticky mess behind.  This works for honey too!

SaucePart2

See?  Look how little is left in there!

SauceFinish

Whisk in the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, black pepper and the liquid from the can of pineapple chunks.  Add in a cup of water (or chicken broth… but you don’t need it. Water is cheaper and the chicken is about to make it’s own broth for you!)

SauceInPot

Pour that tasty brown sauce into your cooker.  It probably won’t cover your chicken and it doesn’t have to.  A good rule of thumb is to keep the liquid below the 1/2 way mark to leave plenty of room to build up steam.  ALWAYS CHECK YOUR MANUFACTURERS DIRECTIONS!!  They might have different ideas for you.  (Oh, and don’t leave that sugar in the bottom of a bowl.  Get yourself a rubber spatula and scrape it out into  the cooker.  So yummy!)

Cooking-in-the-pot

Put the lid on and turn your stove up to high.  Right now, you are trying to boil the liquid inside so it will start creating steam in there.  You’ll know it’s working when that weight on top starts rattling and hissing.  That means you’ve built up that 15 lbs of pressure you want.  If you have a bigger pot that has a pressure dial on it, you’ll want the dial to read 15 lbs.  🙂

NOW.. Lower the heat slowly until your weight is JUST rocking and hissing.  On my stove, I could only lower it a small amount.  You might have to keep it on high.  Or you might be able to put it on medium.  That doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you keep the pressure UP!  🙂

SET YOUR TIMER for 20 minutes now.  You’ll keep the pressure up for 20 minutes and compress 2 or more hours of cook time into less than half an hour.

In the mean time…

MakeRice

… Make rice in another pot.  For the 6 of us, I made 3 cups or rice in 6 cups of water with a tablespoon of oil in it.  I let it simmer for 12 minutes and it’s ready right about the same time that the chicken is.

Wait-Patiently

This is a picture of waiting… Fortunately, you don’t have to wait long and you can get your cornstarch  and veggies ready while you wait:

CornstarchReady

Just mix up the cornstarch with a cup of water and set it aside until we need it.  I also microwaved my veggies at this point.  Just make sure you have hot veggies when it’s time to plate!

Ooooh!  The timer rang and it’s time to turn off the chicken.

HOW TO OPEN THE PRESSURE CANNER:

Take the whole pot over to your sink and run a little cold water over the top.  You’ll hear the steam quit really quick and a moment later it will start pulling a vacuum!  You can stop running the water at that point and lift up the weight to let some air back in.  You can now safely open the pot, but be careful… It’s hot!

OpenThePressureCooker

Hello beautiful!  You aren’t nearly so icky looking now, are you.  🙂

RemoveChickenToPlatter

Remove your golden, delicious chicken from the cooker and put it on a platter.  Be careful.  It will just fall off the bone if you aren’t careful.

Now it’s time to thicken that sauce.

Turn the burner on again under the pressure cooker and grab your whisk.  Start whisking and pour in the cornstarch mixture.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes thick and bubble (and it should not look milky any more.  Cornstarch turns clear as it cooks into the liquid).

ThickenedSauce

We’re ready to plate!

ReadyToPlate

I’ll show you how I set up a kid plate… We have 4 of those, you know! 🙂

ToddlerPlating

1. Place a pile of rice on the plate.
2. Pile veggies on top of the rice (or next to it if your kids are picky like my 3 year old)
3. Place a piece of chicken on the plate.
4. Pour sauce over the veggies/rice and top with pineapple chunks.

AdultPlate

There’s a look at an adult plate.  Looks so delicious, doesn’t it?  The chicken is tender and juicy, the sauce is delicious without being TOO salty/sweet/vinegary and even the cauliflower (I really don’t like cauliflower) was tasty.

 

And look….

FallOffTheBoneTender

It really does just fall right off the bone! 🙂

NOTE: My family of 6 was quite full on the 8 legs I made.  They were sad, though, when the sauce ran out and we still had some more rice.  Next time, I would add a little more sauce.  There was plenty of room in my old 6.9 quart pot for an extra couple of legs and some more sauce.

 

Let me know if you try this!  It’s worth every delicious moment!

About the Author Sandra Modersohn

Sandra Modersohn is a devoted wife, mother, and homeschooler. She loves great graphic design and has a passion for creating beautiful and useful printable materials for children. Little Learning Lovies where she shares her creations with the world. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, at the Little Learning Lovies Blog and Store.

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