Sailing Recipe - Roast Chicken in a Pressure Cooker
By Sheryl Shard, copyright 2014. All rights reserved
Try making "roast" chicken in a pressure cooker. It's so tender!
In the small settlements of the Out Islands of the Bahamas it is sometimes hard to find good meat but you can always get good quality frozen chicken both in pieces or as a whole chicken so I have been experimenting with lots of chicken recipes recently!
Good quality frozen chicken can even be found in small Bahamian settlements
On Sundays Paul and I maintain our family tradition of cooking up a nice roast for a relaxing midday meal and we enjoy a roast chicken with all the trimmings as much as roast beef, pork or lamb. But roasting a whole chicken for up to an hour in the oven in the tropics really heats up the boat. I'd heard that it was possible to roast a whole chicken using a pressure cooker but had never tried it. I thought it would be mushy but I did a little research, spoke to some cruising friends and came up with the following recipe that I think comes pretty close to the flavour and texture of a garlic herb rotisserie chicken which we often enjoyed when we were cruising in the Mediterranean. It's incredibly tender and tasty. Best thing - it cooks in 20 minutes on the stove top!
Whole Roasted Chicken in a Pressure Cooker
1 whole chicken (choose a size that will fit snuggly in your pressure cooker)
3 Tablespoons of Italian Herbs or any mixture of herbs you like
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 lemon cut in 2-3 segments, skin on
2 bay leaves
1 cup of water
Thaw chicken. I leave a whole frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw for about 24 hours.
Remove any giblets. Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry. Tuck the wing tips back behind the neck and place on a large plate or casserole breast up. Take one garlic clove half and rub raw edge all over chicken to flavour skin. Dispose of garlic clove you used on the chicken. Place the remaining garlic in the cavity with one bay leaf. Wash and dry hands.
In a bowl, mix the herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. Squeeze the lemon slices over the bowl to add juice and then put them in the cavity of the chicken along with the garlic cloves and 1 bay leaf.
Using bare hands, smear the herb mixture all over the chicken. Wash and dry hands.
Brown the chicken on all sides for about 10 minutes in a separate pan, or in your pressure cooker if you have a large one. Browning the chicken gives it the roasted taste and texture. Place chicken in pressure cooker.
Add the one cup of water and the second bay leaf to the pressure cooker. Close and lock the lid.
Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure turn heat down to the lowest heat needed to maintain pressure. Cook for 20 minutes.
Turn off heat and let pressure drop naturally rather than by releasing it with the valve.
When the pressure has dropped, remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and place on a serving platter.
Tent with foil to keep hot while you make gravy from the juices and liquid left in the pressure cooker. Simmer the contents uncovered until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Strain the pan sauce and pour over chicken or place on the table in a gravy boat.
I serve with steamed vegetables and Pan Roasted Potatoes. You can dress this up further for special occasions by serving stuffing too as well as cranberry sauce.
Note: If you just want to cook up a chicken fast and use the meat for chicken salad or other dishes requiring cooked chicken you can skip the browning stage and cook up chicken pieces or a whole chicken with just water. My friend Hermione of S/V Arion (owner of Zigzag Bags who appeared in Distant Shores season 7 episode #79/7-1) does this often and by throwing in chopped onion, lemon and whatever herbs she has on hand also creates a lovely stock which she uses later in risottos or to make soup, etc.
If this recipe appeals to you, email it to yourself or save it to your Facebook timeline. Thanks for sharing it with your friends too!
You might also enjoy these other sailing recipes.
From January 9 to 18, 2015, Paul and I will be conducting seminars at the Toronto International Boat Show in Canada including "Provisioning for Cruising". Hope to meet you there!
Join our email list and get hints, technical articles and tips plus videos to help you achieve your cruising dreams.
- FREE 1/2 hour video on cruising the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas
- Technical Blog shows you how to deal with issues facing the cruising sailor
- Destination information from some of the world's best cruising areas
- Special discounts and promotions