Kitchen Gadgets: The Pressure Cooker

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Kitchen gadgets sometimes scare me. I own a slower cooker, which for me is fancy, but it doesn’t have all of the functions that the newer gadgets have, like the Instant Pot. I keep hearing a lot about the Instant Pot. I’ve only used my sister’s Instant Pot once but I used the slower cooker function because I was so overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar buttons. Recently, I was gifted my own Ninja Foodi Deluxe and got more of a chance to really test out the pressure cooker.

I used both the pressure cooker and the air crisp functions and I was very impressed! I made a tomato onion garlic rice with lemon herb chicken thighs and balsamic and honey glazed brussel sprouts. I made up the recipe on a whim so I don’t have all of the measurements. But here is what I did:

  • Fill the bottom layer with rice, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, and chicken broth. Saute diced sweet yellow onions and garlic and set aside to add to rice later.

  • Marinate chicken thigh with lemon juice, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place a lower metal rack into the pressure cooker. Line the chicken thighs on the rack above the rice.

  • Set to Pressure Cook option and set time to 4 minutes

  • Trim 1 lb of brussel sprouts and cut into halves. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp honey, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper

  • When pressure cooker time goes off at 4 minutes, remove chicken thighs and set aside

  • Add brussel sprouts. Set pressure cooker to Air Crisp option and cook for 5 minutes

  • Meanwhile, coat chicken thighs with olive oil. Then add top rack over the brussel sprouts. Add the chicken thighs back into the pressure cooker, onto the top layer

  • Keep pressure cooker on Air Crisp option and cook for another 10 minutes

All the juices from both the chicken and the marinated brussel sprouts drip onto the rice during this process, making the rice extra flavorful and delicious. When the air crisping completes, remove items from the pressure cooker. Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the tomato rice and then mix. The brussel sprouts should be perfectly crispy as well as the chicken and the rice.

Personally, I was very impressed at how easy it was to make this full meal. I was also really happy about how my brussel sprouts turned out. Whenever I roast them in the oven, they come out soggy. But these came out crispy like the ones you order at a restaurant. I think my chicken came out a little bland but I just need to experiment with different marinades and seasoning to keep it moist and flavorful. I might try making BBQ chicken next. My rice was absolutely delicious though!

I can’t wait to test out more of the functions. It not only pressure cook and air crisp, but it can also dehydrate, roast, broil, bake, saute, and steam. I look forward to roasting more veggies, such as cauliflower. I also want to try dehydrating lemon, orange, and lime slices for cocktails. Let me know what you like to make with your pressure cooker! Would love some more ideas!

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