Aileen is in the middle of a move this week, so I’m taking over the recipe challenge. I may have already mentioned that I am an unenthusiastic cook. If all of the stars align and I have fresh ingredients on hand, plenty of time, a yummy, not too difficult recipe in mind to prepare, a delicious glass of wine to sip and my family is home, hungry and interested in eating the food that I am cooking then I enjoy cooking. Suffice it to say that those particular stars have aligned about once in the last five or so years.
All of that said, I’m still responsible for most of the meals, for my family. And because I am always desperately searching for a way to make my food responsibilities less cumbersome, I finally gave into the Instant Pot.
After I got home from purchasing it at Target, it sat in the box on my counter top, where I eyed it suspiciously for 2 weeks. I finally got up the nerve to open the box, get out all of the parts and browse through the instruction manual. The parts sat on my counter for another week and a half before I did the water test to make sure I wasn’t going to blow up my home with my new gadget. Success!!
Since then, I’ve made two recipes, one old and one new. The new recipe was orange chicken, which was ok, but in no way could compare with the deep fried, sugar laden version from our local Chinese restaurant. The second was my mom’s chili recipe, which is a favorite in our family. I normally make it in a slow cooker and it takes about 5-6 hours. The instant pot version was done in 20 minutes and was pretty good, but didn’t have the depth of flavor that the slow cooker had.
The subject of the Instant Pot came up at our last meeting with Christine, and she mentioned that she made a delicious Chicken and Rice dish in hers. I was hungry at the time of the conversation and have been unable to get it out of my mind since, so for this week’s recipe challenge, I scoured the internet for a recipe. There are approximately 8 million Instant Pot recipes, so I narrowed it down by typing in “easiest chicken rice Instant Pot” and came up with this recipe. I almost got derailed by this boozy click bait, but that will have to wait for another time.
I was thrilled to find that I had all of the ingredients, plus half a bottle of rosé in the refrigerator. I sent my husband off to do dance pickups, and I was well on my way to a successful meal.
The recipe only called for one cup of rice, which I thought might not be enough for the family, so I doubled the rice, broth, salt and pepper. The chicken was still mostly frozen, but the Instant Pot is supposed to be able to handle everything so into the magic pot it went. As a side note, it was far easier and less gross to cut the chicken while still frozen. I put the lid on, plugged it in and set the pressure cooking option for 10 minutes.
My 15 year old daughter walked in the kitchen after dance, walked over to the machine while it was still preheating, turned the lid and said, “Oops, I think I did something.” OMG, DON’T TOUCH THE INSTANT POT! YOU’LL BLOW YOUR FACE OFF!!! She didn’t. Whew.
After that, my husband was convinced that something was wrong, so he went over and wanted to push random buttons. I quickly forbade everyone from touching the pot. Next time I will do that first.
After 10 minutes of cooking and 10 minutes of natural venting the food was ready. I opened the lid, added 2 cups of shredded cheese and stirred it all together.
The dish was good, but not great. Everyone except the 11 year old ate it and enjoyed it, but that’s par for the course at our house. It definitely needed more salt and pepper. The chicken was tender and perfect, but the rice was a little over cooked. If I made it again, I would use brown rice and cook the broccoli separately. The broccoli broke down too much for my liking.
Overall, I would rank this a success. People ate the food I made, it was quick and easy, no one died, AND there was rosé. Do you love your Instant Pot? What are your go to recipes?