I met a family over the weekend traveling up the Columbia River in their Catalina 30 sailboat. They’d been vacationing for the past couple of weeks and were headed home. Allen and Heidi were delightful and their young daughter and I traded “injury scar” stories. I definitely have storage envy after being invited aboard their yacht.
As most cruising women do, Heidi and I began talking about provisioning and cooking. We both agreed that being able to vacuum seal and freeze food was extremely helpful. I asked her if she’d ever cooked in a pressure cooker. She had not had the opportunity but had heard many cruisers do. I’d asked her in the hopes of gleaning some knowledge from her as I was planning on preparing my family’s chicken dinner in my new to me pressure cooker the next night.
Heidi, an avid canner, was helpful in explaining the importance of the condition of the seal on used pressure canners. She was also interested in how I was going to do this. So this post is presented in the hopes Heidi checks my site looking for this recipe. I’m happy to say it turned out great and I am now thinking I may start pressure-cooking at home too!
If you are thinking about buying a used pressure cooker (I did, old boat=old stuff, right?) Be sure you check the seal ring that fits inside the lid. It should be without cracks and in good condition. Also if you buy a cooker with a dial gauge you need to check the accuracy of that too. Your local county extension office should be able to assist you with that, give them a call. I bought my used pressure cooker at the local Goodwill for $5.00, beats the pants off of nearly $100 for new! (This means I kept about $95.00 in ‘freedom chips’, money used to cruise.)
As this weekend was our clubs annual “Pirate Cruise” I’m calling this: How a pirate cooks under pressure….ah, come on….you’re supposed to laugh!
5-bone-in/skin on chicken thighs, although I think you could use any bone-in chicken pieces
1 C flour
1 tea. Each salt and pepper (or more or less to your tastes)
1 tea. Poultry seasoning, if you have it
3 Tab. Oil
1 ¾ C water
Mix flour and seasonings together in plastic bag or on a plate. Shake chicken in bag or dredge on plate to coat each piece thoroughly. Heat oil in bottom of pressure cooker, when hot brown chicken pieces. Remove chicken and pour in water. Place rack in bottom of pressure cooker and place chicken on rack. DO NOT FILL COOKER OVER TWO-THIRDS FULL! Place lid on cooker, close cover securely and bring temp up until steam vents for a minute. Then place weight on vent and bring to 15 pounds of pressure. The weight will gently rock when you’re at the correct pressure, adjust heat to keep it rocking but don’t let it rock violently (see manufacturers instructions for your cooker). Begin timing and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let pressure drop of its own accord; I think it took about 10-15 minutes.
The chicken was moist, tasty and very tender. Best of all I only used the CNG for 20-30 minutes instead of the hour or more to bake it. As it was a toasty afternoon it was very nice not to add to the cabin heat or fight the B-B-Q. In addition, using less CNG means I save more ‘freedom chips’ for later.
This galley goddess is in love with a new piece of equipment! I plan on experimenting with various dishes I make to see what I can do with this little pot. I’ll post up as I come up with the good ones. Happy cruising and stay safe. If you’ve got a really great pressure cooker meal, please leave it under comments or email me, Debbie at (@) PacificNorthwestBoating dot (.) com
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