Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken... with a bonus Chicken Stock. Oh, and a quick tip on shredding chicken. You know, sometimes I'm all for a quick meal... because there are days when you really need to put something on the table without being in the kitchen for too long. And there are those days that you simply don't have a lot of ingredients on hand... except some chicken. I don't know about you, but I always seem to have chicken around. Chicken is just easier to cook and can be used in lots and lots of dishes. I'll be honest, sometimes I can run out of ideas when it comes to using chicken breast meat. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of recipes out there. But when I want to fix something quick, like say in under a half hour, I tend to fall back on a stir-fry, or a quick pan sear. Normally, I have quite a few vegetables around that I toss in to make a whole meal. But the other day, after coming back from my recent vacation, I found myself with just a few vegetables on hand... a bit of celery, carrots and some onion.What to do...
It's interesting but when I am in a hurry, I most always reach for my pressure cooker. It just cooks foods faster, and makes it taste a ton better! I couldn't do without my pressure cooker, and use it on a weekly basis. Over time, I've learned to tweak certain recipes and find it works rather well. So the other day, when I had a few chicken breasts and limited vegetables on hand, I immediately thought of making some shredded chicken. At the time, I was thinking of using some pantry/freezer items to complement the chicken and make a meal of it... could make some chicken salad, or burritos, or "pulled" chicken. Actually I was leaning more on making some flautas, but last minute I decided to use up some BBQ sauce and made "pulled" chicken sandwiches... with a soup(coming soon).
I wasn't planning on posting this idea, but because I normally have my camera nearby, I thought it would be great if I would just snap a few pictures... would think about it later if I posted or not. Then I thought, maybe this post would be of help to someone... especially busy moms. So I'm posting it:). You can make the shredded chicken early in the week and use it in all sorts of dishes throughout the coming days. I'm thinking, if you have a larger pressure cooker, you can easily double the recipe if you like.
Another thing that I like about this recipe, is that after the chicken breasts are cooked, you will have some chicken stock left in the pot. Not a lot, and not as flavorful as one made with bones, but it's still great. You can freeze the stock, use it in other dishes, or make a chicken noodle soup... or any other soup you like. Oh, and if you've never used the mixer to shred your chicken, you might want to give it a try... saves you a ton of time shredding it by hand. Well, you'll have shredded all the chicken in under 1 minute! Feel free to use the shredded chicken as you like. Hope you enjoy...
Note: Feel free to add any BBQ sauce you like to make the "pulled" chicken filling.
You will need:
2.5 lbs fresh chicken breast
1 large carrot, sliced in chunks
1 celery rib, cut in chunks
1/2 onion, cut in 2 pieces
1 garlic clove, cut in 2 pieces
4 cups water
salt as needed
1. Wash chicken breasts. Season with a bit of salt. Set aside.
2. In pressure cooker pot, place the "foot" of the insert pan at the bottom. Add chopped vegetables and garlic.
3. Pour in water and season with salt... I think I used a couple big pinches.
4. Add the insert pan on top of the "foot"... The pan will be sitting on top of the water and vegetables. Water will barely touch the insert pan.
5. Place the chicken breasts on top of the insert pan.
6. Add lid and lock. Bring to pressure on high heat.
7. When pressure is reached, lower heat to low and cook chicken for 12-15 minutes. Mine took about 15 minutes...
8. Release pressure and remove chicken.... check to see the chicken is cooked through. If you notice that your chicken isn't cooked at 12 minutes, bring to pressure again and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
9. Place chicken in the bowl of the Kitchen-aid mixer and using the paddle attachment mix on low-medium for 30 seconds-1 minute ... or until chicken is shredded to your liking. Be careful at the beginning, as the chicken can "jump"around.
10. Strain stock, season with extra salt if needed, and freeze... or use for soup, or other dishes. Stock isn't as deep in flavor as one made with bones, but it is a great 'lil bonus that you can use for a quick soup.