Pressure Cooker Herbed Chicken + Stock


Pressure cookers are wonderful for turning out meat that's very moist and tender in no time flat.  This recipe is for a whole chicken (which is actually the most economical way to buy chicken), and we use our 10 quart cooker so everything fits.  You can also adapt this recipe for smaller cookers and different chicken cuts by adjusting the cooking time--it'll still be delicious.  Plus, you're left with a fantastic, herby homemade chicken stock to cook rice in, use as a base for soup, turn into gravy, etc.

This recipe is used on our boat primarily for Louie and Sheba, but a human taste test proved it absolutely delicious for people, too.

Serves about 4

1 whole organic chicken, giblets removed
6 cups of water
2 tsp sea salt
5 whole peppercorns
one sprig fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
3 sprigs of sweet marjoram, or 1 tsp dried 
2 bay leaves
one handful of fresh parsley (omit if fresh is not available)
2 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
3 stalks of celery, broken in half
2 large carrots, broken in half
one small onion, halved (only if this recipe is for people-- dogs and cats should never have onion)


**for a more asian-flavored broth, swap the herbs for a few 1" peices of ginger, half of a lemon or lime, an additional clove of garlic and substitute the parsley for cilantro.  If you can find a couple of lemongrass twigs, so much the better--add those too!

To Cook:
This is pretty simple:  put everything in the cooker, lock on the lid and set on high heat until the pot comes up to pressure.  When the cooker reaches pressure, lower the heat just enough to keep it from dropping and cook for 30 minutes.

When 30 minutes has elapsed, take the cooker off the burner and allow the pressure to release itself naturally-- you should just have to wait 15 minutes or so for it to drop on its own.

Carefully lift the chicken out using a carving fork, tongs or whatever else neccessary.  Carve it up and serve!  As for the broth, strain it discard the solids, and allow the fat to congeal on the surface to skim off.  Freeze the broth if you're not using it right away--it'll stay good in the fridge for about a week.  

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