Friday, July 13, 2007

Chicken and vegetables cooked in my new toy

I got a new toy today and after testing it to make sure it worked properly, I decided to use it to make dinner. Here's my new toy... do you know what it is?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It's a beautiful Cook's Essentials 8 quart electric pressure cooker! I love cooking with pressure and have a 6 quart stove top model but this one is bound to be my new favorite. Not only was it a great deal (at about 1/3 of the normal cost) it has some really nice features like a removable cooking pot for cleaning ease and a browning feature. It will even keep food warm. If you've ever wanted a pressure cooker or if your old one is about to give it up or if you've wanted a digital one, you might want to look at this one. No, I don't get a thing for suggesting it to others - I just think this is an incredible deal and want to pass it on. By the way, although there are apparently several hundred to sell eventually they'll be gone.

So, I gave the cooker a water test and once I was sure it came to pressure properly I prepared the vegetables and chicken for dinner.

I rinsed and cut fresh green beans, onions, and zucchini from the garden and carrots from the local grocery in large pieces. Then I lightly seasoned them with Cook's Choice Brisket Rub and set them aside.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I rubbed a whole raw chicken well, inside and out, with the same rub I put on the vegetables, put about a tablespoon of EVOO in the cooking pot, set the cooker for browning and when it was hot, placed the chicken in the pot.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

About 10 minutes later, I flipped the chicken over and was very pleased to see how well it had browned.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When it was brown on both sides, I drained the oil from the cooking pot, added 1 cup of water, and tossed the raw vegetables on top of the now browned chicken.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I put the lid on, set it to pressure cook for 25 minutes and walked away. It took very little time to come to pressure, probably because I'd done the water test in it before cooking the chicken so it was already hot. When the timer went off 25 minutes later, I let it go through a natural release and about 15 minutes later when it beeped to let me know it was finished, I removed the lid and was greeted by a beautiful sight.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This was some of the most tender and juicy chicken I've ever eaten and the flavor was fantastic thanks to the brisket rub. I followed the suggestion from the owner's manual to put 1 cup of liquid in with the chicken and I wasn't impressed with the boiled effect that gave the chicken, though the horde ate it up. With my stove top model, I can get by with less than a cup of liquid and the finished product has close to two cups of liquid but thanks to 'anonymous' for letting me know I need to use at least 1 cup of liquid. I think I'll try something other than water - that might not change the boiled effect but it might be good, anyway. And the finished product had more than three cups of liquid with it. No wonder it seemed boiled...ah well, I can't have perfection!

All in all we really enjoyed the chicken and vegetables and after we'd eaten our fill I de-boned what was left and put it in the fridge. It will make great leftovers!


Bobbisox said...

wow, that looks like some good eats. With natural release, do you think you could have set it for 20 minutes instead, since you browned it already? I think my CE will be coming today; guess I could check out the tracking. Now I know I need to make burritos and freeze them!!! Thanks for all the good tips.

CookinsForMe said...

I probably could have gone for 20 minutes and will more than likely try that next time.

Did your CE arrive??

Oh yeah, those burritos are very good judging from the fact that they don't last long here. :)

Green Tea & Kimchee said...

That's a good price, could you tell if yours was refurbished or not? Does the $4 warranty means it will cover a refurbished unit?

You meal looked delicious.

CookinsForMe said...

I couldn't tell the thing wasn't brand new. There are no scratches or marks of any kind. I know a lot of people who have gotten this PC lately and although a few people report getting units they didn't like (didn't work, didn't look good, etc.) they all were satisfied by the company who sent replacement parts, new units, etc. The brown and warm functions are two things I'm crazy about with this unit!

Not sure if you're asking if the warranty will give me another refurb or what but personally, I'm content with the refurb. New would be good, too, but with the warranty I'm not concerned about it.

Everything I've cooked in it was amazing - especially the beef tips and gravy!

Shannon Marie said...

I have an electric pressure cooker and they are the best thing anyone can have in their kitchen. Like having a little chef working for you.

CookinsForMe said...

"Like having a little chef working for you." I love that!! You rock. :)