Last weekend, Joey attended a day-long bowling tournament.
The day before he left, he lamented that he didn’t think he would have time to throw a whole chicken we bought on the smoker and may have to toss it back in the freezer.
Instead, I offered to put it in the oven on my day alone and have it ready for dinner when he came home.
When he stepped in the door at the end of the day, I was happily putting fresh bedsheets on our mattress, feeling accomplished with my day of laundry.
“Did you decide not to do that chicken,” Joey asked, after we talked about his tournament.
Oops. I totally forgot about the chicken!
Joey waved off my mistake, but I immediately started searching online. I still had an hour or so before dinner time, and I knew just the appliance that could save me: my pressure cooker.
So, this week’s recipe isn’t about a deliciously slow-roasted chicken, basting in its own juices in my oven. Instead, it’s a quick, delicious and slightly spicy bird that managed to save dinner and give us plenty of leftovers for the week.
The recipe I used came from the blog “Chew Out Loud” by Amy Dong. You can find the original post at https://www.chewoutloud.com/instant-pot-whole-chicken/. I doubled every spice in my version and added bell peppers.
Spicy Pressure Cooker Chicken
- 5 to 6 pound whole chicken
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 2 bell peppers any color, sliced
- 1 cup chicken broth I subbed in a bouillon dissolved in water
- Prepare your whole chicken by removing the giblets, and patting it dry—inside and out—with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme and black pepper, and stir to mix them together.
- Using a knife, loosen the skin around the breast, back, legs and thighs of the chicken so you can slide a spoon or your hands inside, and evenly distribute about two-thirds of your spice mixture under the skin all over the bird. Press the rest onto the top of the skin and inside the bird, coating it as evenly as you can. Set the bird aside.
- In your pressure cooker, line the bottom with the sliced onions and peppers and pour in the chicken broth. Place the prepared bird on top of the vegetables (it doesn’t matter which direction is up or down). Secure the lid and cook the bird on high pressure for 25 minutes, letting the steam naturally release for at least 15 minutes afterwards.
- Temp the chicken. It should read at least 165 degrees in its thickest spots. If not, do another 15 to 20 minutes of high pressure cooking until it does.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or shredding it. Serve it with the vegetables over rice, mashed potatoes or in tortillas.
This was moist and tender, and we ended up making burritos, along with some Mexican rice. The chicken had just a bit of a kick to it, but it wasn’t so spicy that it knocked our socks off. If the heat scares you a little or you don’t think your tablemates are up to it, just decrease or eliminate the cayenne pepper.
Thanks to my pressure cooker this weekend, dinner was saved in the Young household. Now if I could just find the laundry equivalent to quick cooking, my future weekends might really be set.
This piece initially appeared in print on Nov. 16, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.