At the International Home & Housewares Show this past Spring, one of the booths I visited was Fagor, the leading US manufacturer of pressure cookers. A pressure cooker is an aluminum or stainless steel pot with a lid that seals tightly because of a gasket around the inside, and then locks into place so steam can’t escape. You put water or other liquids into the bottom, seal the lid with a lock, put the cooker on a burner turned up high, and then the pressure cooker heats up and steams the food, preserving vitamins and minerals. Food cooks up to 70% faster!
Fagor sent me their Duo Pressure Cooker to review, which is stainless steel with an aluminum-clad bottom. It also comes with a steamer basket to use for smaller foods, like vegetables. I was intimidated at first, having never used one before, but the instruction manual was easy to understand and follow, plus it comes with a recipe book with 50 recipes. I decided to start with their recipe for Herb “Roasted” Chicken, which called for heating butter in the pressure cooker and then browning the chicken in it.
And that’s when I learned the biggest difference between a stainless steel cooking pot and the nonstick pots I’m used to using. If you don’t watch it carefully and keep stirring, the food will stick and then burn to the bottom of the pan, which is exactly what happened to my chicken!
But, I’m not going to give up. I’m not a good cook, I freely admit it, but I have five people to feed dinner every night, so I am going to try that chicken recipe again until I get it right. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the recipe book said potatoes cut into one-inch cubes will cook in THREE minutes! There’s even a recipe for cheesecake, you put the Springform pan right into the steamer basket and it’s done in thirty minutes!
I don’t like spending a lot of time preparing meals, I like to get the food cooked so my family can eat. Thanks to Fagor, I now have a way to cook meat, vegetables, even desserts in a fraction of the usual time, plus the food will retain more of it’s nutrients, and that is awesome. Here’s that chicken recipe that I am definitely going to make again and NOT burn -
Herb “Roasted” Chicken – serves 4
3 lb. Chicken cut into pieces (I plan to use bone-in chicken breasts)
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Hot cooked brown or white rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter in the pressure cooker and brown chicken on all sides. Remove chicken and saute onions until golden brown. Add tomatoes, parsley, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Add chicken and herbs. Close lid and bring to pressure. Cook for suggested cooking time. Release pressure, remove lid and serve over rice.