Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What's For Supper?

Chicken Carnitas!  Made in my Instant Pot!

This is obviously just the chicken, but the chicken is kind of the main thing...


Disclaimer:  This post is not so much an endorsement for the recipe I used (because I adapted it), but rather it's all about how excited I am to have cooked chicken in my Instant Pot and recognizing what a great tool it is for that purpose.

I sort of followed this recipe at Little Spice Jar, using what I had and not worrying much about what I didn't have.  I didn't have fresh cilantro and I forgot to add dried cilantro where it was called for. I also completely forgot the garlic - and I have plenty of fresh garlic.  Sigh.  I didn't have any chipotle pepper (do not care for chipotle anything), and instead of adobo sauce, I just sprinkled some dry adobo seasoning mix in the dry rub I coated the chicken with before searing.

Also...  to be honest, I didn't sear the chicken in the Instant Pot.  I've successfully seared something once, but since then I've read that searing can cause the Pot to not want to go into pressure mode (or something like that) and the inner pot may have to be cooled before continuing.  I didn't want to waste the time finding out if that might happen on my second searing attempt, so I just seared the chicken breasts in a skillet.

Now for the Chipotle sauce.  I've already said I'm not a chipotle person.  Well...  I'm also not a big fan of mayonnaise.  It was really tempting to just forgo this, but let me encourage anyone who might be interested in trying this recipe but is possibly turned off by this sauce --- try it.  Or try making it in a way that you might like it.  For example...  in place of the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, but I just added maybe 2 -3 teaspoons of dry adobo seasoning mix.  And I sprinkled in a little black pepper before whisking.   My verdict after eating a carnita:  the sauce makes this.  Yep.  I, who doesn't particularly care for mayo, said that. Of course, if I'd had chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, I might hate this sauce.  But what I made was mild, and added just the the right amount of flavor for both my and my husband's liking.

The chicken itself wasn't fall down amazing or anything, but it was good.  Of course, if I'd had chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, maybe the chicken would have been amazing.  But that's not what I want to comment on here. 

The more important thing to me is how pumped I am to now have a bunch of shredded chicken to add to other recipes.  Frankly, I'm excited at the thought of making shredded or chopped chicken from now on from chicken cooked in my Instant Pot.  

If I subtract the time spent searing the chicken before cooking, I'm thinking it wouldn't take more than 30 minutes to cook up a batch of chicken (in this case 6 chicken breasts).  But even if it takes longer, I'm okay with that, because I love that I can walk away from my Instant Pot and just let it do its thing.   And it is so much easier and cleaner to cook the chicken in this pot than in the microwave - which is how I usually cook chicken before shredding or chopping it for a recipe. And we won't enumerate how many times I've discovered cold chicken breasts in the microwave in the morning because the night before I walked away to let the microwave do its thing, only to get busy and completely forget about it.  😏 

Happy Cook here - happy to have another success in my Instant Pot experience.  

And browsing the Little Spice Jar website, I'm thinking I'm going to have to try their Garlic Butter Skillet Steak and ShrimpMmmmm




9 comments:

  1. I've never had chicken carnitas but I've heard of them. I'll have to check out The Spice Jar. I don't have an Instant Pot but I've heard of them also. I watched some You Tube videos on it and it sounded pretty awesome! There are lots of videos with recipes used for the Instant Pot. Lucky you! What's your next "adventure in cooking"?

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    1. I don't know what I'll try next. I just cook what strikes my fancy, when it strikes my fancy these days. :)

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  2. I think it'd be fine browning the chicken in the inner pot especially if it says so in the recipe. I've done it a few times and have had no problem.

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    1. That's good to know. I would consider that a pretty serious flaw if it happened, and I did have success the first time I seared in it. I will definitely sear again.

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  3. No instant pot in this house to experiment with, but we do use our slow cooker a lot. Suspect if we were to get one it would go the same way the juicer and so many other 'great' contraptions have gone - becoming dust collectors until we manage to pawn them off on our son. Who, I might add, does the exact same thing!

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    1. Oh, let me have fun while it's still new and exciting... lol There's plenty of time (and ideas to explore) before it gets relegated to the storage room...

      Seriously, I'm not much of a gadget person. You'd probably be surprised at what all I have turned down when the ideas are presented to me. My agreeing to this one was a little impetuous, but I do think it holds some serious potential. Time will tell. For now, let me have fun!

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  4. Oooh! I've been wanting an instant pot.

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