We’ve been lucky enough to have been given an Instant Pot to play with. Instant Pot is new in the UK but has long been a best seller across The Pond. Designed by Canadians, this beautifully crafted pot is a smart electric pressure cooker. Why is it smart? Well not only does it use 70% less energy making it good for the environment, but it also has features which stop overheating and burning which is a massive plus. If like me, you have grown up with a pressure cooker since you could remember then you’ll love Instant Pot. My old-fashioned pressure cooker gave up the ghost a couple of years ago and I haven’t replaced it. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it until I made some soup in the Instant Pot yesterday in 10 minutes flat.
On first sight the Instant Pot scared me. Lots of buttons and lights; so I did something I don’t usually do and read the instruction manual from cover to cover. Then realised that with most kitchen gadgets the easiest way to learn is to just get on with it. It couldn’t have been easier. I thought the lid was going to be a bit tricky, but no, because the Instant Pot sings to you when the lid is secure like R2D2 – I love that. This pressure cooker unlike its stove top relative cooks things up to 6 times more quickly, which,if you are busy working it is an absolute bonus. It has 10 built-in programs, which means you are able to cook soup or stew, rice and even porridge just by pressing a button.
There is also a manual button for when you are a bit more confident with timings and ingredients etc. I used the pressure cooker yesterday and there were no leaks, and hardly any noise. I wondered how that was possible, given the fact that it was producing steam, I still loved the fact that the little plume of steam came from the top when the pressure was released, but then I am an old-fashioned girl, of French descent, centuries ago and I guess, old habits die-hard. This fabulous shiny wonder is not just a pressure cooker, it also sautes, steams and slow-cooks and there are three individual temperatures for each of those functions. I am slow cooking today and making a spanish stew, using beans and chicken and chorizo. There are a lot of flavours in the pot and after a few hours cooking it should be delicious.
One thing the Instant Pot does is trap most of the aromas inside the pot. Is this a good thing? hmmm I am split. I really rather like to smell the different flavours and how they change during the cooking process. That is my one beef, excuses the pun, in all other respects the Instant Pot is the most amazing piece of kit and I cannot wait to put the timer on for the morning so we have piping hot porridge for breakfast.
Now back to the Spanish Stew.Using the slow cooker function could not be easier and we give detailed instructions during our cooking directions. If you want to learn more about Instant Pot then you can find them on Facebook or Twitter and at their UK website Here.
- 4 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cooking chorizo, chopped roughly
- 2 carrots, chopped roughly
- 2 courgettes, chopped roughly
- 2 leeks, chopped roughly
- 3 red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and chopped in half
- 1 can of cannellini beans
- 1 handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- A small handful of oregano, finely chopped
- 1 glass of fino sherry or dry white wine, and one for yourself
- A large pinch of smoked paprika
- A couple of strands of saffron
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chicken stock, enough to cover the chicken and vegetables
Firstly prepare the vegetables and place them in the Instant Pot. Next heat some oil in a sauté pan and sauté the garlic, chicken and chorizo until the chicken is browned. Add the chicken, chorizo and garlic mixture to the Instant Pot and stir. Heat the stock slightly and add the herbs,spices and seasonings and pour over the chicken to cover it. Pop on the lid. set to slow cook for 3 hours. Once the 3 hours is up then remove the lid, check for seasoning and ladle from the pot into bowls and serve with crusty bread or rice.