Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker results in tender, succulent meat. If you begin with boneless chicken you can avoid having to separate the bones from the meat. Prepare economical, family-sized packages of chicken by pressure-cooking the meat, removing the bones, and shredding the meat to save storage space in the freezer or refrigerator. Pressure cooking is also a good way to tenderize a tough bird -- the method helps break down stringy fibers.
Things You'll Need
Cut a whole chicken into pieces, or use precut pieces, and place them in the pressure cooker. Cover the chicken with boiling water.
Add salt and black pepper, and include your favorite seasonings, fresh or dried: Mild herbs such as onion, oregano or marjoram or stronger flavors such as garlic, sage or rosemary enhance the natural flavor of chicken.
Place the cover on the pressure cooker and lock it in place according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cook the chicken for 40 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. Begin timing the cooking when the pressure control indicates that the full 15 pounds has been reached.
Wait the recommended time for your specific cooker before releasing the steam and pressure slowly. The natural release method -- letting the cooker cool until the gauge is at zero -- is suggested for chicken. It leaves the skin intact, making it easier to separate from the meat. Allow the meat to cool enough that you can handle it.
Remove the chicken pieces from the liquid, separating the meat from the bones, skin and gristle. The tender meat should fall away from the bones easily, and it should shred easily as you handle it. Twist a fork throughout the boneless meat for finely shredded chicken. Strain the liquid through a colander into a bowl to find all the bones and waste.
Tips & Warnings
- Add flour to the cooking liquid to make gravy, or save it for soup, noodles or casseroles.
- Cook boneless chicken pieces and simply break apart the cooked meat when it’s cool enough to handle if you want to save a small amount of fuss. But note that the bones contribute plenty of flavor to the final product, and they separate easily from chicken meat cooked until it's soft.
- Sanitize the sink, counter and surrounding surfaces after handling raw chicken to reduce the risk of spreading salmonella. Wash your hands and utensils that came in contact with the raw meat in hot, soapy water.
- Cooking and Canning with the All American Pressure Cooker/Canner; Owner’s Manual
- Pressure Cooker Kitchen: Natural Release Method
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