Fast from Frozen: Pressure Cooker Chicken in Duck Sauce

or how I got my husband to like frozen chicken

So once again I forgot to defrost chicken the night before, and since my husband claims the texture of frozen chicken seems off I generally have to take it out the day before so it can go in the slow cooker in the morning.  Well, some days that is just a bust.  So what can I do with frozen chicken?!  Turns out, boneless frozen chicken cooks just fine in the pressure cooker.  That's right, my beloved pressure cooker has a new purpose in life - to save me from failure to plan.  I have used it for applesauce, quick and easy risotto, pork ribs, and of course my all time favorite - corned beef (among other things).  But I had no idea it could work with frozen foods too.

I was inspired by an entry on the blog Frieda Loves Bread that used frozen chicken breasts and BBQ sauce in an electric pressure cooker.  I tried a variation on hers first with the frozen thighs, I used more sauce than she did (though less honey) and coated both sides before cooking.  I also had to shorten the time for the thighs since they are smaller.  They turned out great!  So I decided to go on a search for other sauces I could do this with and found quite a few possibilities.  I settled on a sauce inspired by Chinese Duck Sauce.  I like one pot meals that are quick and easy, this was pretty close to perfect in that sense (it lost one point because rice has to be cooked separately).  That was made up though because it was easy enough that I could do most of it with my toddler on my back in our Ergo, though she did have to step aside when we got to the pressure release part.  And the huge bonus?  My husband doesn't notice any texture differences from fresh chicken!  This was a winner all around.

Here's what I did:

4 boneless chicken thighs frozen (or 3 chicken breasts)
2 carrots peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
½ cup bell pepper (mixed varieties) cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup pear sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons honey

Hardware: Pressure cooker (I use a standard cooker, but an electric one would work too)

1. Put everything except the chicken and vegetables in the pressure cooker pot and heat to a simmer uncovered. Stir until everything is dissolved and well blended.  This will only take a minute or so.

2. Add the prepared vegetables to the pot.  Then place the chicken facing up in the sauce to coat the bottom with the sauce, after a minute flip over so they are upside down in the cooker in a single layer. Secure lid and bring to high pressure. Cook for 9 min for thighs, 12 min for breasts (from frozen, time is shorter from fresh - probably 4 to 5 minutes instead).

3. Remove from heat and release pressure according to manufacturer guidelines. Remove the lid and flip the chicken over again to coat with sauce, allow to sit for a couple minutes.*

Serve over prepared rice or noodles (I like white rice or udon noodles but other styles would work well too).

* If you desire a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and vegetables to another container and cover lightly with aluminum foil. Bring the liquid in the pot back up to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches desired consistency. I would recommend adding a bit of a slurry (equal parts cornstarch and water) to speed this up.

We were out of rice when we made this last but it was definitely delicious as is!

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