Fast from Frozen: Pressure Cooker Sesame Chicken

or the love affair grows - pressure cooker frozen chicken for those who fail to plan, or just like good food

The original recipe: Pressure Cooker Frozen Chicken in Duck Sauce
The variation: Sesame Chicken

So to say that my husband jumped on board the frozen chicken band wagon might be an understatement.  And I honestly love the fact that this method somehow turns out perfect almost every single time.  But the biggest bonus for me is that I can prep this in the cooker in 5-10 minutes and then spend some time focusing on my toddler while it cooks on its own.  She is loving being in the kitchen and helping mommy cook, I can still accommodate this by putting the pressure cooker on the back burner while helping her with her special "dish" a few feet away.  

I have been playing with different sauces to keep it fresh and different ways to keep it an easy and complete meal.  Adding more veggies was definitely a win and so was the sauce below.  I love ordering Chinese food as take-out but the greasiness of my favorite dishes (mostly batter fried chicken or shrimp) isn't always easy on my stomach, or - let's be honest - all that good for me.  This isn't the truest recipe for authentic sesame sauce but it is pretty darn close to some of our local take-out restaurants so it definitely satisfies my cravings and gives me the "fix" I need.  I did make an adjustment to the original recipe for cook time with this type of sauce, if you want to have leftovers you need to decrease the cook time to 8 minutes for frozen thighs.  With nine minutes the chicken is moist and delicious the first day but can dry out when reheating, at eight minutes it is still cooked through and is able to retain that moisture as leftovers too.  Here is how I changed things up:

Sesame Chicken

1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoon chile powder
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced ginger
3 boneless chicken breasts or 5 boneless thighs, frozen
½ cup frozen broccoli
¼ cup large dice carrots or frozen carrots

Hardware: pressure cooker

1. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in the base of the pressure cooker. Add in the chicken stock, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. And the remaining ingredients except for the chicken and vegetables and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.

2. You can remove a cup of the sauce to save for other uses or leave it all in the cooker. Add in the frozen chicken and vegetables, stirring and flipping to coat. Spoon a little sauce over the side of the chicken that is left facing up.

3. Seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. 
Once high pressure is reached, turn it down to the lowest level where it can maintain that pressure.  For the frozen breasts cook for 12 min once pressure is reached, for the frozen thighs cook for 8 minutes.

4. Release pressure according to manufacturer guidelines. After the cooker is opened, flip over the chicken and stir the vegetables. Serve over prepared white rice with extra sauce as desired.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do, and make your own adjustments to suit your tastes.  Enjoy!

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