Instant Pot – The Ultimate Lazy Mom Device

Instant Pot = GAME CHANGER.

Let me start out by saying, I am in no way affiliated with Instant Pot. But I say in all seriousness that Instant Pot has changed my life! I’ve never been much for kitchen gadgets, besides my Vitamix and stand mixer.  I purchased the Instant Pot during an Amazon Prime Day sale as an impulse buy.

My baby was still pretty new, and I didn’t have time to cook much.  We hadn’t got her sleep down yet and thought you had to hold her to get her to nap, and I was still nursing.  These 2 activities took up my entire day.  In the mornings my husband would make me what he referred to as a “mommy sandwich” (cheesy egg sandwich) before he went to work. Then at about 8 pm I would realize I was ravenously hungry and eat 2 or 3 Hagan Daaz ice cream bars.  I did this for weeks and wondered why I hadn’t lost any pregnancy weight.

When my Instant Pot and America’s Test Kitchen pressure cooker book arrived, my life dramatically improved.  You can make anything in minutes. A crockpot means you have to plan it out.  You also have to brown the meat or saute the onions in a separate pan, which means more dishes (no thank you!).  I’ve made tons of stuff like ribs, chicken thighs, pot roast, and pork shoulder, but the real saving grace when I had no time to cook was a whole chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken and Beans / Chicken and Brown Rice

All you do is throw a chicken, chicken stock, garlic, (onion, white wine/lemon/herbs etc. are all great but optional), and short grain brown rice in the pot and set it to 25 minutes. And that’s it. LIFE. CHANGING. Once it’s done, you can take the chicken out and set aside to rest and stir a couple cups of baby spinach or chopped kale into the brothy rice and now you even have a vegetable. If you wanted to get fancy, you could saute your onion and garlic first for a greater depth of flavor, but I find this step unnecessary here.  The point is to have something super quick and easy.

You can replace the brown rice with pre-soaked beans, which is just as delicious! (I just never remember to soak the beans ahead of time.)

I’ve done beans instead of rice, or roasted vegetables instead of greens stirred in, but I really can’t tell you how good it felt having a hot meal after weeks of eating crap. My one and only complaint is that I really like crispy chicken skin, and even if you brown the chicken really well first, it just ends up a little soggy and sad by the time you take it out.

My solution (and I know this is a total fatass thing to do) is to remove the skin. It should all come off pretty neatly in a little sheet with legs and cut it up into a few pieces, so that it bakes evenly. Place it on parchment or aluminum foil for about 20 minutes at 375 until it’s brown and crunchy. I like to put a liberal amount of salt and pepper on it first, and turn it over halfway through.  Then you have a delicious crunchy snack or you can set it back on your chicken pieces for a sort of deconstructed look.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 4 lb. chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup short or medium grain brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Optional (juice and zest from 1 lemon or a couple glugs of white wine, fresh herbs, spinach or chopped kale)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Stir rice, stock, garlic and onion together in pot. Season with salt and pepper. Place seasoned chicken on top.
  2. Close lid and set to 25 minutes.
  3. When timer goes off, quick release pressure.
  4. Remove chicken. If desired stir in spinach or chopped kale into rice mixture while set to “keep warm.” Stir until it wilts.

Danielle

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