By Jennifer Stempel
(The Nosher via JTA) — For generations, Jewish grandmothers have spent hours and hours chained to their stoves perfecting their family chicken soup recipes. The prevailing thought was that the longer the soup simmered, the more flavorful the result.
Fortunately for the current generation, technology has created new ways that we can achieve that slow-cooked flavor in a much shorter time frame. With the Instant Pot, or an electric pressure cooker, we’ve cut down the cook time without sacrificing flavor.
By using pressure, the Instant Pot helps to infuse the chicken with flavor while tenderizing the meat at the same time, which results in a deeply flavorful soup in a fraction of the time. It’s also an economical way to make a soup, as you can reserve half the cooked chicken to make other meals later.
My favorite includes popping the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes until it gets nice and brown. Serve that with a side of veggies and you’ve got yourself quite a Shabbat dinner. Other favorites include chicken salad, wraps or even chicken pot pie.
If you’re all about that slow-cooked flavor, but don’t have the time or patience, you’ll want to try the Instant Pot and this recipe.
Note: You can find whole allspice berries in the spice aisle. You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 5-pound whole chicken, giblets removed
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrot sticks, diced
1 parsnip, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
6 cups water
2 dried bay leaves
10 large allspice berries
Italian parsley for garnish
1. Press saute button on Instant Pot and let the device heat up.
2. Combine the salt, pepper, turmeric and paprika, and coat the chicken with the mixture, making sure to get underneath the skin and inside the cavity. Once the Instant Pot is hot, brown the chicken in the pot about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and set aside.
3. Add onion, celery, carrots, parsnip and garlic to the pot, and saute until onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Place the chicken breast-side down on the Instant Pot trivet, and lower it into the pot on top of the vegetables. Pour in water along the sides of the chicken, so as not to wash away the seasonings. Add bay leaves and allspice berries. Cover with the lid, make sure the valve is in place and press the manual button.
5. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and allow to naturally pressure release (NPR) for 20 minutes. Release the pressure valve and let the pot depressurize completely before opening lid.
6. Remove the chicken, bay leaves and allspice berries, and skim the fat layer from the top of the soup. Return the pot to the saute function and add uncooked noodles, if desired. Cook until noodles are al dente.
7. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the bones and return to the soup. (Note: Optionally, you can use half the chicken for the soup, and place the other half under your broiler for a few minutes for delicious roasted chicken to eat later.)
8. Garnish with Italian parsley and serve immediately.
(Jennifer Stempel is a TV development executive who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. To read more about her culinary adventures, check out: www.TheCubanReuben.com.)
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.