There are a few variations of this here because I wanted to show just how versatile a pot roast can be. You can make it in a very simple form – a quick browned chicken, a few aromatics and minimal liquid, then 15 minutes high pressure – but it also lends itself very well to being a complete one-pot meal. Grains work particularly well but even potatoes will sit comfortably around the chicken, even with the longer cooking time.
This is a really quick way to get a healthy chicken dinner on the table with endless possibilities for flavour combinations.
For the chicken
- 15 g butter
- 1 tbsp Baharat spice
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 chicken, trussed
- 1 sprig of mint, plus extra to garnish
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- sea salt
For the pot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 100 g cracked freekeh, soaked for 5 minutes
- 100 g frozen broad (fava) beans, defrosted (optional)
- 200 ml chicken stock or water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 150 g greens
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Mix the butter, spice mix and lemon zest together with ½ teaspoon of salt and rub over the chicken. Put the mint and garlic inside the chicken cavity. Heat the olive oil in your pressure cooker or in a separate pan and brown the chicken all over.
- Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two, then add the freekeh, broad (fava) beans, if using, and stock or water. Return the chicken to the pressure cooker and squeeze over the lemon juice. Bring up to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes, then allow to drop pressure naturally.
- Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and cover loosely with foil to rest. Add the greens to the cooker and return to high pressure. Fast release. Spoon the freekeh and greens around the chicken and serve garnished with a little more mint.
Some variations to try:
Spiced pot-roast chicken with wild rice and a quick coriander chutney
This is a lovely way to eat chicken and rice together. The amount of liquid usually needed to cook the rice has been increased a little, which helps it cook in the time, and it gives a beautifully creamy finish – as if you’d made a brown or wild rice risotto. Put a few fresh curry leaves (optional), a few coriander (cilantro) stems and 2 bruised garlic cloves into the chicken cavity. Mix 15 g butter with the zest of 1 lime and 2 teaspoons of your favourite curry powder and rub over the chicken. Sear above. Remove and add 1 finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons of coriander stems and 4 finely chopped garlic cloves to the pressure cooker. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add another 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 150 g wild or brown rice and 250 ml chicken stock or water. Dot with butter. Return the chicken to the pressure cooker and cook as above. Serve with a quick coriander chutney – blitz 1 large bunch of coriander with the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon of honey, a pinch of ground turmeric and 2–3 green chillies. Temper this with yogurt, if you like.
Pot-roast chicken with 40 garlic cloves
I don’t always add this many garlic cloves (it’s around 3–4 bulbs), it will work with less; I do find the more garlic I use, the creamier the gravy and the less temptation to add crème fraîche at the end. Brown the chicken as above. Put herbs in the cavity and in the base of the pressure cooker; tarragon works beautifully, so does thyme or bay, or even all three. Add the garlic cloves, unpeeled, 100 ml vermouth or white wine and 100 ml chicken stock. Cook as above. Remove the chicken and garlic from the pot. Squeeze out all the garlic cloves and return to the cooker, then mix with the cooking liquor. Add crème fraîche and more chopped herbs if you like or for a counterpoint to the creamy savouriness, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Pot-roast chicken with a favourite stuffing
If you want to add any kind of stuffing to the chicken, you should increase the high pressure cooking time to 20 minutes to ensure the centre is completely cooked. An alternative for sausage-meat-based stuffings is to shape into balls, brown and cook alongside the chicken.
Recipe and image from Modern Pressure Cooking by Catherine Phipps, published by Quadrille, RRP $50