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PRESSURE COOKER STOCKS

If you have a pressure cooker, it's a perfect vehicle in which to cook your stocks.  Simply put, pressure cookers work because 1) water in a closed chamber superheats to 250 degrees (rather than its usual boiling point of 212)  2) superheated water increases the pressure within the cooker, and that forces the superheated water to transfer its energy to the food.  This results in a quicker cook time, and food cooked under pressure is broken down quickly (hence why we cook tough cuts of meat, dried beans, and other proteins in a pressure cooker).  If you've ever watched a cooking competition on TV,  you'll see chefs braising pork shoulders, ribs, and other cuts of meat in less than an hour, with brilliant results.  So it stands to reason that we can hasten the process of making stock by using a pressure cooker.

Pressure cookers are enjoying a renaissance currently, with the advent of user-friendly cookers like the Instapot, and other brands with safety features that make it impossible to fail, like Fagor or Sitram.  So sit back, while we enjoy making chicken stock - the backbone of so many dishes served year round.

STOCK TIPS:

  • Stocks made in a pressure cooker extract so much protein from the meat, that when refrigerated, literally are gelatinous - that makes for a very rich and nutritious stock.
  • Consider taking your empty corn cobs, popping them in your pressure cooker with some water, a little salt, a bay leaf and an onion and making a beautiful stock base for a corn chowder

  • Any other stocks can easily be made in a pressure cooker - beef, pork, even veggie.

  • You can also save up a couple of baggies full of shrimp shells and tails, add some water and white wine, a shallot, and some thyme and make a tasty shrimp stock to use for soups, gumbos, risottos or other seafood creations.  Just strain and freeze.

  • If you have multiple stocks in your freezer, make sure you label them clearly.

 

 

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PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN STOCK

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 pound chicken (giblets removed/fat trimmed) or 3-4 pounds of drumstick, feet, backs, necks or bones

1 large brown onion - peeled and quartered

2 large carrots - washed and cut in 2" chunks

2 large ribs of celery - washed and cut in 2" chunks

2 bay leaves + 1 tsp black peppercorns

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Prepare ingredients as described above.  Put into a pressure cooker and fill to the "max" line (usually inscribed inside).

2.  Follow manufacturer's directions for applying and securing the lid.  Put the pot on high until steam emerges like a train whistle.  Then turn to low (so steam comes out in wisps) and at this point, set your timer for 90 minutes.

3.  Once 90 minutes have elapsed, let your pot cool naturally, or under cold running water, before opening.

4.  Carefully lift out the chicken and let that cool (can be used for soups, chicken salad or tacos).  Carrots will be appreciated by your canine friends.  Strain the stock into a container, cover and refrigerate.  Before freezing, lift off any residual fat and either discard, or save in your freezer (this is schmalz - the best fat for making matzoh balls, or frying potatoes!).  Freeze stock in ice cube trays or ziplock bags laid flat - that way stock can be stacked for more efficient storage!