I’ve wanted a pressure cooker for a while. Ever since I started canning again I’ve considered the possibilities that would be open to me if I had one. Stock, low-acid vegetables, soups and dinner starters can all be safely canned with a pressure cooker. Plus a pressure cooker can be used to speed up cooking time of beans and meats. I researched various canners on Amazon, eBay and other online sites and was surprised by the cost. I checked at the resale shops. I found a couple of smallish cookers that were still fairly pricey and was almost ready to settle for an expensive, little cooker.
And then, my friend Mike brought me this:
I love that guy! His wife is awesome too. They are the most generous people you will ever meet. They make soap. I wish they had a website so that I could link it because their soap is amazing. Maybe someday I will be able to replicate their soaps but for now I’ll have to settle for flops like mine.
Anyway, back to the story. After I roasted the last rooster I decided that future roosters needed to be cooked longer, or immediately souped. The chicken had delicious flavor, but because they were older than normal meat birds and had been allowed to free-range, the legs were tougher than you’d like. But then the pressure cooker arrived and I decided to try pressure cooking the rooster. And guess what? Success!
I heated the pressure cooker and drizzled a little olive oil into the bottom of it. I salted the chicken and rubbed a ton of cracked pepper onto it. Then I threw the bird into the cooker to sear it and turned it until it was browned on all sides. I added some fresh rosemary and a couple cloves of garlic and then added water until the roo was nearly covered. I threw in half a dozen diced Yukon Gold potatoes from my “root cellar” and screwed the top onto the pot. Then I put the pressure gauge on the pot to set ten pounds of pressure and turned the heat up until the gauge started to wiggle. I set the timer for fifteen minutes and started the biscuits. Yes, you heard me correctly, fifteen minutes!!
The biscuits mixed up quickly and I threw them into the oven. The timer went off signaling that the chicken was done, so I turned the burner off and got the broccoli ready to cook. By the time the biscuits were done, the pressure cooker had cooled enough that I could open it and check the chicken. It was thoroughly cooked! Even better, it was tender. However, it was not crispy. I removed both thigh/leg portions and put them on a sheet pan and threw them in the oven for a few minutes at about 400° to crisp up the skin while I cooked the broccoli and plated the rest of the dinner: Broccoli from the freezer (Providence or Olds Farm, I froze broccoli from both), Yukon Gold potatoes from Westmaas farms in Marion via the “root cellar”, homemade biscuits from my stash of spelt flour, and home canned cranberry sauce that I made in the fall with Michigan cranberries.
Even if I’m not cooking old roosters, I’ll definitely use the pressure cooker again. It is so much quicker, and saves a ton of electricity!