AN HOUR AND A HALF commute home from work left me cranky and hungry.  I slammed my stuff down on the kitchen table and headed to the fridge, yanked the door open and searched for something quick to make for dinner.  I found a whole chicken I had bought the day before and thought ugh, that will take a while…I WANT TO EAT NOW.  Lightbulb moment, I remembered I had saved an Instant Pot recipe for Chicken and Gravy from NOM NOM Paleo.  Quick and easy, the perfect solution for my dinner dilemma. Though not a strict Paleo diet follower, I do like the NOM NOM cookbook and blog and I have an affinity for the NOM NOM author (plus I love saying NOM NOM).  Like me, she is a pharmacist by trade, a fellow drug pusher-legit ones, lol.  There is a natural crossover between being a pharmacist and being a cook or baker.  Numbers, measurements, proportions, being a bit OCD- all part of both professions.

A few easy steps and dinner is on the table in 44 minutes and 37 seconds at most.  See, pharmaceutical precision.  While the chicken is cooking, make some rice or egg noodles to go along or if you want to keep this a paleo meal, make cauliflower rice or potatoes (Po-ta-toes! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish-that line pops in my head every time). The sauce is so yummy you will want something to soak up every drop.

The recipe calls for browning the chicken in your pressure cooker, taking it out and sautéing onions, garlic and a bit of tomato paste, putting the chicken back in the pot, on top of the onions, adding a bit of broth and setting the pot timer to 20 minutes cooking.  Yep, that’s it.

Saute onions and garlic until soft.

Add tomato paste and broth to pot. Place a wire rack on top to hold the chicken.  You can add a bit of herb for additional flavors such as a sprig of thyme, oregano or rosemary. Just to kick it up a bit.

After removing the chicken (and fresh herb sprigs), use a hand blender to puree the onion-garlic mixture which becomes the luscious gravy-yum yum. The original recipe calls for thickening the sauce but I didn’t bother.  I wanted to dig in!  So delicious!!!!!

Dinner is served and definitely elevated my mood, happy, happy, happy.

NOM-NOM-licious Chicken and Gravy

Ingredients

  • Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
  • 1 (4-pound) organic chicken (a bigger chicken won’t fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot)
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons kosher salt (if using table salt, cut amount to 1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced (or use 1 yellow, 1 red)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 T water

Instructions

  • Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper all over the chicken, inside and out. Tuck the wings behind the back.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil to the pressure cooker, press “Sauté” function on your electric pressure cooker.
  • When the fat is shimmering, sear the chicken breast-side down in the center of the pot for approximately 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Flip the bird breast-side up. Cook for another 5 minutes or until browned on the back. Don’t worry if the skin sticks and tears—the skin won’t be crispy when you’re done cooking anyway. You’re just browning the skin to deepen the flavor of the gravy.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and add the remaining tablespoon of ghee or oil to the pot. Once it is heated, toss in the chopped onions, 6 garlic cloves, and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the sauté function. Pour in ½ cup broth, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add steamer insert to the bottom of the pressure cooker, and lay the bird on top of it, breast-side up. Cover and pressure-cook on high for 20 minutes).
  • Turn off the electric pressure cooker, and immediately release the pressure manually. Open the lid and transfer the chicken to a plate or carving board. Tent the cooked bird with foil, and rest it for 10 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the contents of the insert to make a smooth gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • If you want to thicken the gravy, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Then, turn on the sauté function and bring the contents to a simmer. Stir in the arrowroot powder slurry and cook until thickened.
  • Carve the chicken and top with gravy. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  • Make sure to have a ginormous bowl of rice or buttered noodles to serve along side..just for the extra gravy!
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!