If you are looking for a super quick and easy weeknight chicken recipe that is packed with South American flavours, is low in fat, low in carb and loaded with vegetables and lean protein, this is the 10-minute Mexican chicken recipe made in a pressure cooker is just for you. I’ve read that you can cook the chicken breasts from frozen too and I can totally see this being a lifesaver in the future. You just need to add an extra 2 minutes onto the cooking time.
I’m super bad at planning my meals in advance because as I live alone so I generally just wing it. This often (and I mean all the time) results in me getting to 6pm with no thought given to what I’m eating for dinner. It also means that my suppers are often a nutrition fail as invariably I’ll forage something out the freezer and just settle on that. I am however turning over a new leaf or at least trying to, and have embarked on a healthier eating regime in my house. This involves better planning (it really has to) and some creativity into eating something delicious that is also healthy.
This recipe serves four, so for me, it means two meals off the pot and another two in the freezer for future (healthier) foraging. It’s also a delicious recipe to add things to or eat on a potato or with rice. I love to add a few garnishes because as a textural eater, I love contrasting hot/cold and raw / and cooked textures and I can happily munch my way through bunches of coriander stalks and all. If I was feeling indulgent and not caring about my expanded waistline I would serve this with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese and a few corn chips for crunch. But alas, times are tough, so I opted for avocado which gives it a superfood boost and creamy texture, fresh tomatoes, sliced spring onions and fresh coriander/ cilantro. I also added chopped up fresh jalapeno because I love the fresh but mild heat it adds to this dish.
The chicken takes 8 minutes to cook in the sauce in the pressure cooker and apart from chopping a few things and opening 2 cans, supper can be done in 15 minutes. So with frying the onion and peppers in the beginning plus the pressure cooker cooking time. This is really a 10-minute meal. If you have been following my blog recently you will see I have posted quite a few recipes made in my pressure cooker. It’s my favourite new appliance and has been a lifesaver this winter.
I constantly crave Mexican or South American flavours so for the is a recipe I’ve added a cheat ingredient which I rarely do around these parts. I’ve used a taco seasoning mix because it’s so simple and there are few that are readily available. I’ve added additional cumin because I love the earthy flavour it adds and extra chilli – in this case, chipotle in adobo sauce because I ADORE the smoky taste so much. You can sub this for any other chilli of your choice: fresh, dried flakes or chilli powder.
Oh, and if you are looking to buy a pressure cooker in SA, check out the range on Takealot.com. This particular post is not sponsored by the way, but it would be silly not to remind you that you can also win one of 3 x R500 gift vouchers if you leave a comment on my pear and apple cake post (which was sponsored). So clickety click.
A few tips to consider when buying and using a pressure cooker for the first time:
- Whether you are buying a stovetop of the free-standing pressure cooker, don’t get one smaller than a 6 litre capacity. It becomes impractical to cook very small quantities. My advice would be to go one size up from that for a general all-purpose appliance.
- If you have enough space to store a pressure cooker on a counter top, a free-standing one is easier to control the temperature and you will get more consistent results. There is no risk of overcooking or burning your food as everything is automated.
- A stovetop pressure cooker is also fantastic but just be careful to adjust the heat once the pressure has been achieved to avoid food burning, especially if you are cooking with gas. The pressure cooker requires high heat initially to reach pressure but can cook for the remaining time over a low heat. You need to get the heat adjustment right. Start on high and end on low.
- Modern pressure cookers come with safety features so you will need to read the manufacturers instructions very carefully. This can be a little daunting at first but once you have figured out the basics, you will be using your pressure cooker all the time.
- Always add the minimum amount of liquid to a pressure cooker and the general rule of thumb is one cup (250ml). Check the instruction for the pressure cooker and your recipe to ensure that you don’t add too much or too little. Pressure cookers work with steam so in general, they require less cooking liquid than conventional cooking techniques.
- Never fill your pressure cooker over the maximum line on the appliance, which will be 2 /3 full. Also don’t pack the food too tightly in the pressure cooker as this could cause the appliance to malfunction.
- Ensure that the food that you cook in a pressure cooker is pretty evenly sized, especially with meat. Cut the meat into similar sizes to get an even cooking result.
- If you have ingredients in your recipe that cook at different times, you can interrupt the cooking at whatever stage you need to. Use the quick release method to stop the cooking process to add your ingredients that require less time to cook. Bring the pressure cooker back up to pressure and continue until done.
- You have two choices on how to release the pressure cooker so check the recipe instructions. It will either be via quick release or fast release method. Be very mindful when you are releasing the pressure quickly as a lot of steam escapes at speed and you could easily burn.
- Timing is very important in pressure-cooking and a few minutes can over cook your food. Read the recipe carefully.
Recipe – 10 minute Mexican chicken in a pressure cooker – serves 4
- 2Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning spice or another Mexican spice blend
- 1 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce / or 1 tsp chilli powder / or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes / or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chilli
- 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1 tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 x chicken stock cup or 1 tsp chicken stock powder
- 4 free-range chicken breasts
- Salt & pepper
- Garnish your chicken chilli with any of these:
- Fresh coriander, chopped avocado, chopped fresh tomato, sliced spring onions, sliced jalapeño chilli, lime juice, grated cheese, sour cream, corn chips etc
Heat your pressure cooker on a medium flame and add the oil. Fry the onion gently for 2 minutes until it softens. Add the chopped peppers and garlic and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chilli and other spices and cook for a further minute.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and kidney beans and then rinse out the tin of tomatoes with half a tin or half a cup of boiling water and the 1 tsp of stock powder or the stock cube. Add this to the pot.
Add the chicken breasts and ensure they are submerged in the sauce.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker properly and bring it up to pressure. When it’s reached its pressure seal turn down heat to a low setting and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to release the pressure naturally.
Serve with accompaniments of your choice.
If you are looking for a vegetarian / vegan chilli recipe with sweet potatoes made in both a pressure cooker and a slow cooker, you can find the recipe here:
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