PRESSURE COOKER LEMONGRASS + COCONUT CHICKEN
I’m currently on a mission to convert all my slow cooker recipes into pressure cooker ones mostly ’cause the Instant Pot rocks my socks off. I know I sound like a broken record, but an electric pressure cooker is a life-changing kitchen appliance. Whenever I come home with no plan for supper (a regrettably frequent occurrence at Chez Nom Nom Paleo), I know I can toss a few ingredients into the Instant Pot and dinner will magically cook itself while I hang out with the kids or take a much needed shower. In fact, I’m so enamored with pressure cooker dinners that I’ve hopped on Periscope a bunch of times to show you how I roll in my kitchen with my trusty Instant Pot. (For example, check out this video and this one. If you like the replays, follow me on the Periscope app so you can watch me cook live and ask questions!)
And now, by popular demand, I’m converting an old fave, Slow Cooker Lemongrass Coconut Chicken, into a quick and easy 30 minute meal. This Thai-inspired chicken stew is packed with my favorite flavors and it pairs perfectly with cauliflower rice and stir-fried bok choy. You’ll be amazed how just a little effort yields so much lip-smacking umami.
- 1 thick stalk fresh lemongrass, papery outer skins and rough bottom removed, trimmed to the bottom 5 inches
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (+¼ cup optional)
- 10 drumsticks, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice from 1 lime (optional)
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Meat pounder
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Blender or food processor
- Large bowl
- Instant Pot or other pressure cooker
Peel, trim, and smash the piece of lemongrass. (If you need to read up on cooking with lemongrass.)
Combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, coconut aminos, and five-spice powder into a blender or food processor.
(Note: a powerful blender or food processor is your best friend when it comes to prepping sauces and marinades.)
Pour in the coconut milk…
…and blitz until a smooth sauce forms.
If you haven’t ripped off the skin from the drumsticks, grab a paper towel and go to town. (You can leave the skin on if you’re feeling particularly lazy, but it’ll get kinda rubbery in the stew.)
Put the chicken drumsticks into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the chicken parts with the salt and pepper.
Plug in your Instant Pot and press the “Saute” button to heat up the insert. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, crank your burner to medium.)
Drop in a teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil. When it melts, add the sliced onions.
Stir-fry the onions until they’re translucent (3-5 minutes).
Add the drumsticks to the pot and pour the marinade on top.
Press the “Cancel/Warm” button on the Instant Pot and lock the lid with the top dial pointed towards the sealed position.
Press the “Poultry” button and walk away. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, lock the lid and increase the heat to high to bring the contents to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, decrease the heat to low or enough to maintain high pressure. Set a timer for 15 minutes as your chicken cooks under high pressure.)
When the stew finishes cooking, turn off the pressure heater (or turn off the heat) and release the pressure valve. Once the pressure drops, unlock the lid and taste for seasoning.
If needed, add a few splashes of fish sauce, a dash of salt, or a grind or two of black pepper.
Update: If you don’t mind dirtying your blender again, my pal Ben, gave me a great tip on how to get an extra creamy sauce at the end. When the stew is done cooking, remove the chicken and put the sauce and onions into a blender. Puree the sauce, and add ¼ cup more of coconut milk into the blender at the final moment. Put the sauce and chicken back into the cooker and keep warm.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Dig in!
Pro tip: You can make this dish ahead and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for a few months. When you’re ready to eat, simply re-heat the stew in a pot on the stove until it’s bubbly, and garnish with fresh herbs.
Hungry for more pressure cooker recipes? Check out My Top Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Recipes!
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my Webby Award-Winning iPhone® and iPad® app, and in my New York Times-bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).
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