Pressure Cooker Chicken Thighs - A Delicious Experiment! - Pressure Cooker Cooking Blog at - 249911

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Thighs - a delicious experiment! 
Sep. 12, 2011 8:19 pm 
Updated: Oct. 30, 2013 11:28 pm
Today's  pressure cooker (PC) experiment was conducted on seven chicken thighs, cooked in their own broth. During the course of this experiment, I screwed up a few times, but the result was as good as I expected, yielding an exceptionally flavorful gravy (or "broth").
To start, I lightly browned the thighs in a peanut oil coated pan. When done, I put the thighs into my PC, sans steamer basket.
Next, I browned a large, chopped, sweet onion and carrot stick in the chicken fat that was rendered during the meat browning process. Once everything turned golden, I added 2 cups of water to the vegetables, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of sugar (why not?), stirred everything, then dumped the mixture into the PC on top of the chicken.
Last, I diced two,  large, round potatoes (unpeeled), placed them on top of all the ingredients, and shut the lid. For very thick broth, add more potatoes. Here is where my PC talent gets shaky.
Before my stove-top Fagor pressure cooker gets to pressure, steam escapes from the top of its handle. Unfortunately, I do not know how much steam should escape before the lid is sealed, so consequently, I watched it nervously. Finally, I shook the pan a bit and the indicator popped up.
At high pressure, the chicken was "scheduled" to be done in 15 minutes; 20 at the most. I decided to quick release the pressure at 15 minutes to check the chicken's progress. That quick release method, unfortunately, releases steam like water from a fire hose, so to protect my kitchen cabinets, I defuse the steam by hooding a light-weight, damp kitchen cloth over the release valve.
Everything was done to perfection, but I started to screw up in earnest when I decided to re-pressurize the pot for another 5 minutes. I forgot to lock the handle. This resulted in lots of steam coming out of the handle, which worried me mightily. Once I corrected that mistake, I committed my next one. After the PC re-gained its pressure, I quickly lowered the heat in order to maintain pressure. When I returned five minutes later, I discovered that the pot had no pressure.
Very worried. I immediately Googled my question and found an informative article on, entitled "Fagor Splendid Pressure Cooker." Here I learned that one should never quickly lower the heat; gradual heat reduction to maintain pressure is the ticket. None of the "how to" articles, unfortunately,  discuss what to look for when gradually lowering the heat, so I still have questions (hello, Fagor).

. . . my chicken, however, came out exactly the way I wanted it to. The potato-based gravy (rich in chicken fat) was spectacular!

NOTE: I follow Jewish mother advice about the medicinal value of leaving chicken fat in soup and/or gravy. Chicken thighs produce the most fat, which, in turn, imparts the most flavor.


♥ #1: The ingredients included 7 chicken thighs, browned; a large, sweet onion and a large carrot, chopped and fried in the resulting chicken fat; 2 cups of water; and 2 large, round potatoes diced (with skin on), placed on top of the mixture once it was in the PC.
♥ #2: Steam comes out of the top of the handle before the Fagor pressure cooker seals. If you forget to lock the handle, like I did, a *lot* of steam will come out, a sure signal that you did something wrong.
#3: When cooking meat, a pressure cooker's fast release sprays a lot of dirty steam that makes a mess. To redirect the steam's travel, I lightly hood a damp, light-weight cloth over the top of the PC. This does not interfere with the amount of steam released, but it does help to keep the surrounding area clean as the cloth partially absorbs what is being sprayed. The cloth does get hot, so handle it with a tongs. As with handling any pots on a multi-burner stove, turn off all heat/flames when reaching across burners or doing operations such as this. NOTE: The issue of dirty steam will be addressed in future post. Hopefully, I'll come up with additional ways to deal with the problem.
♥ #4: This photo shows the finished chicken that was pressure cooked in its broth.
♥ #5: I prefer to slide the chicken skin off after the cooking process is done. (Raw chicken skin, when thrown in the garbage, can smell quite bad in no time at all, while cooked chicken skin does not do that...something to think about if you live in an apartment with a common, indoor garbage area.)
♥ #6: The potato included during the cooking process naturally thickened the broth. While I could have left the broth "as is," with small veggie chunks, I chose to use a stick blender to puree the broth to about 90%. To use a stick blender when the broth is hot, place it flat down on the bottom of the pan and pulse. Do not pick it up while pulsing, or tip it because the hot liquid will splatter. Best practices dictate that you wait until the broth cools before blending.
#1: Ingredients added to the PC, with diced potatoes on top.
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Prior to pressurizing, steam comes out of a relief valve near the pressure gage.
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#3: Drape a damp, cloth over the steam valve during a fast release to keep cabinets clean.
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#4: Finished pressure cooker chicken stewed in its rich broth.
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#5: Skin about to be easily removed from the cooked chicken.
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#6: Blend the resulting cooled chicken broth with a stick blender.
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Sep. 16, 2011 11:25 pm
Congratulations on your pressure cooker blog, but I'm sorry you hare giving very unsafe advice here. NEVER place any flammable materials on or near your pressure cooker (stovtop or electric). NEVER obstruct the pressure cooker valve during pressure release. If pressure release is steaming up your kitchen, turn the exhaust fan to the max, release it near a window or use the cold-water quick release. Thank you, Laura - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time
Sep. 17, 2011 11:19 am
It's good you love your pressure cooking. May I assume, since you needed to "Google" your brand of pressure cooker, that you do not have an owners' manual? Please review how to work your pressure cooker. I wouldn't want you to get hurt.
Sep. 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Hi all - I agree that the fast release should never be obstructed and I certainly do not do that. (Let me know where it appears that I advise obstructing the release and I'll certainly edit that!) A damp, light-weight cloth placed over the pressure cooker's lid does not obstruct the release. It redirects the steam (which contains oil) from shooting straight out toward a wall downwards to a surface that can manage a small mess. Holding a pot lid draped with a damp cloth as a shield in front of the steam accomplishes the same thing (I'll demo in a future article). The issue isn't that the cooker steams up the room, but that the steam is not clean and makes a mess. With respect to the owner's manual (Fagor Dual, 6 quart) and related video, it is to-the-point. It doesn't go into detail about what happens if you make a mistake. Pictures showing mistakes would greatly improve it. IMHO, the very best video on the web about pressure cooking, in fact, was done by a guy who forgot that he was cooking, returned to his PC late, only to find that his the bottom of his rice burned!
Sep. 17, 2011 5:50 pm
I edited point #3 as to the purpose of placing a damp, light-weight cloth on the pressure cooker's lid that hopefully makes more sense to everyone. Thanks for your comments!
Aluminium Cookers 
Oct. 30, 2013 11:28 pm
Hello, I am living in India and looking a aluminium pressure cooker that suits my kitchen requirement. Please suggest me which cookware brand I go for and please also suggest me should I choose hard anodized cooker or aluminium cookers. It would be a great help to me. Thanks in advance.
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Weehawken, New Jersey, USA

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Cooking Interests
Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

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About Me
My name is Karen Little. I'm a travel writer (see and adult kick scooter evangelist ( My current love is going sightseeing around the USA on my trusty kick scooter and encouraging others to do the same!
My favorite things to cook
I became a vegan (vegetarian) in January 2011, then switched to being a modified vegetarian in August. While I still primarily eat vegetarian meals, I now eat meat a few times a week. That said, I enjoy vegetable and grain-based meals very much. They are great on the tummy as well as the budget.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom's favorite dishes included hotdogs, baloney, and undercooked chicken. My mother-in-law's favorite dish was pot roast. As I grew older, my favorite foods were all served in fast-food restaurants. I now live somewhat near "Carlos Bakery" (owned by "The Cake Boss") in Hoboken, NJ. I would regularly buy Bear Claws there, but can't because of all the tourists vying to get in front of me. TIP: If you can actually get in Carlos Bakery, make sure you leave with a box full of fresh Bear Claws.
My cooking triumphs
I am currently excited about using a pressure cooker.
My cooking tragedies
Happily, I don't have any tragedies, but you never know what Anthony Bourdain would say about my culinary skills. Then again, considering the types of things he eats from street vendors, maybe he'd be really pleased.
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