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My wife has taught me many things, but few as mind-blowing and useful as this five ingredient, one pot, 30-minutes Colombian chicken stew with potatoes and tomatoes. It works like this: Add chicken, potatoes, fresh tomatoes, sliced onion, and bay leaves to a pressure cooker. Seal the lid and heat it. As the tomatoes and chicken heat, they give off liquid which in turn cooks the potatoes while the onions add flavor to the whole thing. Because the high heat of a pressure cooker cooks so efficiently, you end up with spoon-tender chicken and potatoes in an intensely flavored broth all in 30 minutes or less. How do you like that!
The concept of using minimal, but carefully selected ingredients and relying on the pressure cooker to extract flavor while cooking them was an intriguing one, so I decided to try my hand at coming up with a few more one-pot meals in a similar style, this time using a combination of chicken and various legumes. I came up with three final variations which I'll share over the next couple days. Each one of them provides dinner for four with inexpensive ingredients, a few minutes of actual labor, one pot on the stove, and all in between 30 to 45 minutes start to finish.
This version is a variation on a common theme: beans and smoked pork. As I discovered last year, black beans actually benefit from not soaking, which makes them an ideal candidate for a fast recipe like this. I start by sautéing some sliced smoked Andouille sausage in olive oil in my pressure cooker before adding some chopped onions and a big dash of cumin. Next, I add a can of diced Hatch chilies (regular diced green chilies will work fine if you can't find Hatch), my black beans, my chicken, some homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, and the stems from a small bunch of cilantro.
I seal it all up and bring it to high pressure. Since we're starting from raw dried beans, it takes a bit longer than the lentil version I wrote about yesterday. About 40 minutes on high pressure does the trick.
The chicken in this version ends up cooking to the point where it pretty much falls off the bone no matter what you do with it, so rather than trying to keep it in larger pieces, I decided to shred it before stirring it back into the finished pot.
A handful of chopped cilantro, some lime wedges, and a dollop of sour cream and you've got yourself one heck of a stew.
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