Cooking the chicken in a pressure cooker not only cuts down the cooking time considerably but locks in all of the moisture making for a perfectly cooked bone in chicken. This simple, any day of the week supper is insanely full of flavor from the blend of Jamaican All Spice and the bit of coconut oil used to make the sweet potato chips you'll think you've died and gone to a Jamaican Paradise Mon.
School is coming to a bitter sweet end and the little lambs are getting giddy with anticipation of summer time "Freedom!!" Such cute, naive little darlings. I know that they are secretly planning endless hours of video game playing and watching cartoons in their pajamas all day long, day after day but mommy has other, more constructive things in mind. I do work a few days a week and I'm sure Grandma will allow such laziness but I have been searching the Internet and beyond for fun things to do with the kiddos that don't involve them turning into zombies with XBox remotes dragging behind them.
It's not as easy as it sounds. Thank goodness we have a swimming pool so at the very least I can toss them in for an hour or two which is a sure fire way to wear them out but it never fails that by day 9 of that eagerly anticipated summer vacation all 3 of them are "BOOOORED!!"
Did I mention that we live in Phoenix, AZ? The Valley of the Sun. Where it gets inhumanly HOT in June, July & August to the point where you wait until sundown to venture out to get the mail. The inside of your car is a legitimate option for baking a pot roast and parks are completely abandoned. You can literally see the steam rising up from the basketball courts and hear the saguaro cacti gasping for air.
Luckily there are a handful of museums, puppet theaters and indoor basketball leagues that we can take sanctuary in for a few hours of air conditioned entertainment. That ought to keep the little darlings entertained through mid-June ......
We turn on the oven very seldomly during the summer here and I use my crock pot and especially my pressure cooker more often than not when it comes to dinner time. My (Kuhn Rikon) pressure cooker which I've had for 10+ years is my best friend year round but most especially during the long, hot summer days when the very last thing I feel like doing is cooking. Ice cream sandwiches for dinner anyone?
I know that I can throw a few bone in chicken quarters into my pressure cooker and in less than 15 minutes have dinner on the table. By using my Kitchen Aide slicer attachment, I have perfectly thin cut sweet potato slices ready to be turned into crispy potato chips. You know by now how much I love my veggies and that I am always brain storming as to what and how many vegetables I can throw into a dish without it becoming a giant mess of vegetables..... not that there's anything wrong with that.
Would you believe that my 5, 8 & 10 year olds actually do THE Happy Dance when they smell this cooking? Brussel sprouts and all, this dinner is pretty simple with minimal ingredients but the combined flavors are sweet, slightly spicy and savory all at the same time. You can't go wrong with Coconut baked Sweet Potato Chips!
I just couldn't get Brussels sprouts out of my head for these Jamaican Jerk Sweet Potato Nachos for some reason even though I debated back and forth on how blog worthy they would be. Honestly, they really made the dish especially sauteed in coconut oil and then quickly steamed in an Apple Cider Vinegar reduction. Next time I might even omit the chicken all together and use Brussels sprouts in it's place.
That's how I roll.
TIME 30-40 MINUTES SERVES 6
You Will Need
3 sweet potatoes (longer, thinner ones work best) peeled and ends chopped off
2 bone in thigh and leg chicken quarters
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1/4 cup water
1 pound small Brussels sprouts, *trimmed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Organic Coconut oil, divided
2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (I use Spice Island)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar1/4 cup water
Preheat your oven to 300F. Using either a mandolin, food processor or Kitchen Aide shredder attachment (which is what I always use) thinly slice your peeled sweet potatoes. Experiment with the thickness that you like, a thinner cut will result in a crispier chip. I like them a tad on the thicker side. The will need to bake for about 30 minutes, flip them over once and cook for another 30 minutes or until browned and crispy.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced sweet potatoes in 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil. Sprinkle with a bit of the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. Spread evenly on a stone baking sheet (a stone bar pan is your best friend when it comes to getting evenly cooked, golden brown and crispy vegetables.) Don't layer the potatoes or they will steam, not crisp!
Meanwhile, heat a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. After it is hot (4-5 minutes) place your chicken in it bone side down. Sprinkle generously with the seasoning. Let it brown for about 5 minutes, using tongs, carefully flip the chicken over so the meaty side is now down and sprinkle with remaining seasoning. Close the lid tightly on the pressure cooker, turn the heat up to high until you see the 2nd red ring on the gauge. Turn the heat down to low, 2-3 and set your timer for 12-15 minutes (if you're using frozen chicken it will take 5-7 minutes longer. Remove pressure cooker from the heat and let it cool naturally, about 10 minutes until the ring drops all the way.
Meanwhile, in a saute pan, over medium-high heat add a tablespoon coconut oil, let it heat for a minute or two then add *trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts. Toss to coat and saute about 5-7 minutes until browned. In a small cup combine 1/4 cup water w 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Add the mixture to the Brussels sprouts while scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Quickly cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and remove from heat.
Carefully, remove the lid from the pressure cooker, there will be very hot steam pouring out of it. Take the chicken out and cut into pieces, discard the bone or save for stock.
Layer the sweet potato chips with the cut up chicken, Brussels sprouts, chopped red bell pepper and green onion. Serve hot.
* Using a pairing knife, cut the ends off of the Brussle sprouts. This will let the outer few leaves fall off. Now simply cut them in half if they are smaller or in quarters if they are a bit larger. The larger they get, the more bitter.