Pressure cooking chicken, instead of grilling, frying or baking it, allows you to infuse the chicken with delicious aromatic flavors while retaining all the flavor of the chicken itself. After a few minutes in the pressure cooker, the chicken will be fully cooked, tender and delicious. As a bonus, you will end up with rich tasting chicken stock for gravy or to be used in the dehydration process.
Pressure cooked chicken before drying.
This page shows how to pressure cook chicken for use in meals or cold
salads. I then show how to dehydrate the chicken for use in backpacking
meals. The flavor and aroma of this pressure cooker chicken recipe is
wonderful and the tender cooked chicken pulls apart without a knife.
you dehydrate chicken, it does not completely rehydrate back to the
tender condition it was in before you dried it. Pressure cooked and
dried chicken will be chewy, comparable to dried canned chicken, but
much easier to chew than dried chicken that was cooked any other way.
When combined in a meal with rice and vegetables, the different textures
make the meal interesting.
Chicken Jerky Bonus: For a quick high-protein snack on the trail, this recipe makes a delicious and crunchy chicken jerky.
This pressure cooker chicken recipe is for approximately one pound +/- an ounce or two of chicken breast meat (approx. 500 grams).
Breast meat is low in fat which makes it better for storage than the fattier thighs and legs.
Let’s get started…
A Small Potato – The Secret Ingredient
When high-protein foods like meat or scrambled eggs are dehydrated, they lock up and don’t want to take back much water when you rehydrate them in a meal. Incorporating starch into the protein helps it rehydrate better. That’s why I add bread crumbs to my ground beef, and polenta to my scrambled eggs, before cooking and dehydrating.
Pressure Cook the Potato:
My Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker has two pressure settings, low and high, indicated by the red lines on the gauge at the top of the pot. The first red line pops up at low pressure and the second when high pressure is reached. I use high pressure for both the potato and the chicken.
Chicken breast meat cut crosswise into strips.
Cut the chicken into strips to open up more surface area for tenderizing and infusion of starch and flavors.
Tenderizing breaks down some of the cell walls in the protein which improves its ability to reabsorb water in a dehydrated meal.
Place chicken pieces between parchment paper and bang on them with a tenderizing mallet, or hammer, as shown. Go ahead… get out some of those aggressions. It will look like your hammer is going right through the meat, but it will still hold together while being thinner when you are done.
Mash the Potato
By now, the pressure cooker with the potato will have cooled. Remove the lid and mash the potato with a potato masher including all the liquid in the pot.
Add the hammered chicken to the pot.
Aromatic ingredients in the pot with the chicken and potato-thickened liquid.
After preparing the potato broth and chicken as previously described, add the rest of the ingredients to the pressure cooker and stir, pushing the herbs down into the liquid and distributing the lemon juice.
Pressure cook for ten minutes once high pressure is reached.
Set pot aside and allow pressure to release on its own rather than using a quick pressure release. It took ten minutes for the pressure to release from my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. Had I wanted a quick release, I would have simply pushed down on the gauge with a long spoon.
Pressure cooked chicken shown on Excalibur Dehydrator tray covered with Paraflexx sheet.
Remove meat from pressure cooker with tongs and pull apart into smaller pieces with fingers. Remove any ingredients that may have merged with the meat, but it doesn’t harm to leave a few bits of the herbs.
Spread meat out on dehydrator tray covered with non-stick sheet or fruit leather insert.
Spoon some of the flavorful liquid from the pressure cooker over the meat on the tray.
Dehydrate at 145°F (63°C) until completely dry, approximately 4.5 to 6 hours.
Store in an air-tight container for short-term storage of a week or two, vacuum seal for mid-term storage of a month or two, or freeze for long-term storage greater than a couple of months.
Dried pressure cooked chicken. Use in meals or eat it dry as crunchy chicken jerky.
My Swiss-made Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker.
Kuhn Rikon makes a highly regarded line of pressure cookers backed by a ten year warranty. I hope to visit the plant one day which is just a bicycle ride away from my home in Switzerland. Pressure cooking chicken is just one of its many uses. I will write more soon about pressure cooking beans and other foods that can be improved for backpacking meals.
Curry Chicken & Rice Recipe
Don't have a pressure cooker?