One of the high points of my year so far was last week, when NPR included me in an article about busy parents getting food on the table. I’ve been listening to NPR since the 80’s – in fact, NPR helped kick off my food obsession by interviewing Barbara Kafka about her Roasting: A Simple Art cookbook, an ode to old school, high-heat roasting. I bought that book in 1997 on this newfangled website, Amazon.com, and it was all downhill from there.
I was going on (and on) about my favorite pressure cooker weeknight dinner, quick shredded meat for tacos. When the article came out, I squeed with joy…but then I saw the links they had back to my site. I realized I have a lot of fancy, authentic taco recipes on DadCooksDinner, but not the simple, weeknight recipes that I use, week in and week out.1
It’s time to make up for my oversight, starting with Tinga de Pollo – shredded chicken tacos. Now, these are a little fancy – see the notes for the ultimate stripped down version – but even with the extra work of sautéing an onion, they’re ready in about a half an hour from my pressure cooker. Even better, most of that time is hands-off, waiting for the pressure cooker finish cooking. That leaves me plenty of time to finish up the rest of the meal.
So, here it is, one of my weeknight go-to pressure cooker recipes. Enjoy!
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos (Tinga de Pollo)
- Pressure Cooker (I love my Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker)
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos (Tinga de Pollo) recipe. Quick weeknight shredded chicken tacos, ready in 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup beer (or water)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or a chili powder mix)
- 10- to 14.5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (get the “with chilies” style if you like it spicy)
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Shredded cabbage (or shredded lettuce, or baby greens)
- Pickled jalapeños (or sliced fresh jalapeños)
- Lime wedges
- (Plus your own favorite taco toppings)
- Sauté the onion and deglaze with the beer: Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the beer, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits of onion, then wait for the beer to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 more minutes.
- Add the chicken and tomatoes: Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and the ancho chile powder. Add the chicken and tomatoes to the pot, and stir to coat with the onions and garlic.
- Pressure cook the chicken: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring it to high pressure. Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes in an electric or stovetop PC, and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
- Shred the chicken and serve: Remove the chicken to a platter with a slotted spoon – it’s OK if you get some of the tomatoes. Shred the chicken using a pair of forks. Scoop as much of the tomatoes and onions from the pot as you can with a slotted spoon, and stir into the shredded chicken. Add a ladle or two of the liquid from the pot, just enough to moisten the chicken, and serve with the tortillas and accompaniments.
Ultra short-cut ingredients: Use 1/2 cup water, the chicken, salt, and replace the diced tomatoes with a jar of your favorite salsa. (It will already include sautéed onions and garlic.) Skip the sauté step, dump everything in the cooker, and follow the instructions starting with “Pressure cook the chicken…”
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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