Pulled Chicken and Wilted Chard (Serves 1)
I published a Pulled Chicken and Wilted Greens recipe months ago, but am sharing a new one because my approach has developed. I’ve moved from adding a hint of spicy with red chili powder to a hint of sweetness with Chinese five spice powder. The difference is subtle, but I like it. I can’t explain why my tastes have changed.
I’ve also learned that when cooking a big pastured chicken, I need 60 minutes of pressured time to cook the bird to the point of the meat coming off the bone easily (I use a pressure cooker). Smaller, factory-farmed birds cook sufficiently in 30 minutes, but pastured chickens, which tend to be somewhat muscular, need more time.
Prep and cook time: 15 minutes
1 big bunch of fresh chard
Extra virgin olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice to sweeten)
Directions: Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Wait for oil to get hot and then add strips of chard. Use two forks to turn the greens to speed the wilting process. Season with a dusting of salt and garlic powder. Splash greens with apple cider vinegar. Greens wilt to no more than 10 percent of their fresh volume, so it takes a big mixing bowl full of fresh greens to create enough to fill a plate. When the chard is almost fully wilted, add a serving of chicken (recipe below) pulled into bite-size pieces on top of the greens so the chicken can heat through. Scatter a handful of dried cranberries on top of the greens and chicken and let the flavor of the greens, chicken, and dried cranberries blend. Transfer the food from the skillet to a plate and enjoy!
Notes: Dropping wet greens in a hot skillet makes hot oil jump and spit, so be careful. I found dropping enough to fill the skillet all at once helped because the greens themselves then functioned as a splatter screen.
Pulled Chicken (Serves 4-5)
Prep and Cook Time: 70-80 minutes
1 whole chicken (mine are typically 5 pounds)
Chinese five-spice powder
Directions: Remove chicken from packaging and giblets (package including the heart, liver, and neck) from the body cavity. Rinse and add the whole bird and the giblets to pressure cooker (alternate method noted below). Dust generously with salt, garlic powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and Chinese five-spice powder. The five spice adds a hint of exotic sweetness that I like. Add a little ground sage. Add enough water to submerge the chicken. In my case, that is about 12-15 cups. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 60 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the slow-release method to bring pressure down, and remove top. Remove chicken from pressure cooker with tongs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. If the chicken falls apart, remove the pieces as best you can with tongs and scoop the rest out with a slotted spoon. Leave the broth in the pot while you continue. Use a pair of tongs to separate the chicken from the bones and skin and transfer it to another large bowl. Once you have all the chicken separated, pull the chicken apart with a pair of forks.
Discard the bones and skin. Let the broth cool for 30 minutes to an hour and then transfer to an air-tight container.
Notes: You can boil a whole chicken in a Dutch oven or stockpot for 60-80 minutes and get about the same result as pressure cooking a whole bird 60 minutes. I prepare a whole chicken every week because I can think of so many things to do with pulled chicken and homemade broth.
You can make a tasty chicken broth soup with the whole batch or use it a cup at a time in recipes that need a little chicken flavor and moisture. I discard broth after a week because I am always making new and don’t bother to freeze it.
I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com (check it out in my “Store.”) After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!
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