Even though I love cooking, I don’t always have the time or energy to be in the kitchen for long time to prepare a meal. As a mom of two boys under five, I cherish those meals that seem like they took a lot of work but really didn’t. This chicken and winter vegetable curry recipe for the Instant Pot will make you life a little more efficient without cutting back on flavor.
Don’t have an Instant Pot? Don’t panic! This recipe can also be adapted for a slow cooker or even stovetop. Obviously the timing for these alternate methods will be different, but you will still end up with a steaming, flavorful bowl of chicken and winter vegetable curry to gather around at the table.
My boys (age two and almost four) have never been huge fans of chicken. They don’t even like the chicken tenders that seem to be on every children’s menu. I get it because neither am I. It is not the taste. For most of my teens and college years, all I ate was boneless, skinless chicken breast. I had a huge fear of fat so the chicken breast, being devoid of all fat (and FLAVOR!), felt safe. I would grill the chicken breast without any oil and eat it with some salsa. It is no wonder that I am not a fan of chicken any more.
Chicken breast can be cooked beautifully, but it is challenging. Thankfully, I now realize that there is much more flavor in the thigh meat as well. It is more forgiving. My boys also seem to tolerate dark meat more.
Enter the chicken and winter vegetable curry. It is a simple way to add a huge boost of flavor to the chicken. Most often I use a mixture of chicken breast and thigh meat. You decide on the cuts of chicken that you want to use for you family. The coconut milk and broth help to make the chicken delectably tender. The meat easily falls apart in the pressure cooker after it has cooked. This is why you can plop the whole chicken breast into the pot without any cutting necessary. Score! Who really likes to cut up raw chicken anyways?
Another hidden gem in this curry are the winter vegetables. As they cook, they almost disintegrate helping to thicken the sauce of the curry. The sweet potatoes add a lovely sweetness to the curry paste and ginger. While the cinnamon adds a warming spice to the chicken and winter vegetable curry, some heat would also work well. If you prefer some heat (I totally get ya!), then add a dash of cayenne or some red pepper flakes.
Also, you do not need to use a rainbow of sweet potatoes. I happened to have a few different varieties on hand so I went with it. If you prefer to have solid chunks of sweet potato, then cut them much larger. You could also consider adding them towards the end of cooking time. Let the pressure cooker do its thing for the 18 minutes and then slowly release its pressure over 15 minutes. Toss the sweet potatoes into the pot and then cook under pressure for another 5-7 minutes. This method will take more time, but will leave you intact potatoes.
With the help of a pressure cooker, this chicken and winter vegetable curry can be prepared in less than an hour. Whether it is lack of time or energy, you can take a break when you make this warming and satisfying meal. Make the bowls of curry look all fancy by adding some cilantro leaves and lightly toasted coconut. Shh, your family will think you slaved over it in the kitchen. Its simplicity will be our little secret. Wink Wink!
If you find yourself making this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out! Enjoy!
Chicken and Winter Vegetable Curry for Presssure Cooker
- 2 lbs chicken boneless and skinless (thigh, breast, or mix)
- 4 medium parsnips peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 medium carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and minced using zester
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- ½ c chicken broth
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Fresh cilantro roughly torn/chopped
- Dried unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
- Put onion and celery into pot of pressure cooker first.
- Layer chicken meat on top of celery and onion mixture. You do not need to cut the meat. Place in whole pieces of thighs and/or breast.
- Put the sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots on top of chicken.
- In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, salt, fresh ginger, curry paste and honey. Add in some of coconut milk and whisk until combined into a slurry like mixture. Add in remaining milk and pour into pressure cooker pot.
- Add in the chicken broth. Give everything a few stirs to ensure the sauce is mixed into ingredients at bottom of pot.
- Ensure Instant Pot lid is closed and sealed. Cook for 18 min at high pressure followed by natural release for 15 minutes. If you do quick release of pressure, it may cause the chicken to toughen up. Check manual of pressure cooker for more information on natural release of pressure.
- Once pressure is released, remove lid and add in lime juice and season with any addition salt and pepper.
- In small, dry sauté pan or in oven at low temperature, lightly toast coconut until golden. Stir and watch constantly as the coconut will quickly burn.
- Garnish each bowl of curry with torn cilantro leaves and some coconut.