Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) and Ultra Gel®? What a great combination! The Instant Pot relies on superheated steam to cook food quickly, which means there has to be a source of liquid. That means that there is usually a sauce or gravy as a part of the Instant Pot dish. But that raises the eternal question--if I don't like to make gravy ANYTIME, why would I like it any more with the Instant Pot? I mean, you still have to make a cornstarch slurry or flour thickening, and there's still the lump thing to worry about. . .
Ultra Gel® to the rescue! Because Ultra Gel can be poured directly into hot cooking liquid, it's incredibly easy to get a meal on the table quickly and without drama!
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a great choice for Instant Pot meals. Because dark meat has a higher fat content than breast, it's more forgiving and stays moist much more gracefully. Boneless, skinless thighs often need a little trimming, but don't get carried away--trim out the large fat globules, but don't worry too much about every piece of fat--much of it will cook out.
- 2 T. cooking oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 c. onion, large dice
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1/2 c. pineapple juice (I save this from a can of chunks when I drain them--freeze for later use)
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 5 T. brown sugar
- 2 T. Sriracha (this is pretty mild--add up to 2 T. more if desired)
- 2 T. hoisin sauce
- 6-8 T. Ultra Gel®
- Set the Instant Pot to the "Saute" function.
- Add the oil.
- When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs a few at a time to brown. For best flavor, don't crowd them. Remove to a plate when browned (the chicken will not be cooked at this point!) and add more pieces until all are browned and removed to the plate.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
- Add the chicken pieces back to the Instant Pot.
- Combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, and hoisin sauce in a cup, stirring until the brown sugar is largely dissolved, then pour the sauce over the chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Add the lid to the Instant Pot, close the steam valve and set to manual, pressure, high for 14 minutes
- When done, release the steam slowly, then lift the lid.
- Remove the chicken to the serving platter, and gradually stir in the Ultra Gel®, using a wire whisk, until the desired consistency.
- Pour the sauce over the thigh pieces, garnish with cilantro, and serve.
Start by browning the meat pieces on manual in the electric pressure cooker. You can add a little oil to the Instant Pot to keep the meat from sticking at first, but fat will begin to accumulate, so keep any added oil to a minimum. Brown both sides well, working in batches if necessary, then remove the meat to a plate. It won't be fully cooked at this point!
Add the onions to the fat and browned meat bits in the Instant Pot pan. Continue cooking on manual, stirring occasionally, until the onion pieces are translucent and tender.
Measure the pineapple juice into a measuring cup, then add the soy sauce.
Add the brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, and sriracha sauce to the pineapple juice/soy sauce mixture. Add the meat back to the Instant Pot pan and pour the sauce over all.
Add the lid to the Instant Pot, and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure, slowly, then remove the lid. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Stir the Ultra Gel into the remaining sauce gradually. Adjust to your desired thickness by adding a little more Ultra Gel if too thin, a little more liquid if the the sauce is too thick. Totally adjustable!! Add more Sriracha sauce to taste if desired.
Arrange the chicken pieces on a plate or serving tray with rice. Cover with the sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve!
The really good news is that Ultra Gel® thickened sauces refrigerate and freeze beautifully, providing a good meal for another day. It certainly makes it worth making a double batch for a future night off!!
There are some people who, looking at our fridge, think we get a little territorial about these "plan ahead" meals. I'm not sure exactly how they get this idea! But when you're competing with two other desk-jockeys for future lunches, everything is fair!
Quick, easy, and delicious! Plan to try it soon!!