On the weekly planner for Tuscan Thursday (aka anything Italian) was my Nugget Chicken Cacciatore. It’s a favorite in our house. Naturally, I had done my shopping with that recipe in mind. But then a light came on . . .
Why not take my recipe and see what I can do with it using my Instant Pot? With a few modifications, it was delicious.
Before we get to the recipe, let me clear up some confusion. I know what you must be thinking – chicken quarters? How can chicken quarters be anything “Nugget”. Let me explain, the name refers to the Grocery Chain, Nugget Market, and not the size of the chicken. I got the original recipe from one of those recipe cards you see floating about in some stores. You know me, I did a little tweaking from the original, and here I am tweaking again.
Since I was pressure cooking the chicken, I used a whole lot less liquid, which resulted in a nice, somewhat thick sauce. I decided to put in more vegetables, and kiss it with some red pepper flakes for just a hint of heat. I love how tender, falling off the bone the Instant Pot cooks up everything. Even now, my mind is swirling with ideas – ribs, Chicken Adobo, stews. The list just goes on and on.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This was so easy. I am very pleased with my Instant Pot. If you don’t already have one, give it some serious thought. Mine has become a life saver, especially when I forget to start dinner as early as I should. That happens when I’m deeply involved in a project that requires some creative juices flowing. I don’t know about you, but when the mood to “create” strikes me, if I ignore it, it will ignore me. Creativity isn’t something that can be summoned. To be honest, I was in the middle of editing some photos when the timer reminding me to start supper sounded. I really didn’t want to stop, and that when I realized I have an Instant Pot in the kitchen. Sure, it was taking a chance, but life is full of taking chances. I’m so glad I did.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
Instant Pot Nugget Chicken Cacciatore
4 Chicken Quarters
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Yellow Squash
2 large Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Red Wine
28 oz Tomato Sauce
15 oz Diced Italian Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes or to taste
1 Bay Leaf
10 Basil Leaves
NOTE: You can sauté the chicken in the Instant Pot rather than a separate skillet. Mine warns of fire and suggests the pot be removed to cool before going on to the pressure-cook stage, so I went ahead and just used a skillet on the stove top. It was just easier.
Cut quarters at the joint, separating the leg from the thigh for 8 pieces of chicken. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Beginning with the thighs, brown chicken in the skillet for 5 minutes per side. Remove thighs, repeat with legs.
While the chicken is browning, dice the bell peppers and onions. Coin-cut the Zucchini and yellow Squash. Set the vegetables aside. Roughly chop the garlic. Set aside.
Once all the chicken is browned, place in the Instant Pot. Add wine, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes over the chicken in the pot. Season with Italian Seasoning and Red Pepper Flakes.
Place chopped vegetables into the pot. Top with a bay leaf.
Lock the lid into place, set for HIGH Pressure Cook for 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, shred the Basil Leaves and set aside. Once the chicken has cooked for the set amount of time, use the quick release to release the pressure in the pot.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot into a large serving bowl. Ladle the sauce and vegetables over the chicken. Garnish with shredded basil and serve.
This is delicious served along side a simple Linguine kissed with butter and a nice salad.