My youngest and I invented a new thing in the Instant Pot last night (if it already exists, OK, but I didn’t know about it): taco fried rice! It was a “throw it all in and see what happens” dish, but here’s the basic recipe:
- 1 medium onion, medium dice (a little smaller than a dime, like you’d find in real fried rice)
- 1 can of corn kernels (I know, stick with me)
- 1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed (could have used 2, but I was only feeding 2 of us last night)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1lb ground beef (cubed chicken breast would work too)
- 2T vegetable oil
- 1T minced garlic
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- Turn instant pot on sauté while you dice your onion.
- Once it’s hot, put in the 2 tablespoons of oil and wait till it’s all shimmery and hot
- Throw in the onions and stir ’em around until they’re just starting to brown on the edges
- Strain the corn and throw it in too. Seriously, it was good. Stir it around for a minute, just to get it coated with the oil and heat it up a smidge.
- Throw in the minced garlic and stir it around a little. You should have the stuff for the next step ready because you don’t want the garlic to burn. 30 seconds, tops.
- Shake in some salt, cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. If I had to guess, there was probably a half a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon++ of chili powder and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Stir the spices in until the onions and corn are coated and you can really start the smell ’em.
- Put the rice in, stir it around until it’s fully coated in everything that starts to look less chalky white.
- Pour in the chicken stock, put on the lid, seal it up and hit the Rice button.
- While the rice is cooking, brown the ground beef. Spice how you would meat for tacos. If it’s not really lean, you’ll want to strain it before the next step. You’ll want to use your biggest sauté pan for this. You’ll see why in step 11!!
- When the rice is done, let it “release” for 5 minutes or so (if I rush it, my rice is always underdone, so I like giving it at least 5 minutes).
- Now… scoop the rice into the pan with the beef. Turn the heat up to medium-high-ish. If it’s dry, throw a little of your favorite salsa or picante sauce. Not a lot, maybe a teaspoon or two.
- Stir it all around until everything’s mixed and you start to get some rice kernels that are a little crunchy.
- Scoop it onto plates, or bowls and enjoy.
We had it with a little cheese and refried beans on the top, and it was pretty darn good.
We got an Instant Pot after Thanksgiving, and it’s probably the single greatest kitchen purchase I’ve ever made. We make dinner in it at least three times a week now.
My latest Instant Pot adventure is an attempt to cure my cold with chicken stock. I took what I liked from the Hainanese Chicken (garlic, ginger and green onions) and combined with with a classic chicken stock recipe (onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves) and ended up with a delicious delicious monster.
This cold doesn’t stand a chance.
Here’s the approximate recipe:
- 1 small whole roaster, quartered (or you can just throw in some backs and thighs).
- 2 large onions, quartered, also take the backbone out separately
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 4 celery ribs, sliced
- 5-6 green onions, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3″ finger of ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- a bunch of black pepper (6-7 turns of our big grinder or, I don’t know, a dozen whole peppercorns)
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped (I forgot about that… I had some, so I threw it in)
- Turn your Instant Pot on Saute
- Throw in the bacon and stir it around until it’s rendered out a bunch of oil. I also threw in the backbone here to render out some chicken fat just for fun.
- Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir until you can really smell them (you don’t want them to burn)
- Cancel the saute.
- Throw in all the veggies
- This is the tricky part… it took a little fiddling to fit all the chicken in, but you can do it! I laid the leg quarters next to each other and then the breast pieces fit in along the sides. You might need to squish the veggies down. Or, it might work better to put the chicken on the bottom and the veggies on top. I don’t know. Do whatever works for you.
- Pour in enough water to get to the Max line (but not over, seriously, the Instant Pot gods will be angry)
- Put the lid on, seal it up, hit the Soup button and then set the time to 60 minutes.
- Let it naturally release (don’t go in and flip the vent thingy as soon as it beeps). That full, it’ll take at least 20 minutes and mine took 40.
- Pull out the chicken and then strain everything else through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
I served mine with just the shredded chicken and some rice noodles. The veggies from the pot were all pretty obliterated and mushy, so I didn’t want them. But, they were tasty, so that’s up to you.
I thought of it more like ramen broth where I’m adding it to pre-cooked noodles, meat and other veggies. And it was tasty, so I don’t think I was wrong.