Eating Dora's wonderful BBQ Pulled Chicken, from the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, made me realise I haven't pulled enough chickens in my life. Whilst her version is rich, sweet and smoky, mine is designed to pack in a few more veggies and is decidedly toothsome in a savoury way since I've cut sweeteners out of my diet completely, including the starchy likes of sweet potatoes and plantain chips (boo). As much as I love them, it seems my gut has other ideas.
Did you know that the majority of nutrients can be found in a chicken's skin, fat, thighs, legs and wings and really not so much in the breast? I read that in Natasha Campbell-McBride's excellent "Put Your Heart in Your Mouth" recently and I'm telling you gone are the days when the boys in the house get the drummers and thighs, leaving us girls with the white meat. I'm not even sure how that happened in the first place but it was just the same when I as a child as I distinctly remembering my father carving a roast chicken and putting the leg (and thigh for that matter) on his own plate. Perhaps it's sexism haha ... maybe men have an innate sense that it is more macho to be chowing down paleolithic-style on a drumstick, whereas females are only good for a bit of breast (if you'll excuse the pun 😉 !).
I originally bought and used my Instant Pot with the sole intent of making broth - and it truly is a godsend for that. I mean, 90 minutes as opposed to 24 or even 48 hours on the stove and the olden days has just lost a contest. But now I'm making use of this wonder machine by cooking up stews and soups, and steaming my squashes in just a few minutes. How cool is that? And on the subject of cool, you can have this meal on the table in well under 30 minutes. Don't have an Instant Pot? Firstly, why on earth not? Secondly, not to worry, check out the instructions at the bottom of the page!
instant pot shredded chicken with tarragon and kale
Don't have an Instant Pot? Firstly, why on earth not? Secondly, not to worry, check out the instructions at the bottom of the page!
Print the recipe here
4-6 chicken thighs (1+3/4 lb/800g), bone in skin off
1 tbsp solid fat, such as lard
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 cup leftover chicken juice (see recipe) or bone broth
1 bunch lacinato kale, finely shredded
generous pinch sea salt
Put the chicken thighs into the pot of your Instant Pot, together with 1/2 cup water. Select manual (high pressure) and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the cooking time is up, force a release. Transfer the chicken to a warm bowl and pour the juices into a jug (there will be roughly 1+1/4 cups). Remove the bones from the thighs (save for making your next batch of broth) then, using a couple of forks, shred the meat and set to one side.
Wipe out the pot with kitchen paper and put back into the pressure cooker. Turn machine on to the sauté function. Add the fat and leeks, and cook for around 3-4 minutes until nearly softened. Tip in the dried herbs and garlic and cook a minute or two more. Now add the pumpkin, together with 1 cup of the liquid and stir to make a sauce. Bring up to a simmer then return the chicken to the pot, along with the kale and salt. Give it all a good mix and allow the chicken to reheat thoroughly and the kale to wilt down, but still retaining its colour. Add more liquid if needed, taste and add more salt if you like.
Serve over cauli rice or mash.
No Instant Pot? No worries!
Simply cook your chicken thighs in just the same way, only putting them into a lidded pan and simmering gently until done, around 20-25 minutes. Continue with the instructions above, using the same pan.
Looking for more recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less? Have a look at 30 MinuteMeals for the Paleo AIP ebook.