While this old-fashioned country recipe traditionally uses an entire chicken—preferably a tough old bird—here I use chicken thighs, which braise beautifully in the pressure cooker. For the braising liquid, I like to use an inexpensive (don’t spend more than $10), medium-bodied red wine like a Beaujolais Villages. Buttered broad noodles are a traditional accompaniment.
or 4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces / 85 grams), cut crosswise into ½-inch (1.25 cm) lardons
bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 5 ounces (140 grams) each, trimmed of excess fat
(250 ml) red wine, such as Beaujolais Villages
garlic cloves, minced
fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
(45 grams) unsalted butter
(250 grams) button mushrooms, quartered if large
to ½ cup (60 to 120 ml) low-sodium chicken stock (optional)
Buttered broad noodles, for serving
In This Recipe
Using the Sauté function, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the pressure cooker. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. You should have about 3 tablespoons of rendered fat left in the pressure cooker—if necessary, add an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Dry the chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels and add them to the pressure cooker. (You may need to do this in batches.) Cook until golden on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Turn off the Sauté function.
Add the wine and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Return the bacon and the chicken thighs to the pot, along with any juices from the plate, arranging the chicken skin-side down to absorb more color from the wine. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, in a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of the butter over medium-high heat until foamy. When the foam has started to subside, add the mushrooms and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, mash the flour into the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) butter until it forms a smooth paste (this is the beurre manié).
When the chicken has finished cooking, manually release the steam. Transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving the liquid in the pot. Discard the bay leaf.
Using the Sauté function, bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. With a wire whisk, beat in the beurre manié until the sauce becomes glossy and coats the back of a spoon. If the sauce becomes too thick, add the stock, starting with 1 tablespoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as desired.
Return the chicken, along with any juices from the plate, and mushrooms to the pressure cooker and heat them through in the sauce. Serve with buttered broad noodles.
BEURRE MANIÉ: Sauces are one of the pressure cooker’s weak points, as liquid cannot evaporate and reduce while it is sealed. Flour or other starch added to the pressure cooker before sealing could burn on the bottom or clog the vent holes. Given these factors, the sauce of a dish braised in the pressure cooker is thin. It’s up to you, then, to thicken it.
A classic beurre manié—or “kneaded butter”—is the perfect solution. Composed of equal parts flour and butter that have been mashed together, the paste is whisked into hot braising liquid at the end of the cooking time, turning the sauce thick and glossy, without lumps.
Beurre manié is extremely easy to make—just use a fork to mash butter and flour together on a plate. But to save time, you can prepare a large quantity in the food processor. Divide it into 1-tablespoon portions and store them in the freezer. When you need to thicken a sauce, simply throw a frozen lump into your boiling braising liquid and whisk away.
A proud Southern California native, Ann currently lives in Paris and Washington DC (and moves all the time thanks to her husband's diplomatic career). Ann's cookbook, Instantly French, is the first French cookbook for the electric pressure cooker. Her new novel, The Lost Vintage, is in stores now.