As one of America's most trusted lifestyle experts, Martha Stewart knows a thing or two about making domestic bliss look effortless. Whether she's pairing wine and cheese or hosting Thanksgiving dinner, Stewart has a skill for making daunting culinary endeavors seem easy. Luckily, one of the kitchen appliances in Stewart's everyday cooking arsenal is probably sitting in your pantry too…We're talking, of course, about the pressure cooker.
Efficient and time-saving, the pressure cooker has amassed something of a cult following among time-crunched home cooks. Case in point: The multi-cooker has garnered 27,923 reviews (and counting) on Amazon along with an almost-perfect five-star rating. Really, it was only a matter of time before Stewart shared the pressure cooker recipes she swears by—and we're so glad she finally did. Keep scrolling for three quick pressure-cooker recipes straight from Martha Stewart's kitchen.
Cilantro Chicken and Rice
Cubanelle and serrano chiles bring a balance of mild sweetness and spicy heat to the Mexican-inspired meal. Blended with herbs and spices, they form a fragrant sauce that beautifully infuses the chicken as it pressure cooks. You can brighten the dish even further with a bit of grated fresh ginger or with tomatoes in summer (the amount of cooking liquid remains the same). Makes four to six servings.
1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
½ cup finely chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves
1 cubanelle or poblano chile, stemmed and seeded
1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, if desired
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin seeds
5 allspice berries or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ to 2 cups water
3 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
1½ cups long-grain rice
Lime wedges, for serving
In a blender, purée cilantro, onion, garlic, both chiles, oregano, cumin seeds, allspice, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and ½ cup water. Add enough water (remaining 1 to 1½ cups) to measure a total of 3 cups liquid. Transfer cilantro mixture to a 6-to 8-quart pressure cooker.
Stovetop: Add chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir to combine. Secure lid. Bring to high pressure over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, quickly release pressure, and remove the lid.
Electric: Add chicken, and bring to a boil using the sauté function. Add rice and stir to combine. Secure lid. Manually set the cooker to 15 minutes and let it come to pressure. Once the time is complete, turn off, quickly release pressure, and remove the lid.
Lentil and Arugula Salad
When using lentils (or any other legume), it's important to dress them while they are still warm, then let them stand for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. We also cooked the lentils with the aromatics for an extra hit of seasoning. We've chosen green (sometimes labeled "French") lentils for the pressure cooker because they stay firm even after cooking, unlike the more common (and delicate) brown variety, which can get too soft in the machine. Makes eight servings.
6 cups water
2 cups French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 ounces arugula
Combine the water, lentils, garlic, ginger, paprika, curry powder, and 2 teaspoons salt in a 6-to 8-quart pressure cooker.
Stovetop: Secure lid. Bring to high pressure over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from heat, quickly release pressure, then remove the lid.
Electric: Secure lid. Manually set the cooker to 8 minutes and let it come to pressure. Once the time is complete, turn off, quickly release pressure, then remove the lid.
Colombian Chicken and Potato Stew
This soup-stew (known as ajiaco) traditionally employs guasca, an aromatic herb native to Colombia, but cilantro makes a satisfying substitute. Small yellow potatoes, papas criollas, break down well during cooking to create an ultra-rich broth. If you have access to a Latin market, look for them. We used potatoes that are readily available: russet, a starchy potato that we grated to produce a silky broth, and Yukon Gold, a waxier potato that holds its shape for a nicely textured stew. If corn is in season, you can substitute fresh cobs, cut into 1-to 2-inch rounds, for the kernels. Makes six servings.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
5 cups chicken stock, homemade (see page 25) or store-bought
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 small bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
1 pound small yellow potatoes, such as baby Yukon Gold, scrubbed
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels, sliced off the cob, or frozen
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and chopped, for garnish
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
Melt butter in a 6-to 8-quart stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat, or in an electric pressure cooker set to sauté. Cook onion, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, chicken thighs and breasts, russet and yellow potatoes, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper.
Stovetop: Secure lid. Bring to high pressure over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, quickly release pressure, then remove lid. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly. Return cooker to medium heat.
Electric: Secure lid. Manually set cooker to 20 minutes and let it come to pressure. Once time is complete, turn off, quickly release pressure, then remove lid. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly. Set cooker to sauté.
Add corn, cream, and capers to pressure cooker, and bring to a simmer. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Recipes reprinted with permission from Martha Stewart's Pressure Cooker. Copyright © 2018 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Marcus Nilsson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.