Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
The Instant Pot renders chicken thighs fall apart-tender and slender Japanese eggplant deliciously custard-like in just 12 minutes under high pressure. As an added bonus, protein and lysine-rich quinoa can be cooked at the same time using the “pot-in-pot” method. You’ll need a tall trivet and 6-cup (1.4L) baking dish that fits inside the pot to cook the quinoa above the chicken mixture; they’re available online.
Instant Pot Ginger Chicken and Eggplant on Quinoa
- 1 tablespoon safflower oil
- 1 pound (454g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat discarded, meat cut into 1/2-inch (1.3cm) strips
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60ml) chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chile garlic sauce)
- 1 large Japanese eggplant, cut crosswise into large (2-inch/5cm) lengths
- 3/4 cup (135g) dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 dash salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (10g) basil leaves, torn
Place the oil in an electric pressure cooker, select sauté and adjust to high heat. When the oil is hot, add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 20 seconds. Press cancel. Add the broth, soy sauce and sambal oelek, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pot.
Add the eggplant on top of the chicken but don’t stir. Put a tall trivet (the legs should be at least 1 3/4 inches/4.4cm high) in the pot over the chicken and eggplant.
In a heat-proof baking dish or bowl, combine the quinoa with 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (192ml) water and a dash of salt. Cover tightly with foil and place on the trivet in the pot.
Lock on the lid, turn the valve to “sealing,” select the pressure cook (or manual) function, adjust to high pressure, and set the timer for 12 minutes. When the time is up, quick-release the pressure and remove the lid. Remove the baking dish and trivet. Discard foil and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl. Select sauté, adjust to medium heat, and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Simmer, stirring gently with a rubber spatula, until the sauce has thickened, 1 minute. Sprinkle with the basil and serve with the quinoa.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 cup (227g) chicken-eggplant mixture and 2/3 cup (85g) quinoa
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 488; Total Fat: 28g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 127mg; Sodium: 564mg; Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 33g