Quick Comfort

My path to Christmas this year has been full of visits, events, and gatherings. It's been wonderful, but I'm really feeling ready for some nesting at home. And there seems no better way to do just that than enjoying comfort food around the table with my people. And that's even more wonderful when said comfort food is really simple to assemble:

What makes this particular dish simple is using a pressure cooker to cut down on a long simmer. After all, a lot of flavor is imparted during chili's traditional long cooking time, but you can get exactly that with less than a half hour of cooking when a pressure cooker is used. That thick, intense sauce is amplified and the chicken becomes tender, fall-apart morsels of delicious … all in about 20 minutes. When you first look at the ingredient list, items like raisins and peanut butter might have you raising your eyebrows, but trust me … this one's a keeper!

This dish is a meal in itself. Just grab bowls and, if you'd like, serve it over a bed of rice and under any number of toppings. Green onions, cilantro, diced pepper, cheese, sour cream, chunks of avocado, and more could help round out your dinner. Or, just spoon some into a bowl on its own, pour yourself a pint of your favorite beer, and dig in!

Pressure Cooker Chicken Mole Chili

  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 1 chile)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 4 lb. boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 15.5 oz. can black beans (optional)

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat. Add the chili powder, cocoa, garlic, diced chile, and cinnamon; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, raisins, and peanut butter and stir to combine with a spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth, about 30 seconds (or transfer mixture to a blender and puree then return to the pot if you don't have an immersion blender).

Add the chicken, onions, and black beans (if desired) to the pot with the pureed sauce. Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

When the dish is done cooking, release the pressure quickly using the quick-release valve. Once the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid directing any remaining steam away from you. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or bowl and cut or shred the meat. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine. Serve in bowls over rice (if desired) and topped with everything from grated cheese to sour cream to chopped red pepper and more.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes