Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore & Magically Increasing Liquid

pressure cooking school  Welcome to Pressure Cooking School!
 This article is part of Lesson 6: Marvelous Meats

EASY Chicken Cacciatore Recipe - pressure cooker

The liquid will appear to magically increase while pressure cooking this recipe, but – don’t worry – no one snuck into the pressure cooker to add more! Let me explain.

This recipe uses a lot less than the usual 1 1/2 cups of liquid, that’s because we’re calculating the juice that will be released by the chicken as part of the cooking liquid. By the time the liquid we do add in the pressure cooker starts boiling, the meat will begin releasing its own juice that the cooker can use to build and maintain pressure.

In fact, even though at the end of the recipe the liquid in the cooker appears to increase it’s just the juice from the ingredients that didn’t evaporate away – as they would have in conventional cooking.

No-liquid Pressure Cooker Recipes

So if meat releases so much liquid, wouldn’t it be better to just not add any at all?!?  In fact, some stovetop pressure cooker recipes do exactly that.  Let me explain why it’s not a good idea to follow these no-liquid-added recipes making the rounds in your electric pressure cooker.
  • Electrics require more liquid to build and maintain pressure than stovetops – mainly due to the type of valve being used.  So an electric pressure cooker won’t be able to start building pressure until more liquid is released.
  • The meat will be unevenly cooked – scorched (or burned) on the bottom and lightly steamed on top.
  • The scorching of the meat will encourage other ingredients to stick and burn to the base of the cooker – making a lot of clean-up, especially for those stainless steel liners!
  • Most importantly, the heating element could overheat and either shut down the cooker preemptively or, depending on the model, burn-out a fuse damaging the electric pressure cooker permanently.

So remember to always have a little bit of liquid in the cooker to get the steam-building process started and be aware that however much liquid you add, it will appear to have multiplied by the end of the recipe!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
4 L or larger none 10 min. High(2) Natural

4.5 from 4 reviews
EASY Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4-6 Servings
  • Serving size: ⅙th (about a drumstick plus sauce)
  • Calories: 193
  • TOTAL Fat: 10g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 7.5g
  • Sugar Carbs: 3.1g
  • Sodium: 655.1mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 1.5g
  • Protein: 17.4g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For an equally delicious alcohol-free recipe replace the wine and water with any kind of stock.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 to 8 bone-in chicken drumsticks (1½ to 2 pounds), or a mix of drumsticks and thighs
  • ¼ cup (60ml) red or white wine
  • ¾ cup (190 ml) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 springs fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 (14-ounce - 400g ) can whole stewed tomatoes in purée
  • ½ cup black olives (about 2.5 ounces), pitted
  1. Preheat the pressure cooker (by pressing brown/sauté mode).
  2. Add the olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides.
  3. Arrange in a somewhat even layer and then add the following ingredients: wine, water, salt, bay leaf, onion, garlic powder, thyme, and tomatoes. Do not stir.
  4. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  5. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  6. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural pressure release.
    Electric pressure cookers: Disengage the “keep warm” mode, or unplug the cooker, and open the lid when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down (about 15 minutes).
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes).
  7. Mix the contents well, remove, and discard the bay leaf and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes.
  8. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the chicken and tomatoes on a deep serving dish. Drizzle the chicken with cooking liquid and sprinkle with black olives and remaining herbs before serving.
  9. Save any extra cooking liquid to use in place of stock for a recipe, such as risotto.


CONTINUE to next lesson.

pressure cooking schoolCONTINUE Lesson 6: Marvelous Meats

EASY Chicken Cacciatore Recipe - pressure cookerEASY Chicken Cacciatore Recipe - pressure cooker