Monday, July 22, 2019

Brake, Mandarin, Dementia Group,

I finally got my emergency brake cable installed. Thank goodness that is all over and done with. Bob, who runs the Meineke where we take our car, was telling us all about the head on collision he was in 30 years ago. Some woman driver fell asleep at the wheel. Started off we were comparing backaches. He would appear to have had his a lot longer than I.

Received a letter from Mandarin. I have been taking part in their Mandarin Eats, giving opinions etc. and they have awarded me a free meal. Nice of them. Have arranged to go with a couple of friends.

I have finally got around to emailing a Dementia group who have informal gatherings every other Tuesday. They sent me the schedules etc. Apparently they expect you to take dessert now and again, not a dessert cook, but can do so I guess, and to help clear up. No can do, not fit enough. Only trouble is, I have arranged my shopping escorts for Tuesdays so will have to re-arrange it.

I had to talk to my IT provider the other day and mentioned about the hundreds of emails I get which I don't want. She said all of these companies had to have an unsubscribe link. I hadn't realised that, so I have been happily unsubbing all of the ones that come in. Trouble is I have forgotten which I have already done and some of them said it would take a while for it to go through. Oh well, I can wait a while.

I know I am always going on about the Instant Pot but I really think everyone should have one LOL. Not the first time, but I cooked my favourite sausage and peppers dish and then popped in a pot with rice to just do enough for the pair of us. So easy. Not only that I have discovered I can put 1/2 cup of Basmati in with 1 cup of water, cook it for 4 mins and allow it to sit for 10 mins and it is just the right amount for us. Meanwhile what I have also cooked is sitting with a lid on and keeping warm enough to eat when the rice is ready.

I joined another site which specialises in Instant Pot recipes and today I see they have a load of Chinese recipes. The site is Pressure Cook Recipes and they have a stack of them.

Instant Pot Chinese Chicken Stew

Make this Spicy Hot Xinjiang Classic Instant Pot Chinese Chicken Stew (Dapanji or Big Plate
Chicken; Chinese

1.5 lb (736g) chicken quarters , cut into pieces
2 (500g) medium potatoes , cut into large chunks
1 (200g) onion , roughly chopped
6 (20g) garlic cloves , crushed
1.5 Tbs (22.5g) tomato paste
½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock
1 (0.2g) bay leaf
6 (3g) dried red chili pepper
1.5 tsp (4g) sichuan pepper (Chinese: ??)
Half (2g) cinnamon stick
1 (1g) star anise
2 Tbs (36g) chili bean sauce (doubanjiang or Chinese: ???)
1 tsp (5g) sugar
1 (100 - 200g) green or/and red bell pepper
2 Tbs (30ml) regular soy sauce
1 Tbs (15ml) rice wine
2 Tbs (18g) cornstarch
3 Tbs (45ml) water

1. Marinate Chicken: Chop 1.5 - 2 lb chicken leg quarters into smaller pieces. In a mixing bowl, marinate chicken with 2 tbsp (30ml) regular soy sauce and 1 tbsp (15ml) rice wine for at least half an hour to up to 8 hours.

2. Toast Spices: Add 1 tbsp (15ml) peanut oil and 1 tsp (5ml) sesame oil in Instant Pot. Place 1 bay leaf, 6 dried red pepper, 1.5 tsp (4g) Sichuan pepper, half (2g) cinnamon stick, and 1 (1g) star anise in Instant Pot. Heat them up using the "Sauté More" function for roughly 3 minutes. The spices will slowly release their aroma.

3. Saute Onion and Garlic: Once the spices are fragrant and the oil starts to smoke, add in chopped onion and 6 crushed garlic cloves. Saute for roughly 2 minutes.

4. Saute Ingredients with Chili Bean Sauce: Add in marinated chicken and all the leftover marinade. Add in 2 tbsp (36g) chili bean sauce, 1.5 tbsp (22.5g) tomato paste, and 1 tsp (5g) sugar. Saute for roughly 3 minutes.

5. Pro Tip: If your Instant Pot is extra sensitive to the burn error, layer the tomato paste (without mixing it in) on top of everything right before pressure cooking.

6. Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock, then completely deglaze the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon.

7. Pressure Cook Chinese Chicken Stew: Add in potato chunks. Close the lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release. Remove the lid carefully.

8. Cook Bell Pepper: Add in 1 (100g - 200g) green or/and red bell pepper. Bring the Instant Pot to a boil using the "Saute Normal" function. Let the bell peppers cook for roughly 1 minute.

9. Thicken and Season Sauce: If you find the sauce too watery, you can thicken the sauce - mix 2 tbsp (18g) cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water in a small mixing bowl. Then, add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken the sauce until desired thickness (you don’t have to use all the thickener. Use according to your preferences). Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt if desired.

10. Serve Instant Pot Chinese Chicken Stew: Your deliciously spicy Chinese Chicken Stew (Dapanji) is ready to be served. Serve the Chinese Instant Pot Chicken Stew on a large tray, mixing bowl, or a large plate. Enjoy!~

Author: Amy and Jacky

Have a great day


  1. Tell me to bring dessert and everyone is getting Oreos. Just kidding. I can bake a cake from a mix like nobody's business.

  2. I was going to mention Duncan Hines cake mix and make cupcakes or Oreos...they are always good. I hope the group will help. It sounds like you are in love with your Instant Pot:)

    1. I hadn't thought of that at all Birgit. Never really used them except for one recipe. Don't make cakes these days.

      Yes, I am, I am amassing an amazing amount of recipes for it. It makes life so very easy.