Episode 209: Instant Pot Chicken, What Makes a Meal, Miss Rachel’s Pantry

What does a meal have to have to count as “dinner”?


This week in food news, we take a look Bloomberg News’ recent story and infographic about how American food preferences have changed over the decades. One interesting tidbit is that coffee consumption peaked in the 1960s and never rebounded. Check the whole thing out right here.

What’s for dinner this week? Whole chicken in the Instant Pot. We love this method that leaves you with juicy flavorful meat (perfect for soups, stews, sandwiches and salads) and, even better, the richest chicken stock we’ve ever made. (If you want more of our Instant Pot tips and tricks check out special episode 172.)

We ask ourselves a big question–what makes something dinner? Is a sandwich dinner? What about sushi? How many elements do you need for something to be dinner? Is dinner for yourself different than what you’d consider dinner to serve to a guest?

Recently Joy and Marisa took a vegan cheese making class at Miss Rachel’s Pantry. We learned how to make dairy-free chevre, mozzarella, and an astonishingly simple (but delicious) ricotta. Not only did we have the chance to learn and practice new cooking skills, we had so much fun at Miss Rachel’s charming cooking and eating space.

What are we loving this week? Tempeh. It featured prominently in the Joy of Cooking recipe Joy made for the recent potluck, and she’s been enamored of it ever since.

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8 thoughts on “Episode 209: Instant Pot Chicken, What Makes a Meal, Miss Rachel’s Pantry”

  1. Your cheese making class sounds great. I do not live in the area. Are the recipes for the vegan cheeses available? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Ann! The cheese making classes wasn’t one we taught–it was one we took. So the recipes aren’t ours. We may be noodling around with some variations we can share later. Stay tuned.

  2. Love the podcast .just got an instapot as you raved about it .
    Everyone says the information with it is poor ,so, is there a cookbook that you would recommend.Melliss Clark?
    Thanks again ,sure wish I lived closer to you .
    We are on Vashon Island ,off the coast from Seattle

    1. Hi, Christine! Thanks so much for your kind words and your comments. Congrats on your shiny new Instant Pot! I’m actually working on a story about cooking with the instant pot and I’ve got a stack of the books on hand right now. Melissa Clark’s book is definitely worth having, but if you only get one I’d make it How to Instant Pot. I think it does the best job of not only providing recipes and techniques but giving a good overview of how to use all the bells and whistles. Have fun! Let us know what you make.

  3. Joy and Marisa – thanks for the IP chicken-cooking notes. I’ve had my IP for about a year, and the whole chicken continues to seem scary. Now I feel ready – but I have one question before jumping in: How did you season the chicken before cooking? (or, DID YOU season the chicken before cooking?) thank you! -L

    1. I just seasoned liberally with salt and I think Marisa did the same. There’s no need to dry brine or anything–the pressure drives the seasoning in. I think it’s better to program your IP on the longer end of the time range the first time. When I did it after this chat Marisa, after not doing it for kind of a long time, I set my timer for 25 minutes and it wasn’t quite done, much to my frustration. Next time I’ll do it for 30 or so minutes depending on the bird’s size. Good luck!

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