Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpeas (adapted from Serious Eats)

Note: this recipe is adapted from Serious Eats 30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo Recipe to better suit an Australian audience on a budget using the Phillips All-In-One Cooker. Budget and grocery shopping notes are in italics.

Total cost for six serves: approximately $19 (not counting vegetable and carb sides), or $3.17 per serve.


  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Two chorizo sausages
  • Two medium-sized brown onions
  • Tablespoon of paprika
  • Tablespoon of dried chilli flakes
  • Drop of liquid smoke
  • Two cans of chickpeas
  • Two cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1kg of chicken pieces
  • 350ml of chicken stock
  • Half a lemon
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Slice the chorizo into thin slices.
You can buy chorizo on half-price sale at least once every two months at either Coles or Woolworths. When they go on sale, I’ll usually buy a dozen and freeze them to use over the coming weeks. This takes the cost down to $1.50 per chorizo, rather than $3 per chorizo.

Set your pressure cooker to Sauté/Sear – High Temp for two minutes. Heat up the olive oil in the pot, and leave the chorizo in to fry until slightly crispy.

Slice the onion into thin slices, and add to the pressure cooker. Add another three minutes to the Sauté/Sear – High Temp mode.

After three minutes, add the washed and rinsed chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock and stir.
Canned goods like chickpeas and diced tomatoes go on sale regularly, it’s worth stocking up when they hit about $1 a can. Alternatively, you can buy them for about 90c a can regularly at Aldi. You can also make your own chicken stock to save money, or buy it from Aldi for about $2 for a litre. 

Add the paprika, dried chilli flakes, and a drop of liquid smoke. 
The original recipe calls for fire-roasted tomatoes – as that’s a bit harder to find in Australia for a good price, I added a drop of Tone’s Liquid Smoke instead. You only need a single drop or two for it to add a wonderful smokey flavour to whatever you’re cooking. A $6.99 bottle can last you an entire six months because you use it so sparingly!

Add 1kg of chicken pieces, and close the pressure cooker. Set it to Manual Pressure Cooker mode for twenty minutes. 
The original recipe calls for an entire chicken cut into pieces – that’s a bit too fiddly for me, so I used 1kg of chicken thigh cutlets (six cutlets in total) instead. This was $8.50/kg, but you could go even more budget and opt for chicken drumsticks, wings or maryland (ranges from $3.50/kg – $6/kg).

While the pressure cooker is doing its thing, prepare your sides. I like to just steam up whatever veggies are on special that week – green beans, asparagus, broccoli, etc., or you can prepare a simple salad instead. You’ll also want some carbs to soak up the yummy sauce – rice, cous cous, or use spaghetti as I did as I had an unused half pack. 

Release the pressure in the pressure cooker, and open the lid. Keep it on a high temperature (back to Sauté/Sear – High Temp Mode) and stir until the sauce thickens up. 

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the pot, and more salt and pepper to taste if needed. 
The recipe calls for sherry vinegar to taste, but I’ve substituted with lemon juice. I don’t know about you, but sherry vinegar isn’t an ingredient that I cook with regularly, so lemons off the neighbour’s tree is my preference!

Serve topped with parsley in bowls on top of your carb base, with veggies on the side.

Belle’s Hot Chicken “All the Chickens After Party” for Good Food Month

In a continuation of my birthday celebrations, K booked seats for us to dine at Belle’s Hot Chicken in Richmond for their special ‘All the Chickens Afterparty’ event held during Good Food Month. Now don’t be too impressed by his initiative – he only booked the tickets after I sent him a link to an article about the event in a spectacularly unsubtle manner! 

The reason we were particularly keen to go to this event is because a series of random events have conspired over time to prevent us from going to Belle’s. We’ve tried to make plans for dinner at Belle’s numerous times, yet something always seems to pop up at the last minute to prevent us going. Not this time though!


This sold-out fried chicken five course degustation event was designed by head chef Morgan McGlone as a tribute to some of his favourite fried chicken dishes from around the world. Naturally, the majority of them are inspired by various American joints.

For the reader’s information, I’ve included Morgan’s descriptions from the menu in this blog entry in all italics after the photo of each course. I found the descriptions and explanations particularly useful in understanding his motivation for including particular dishes – whether it was motivated by personal nostalgia or pure reverence for the dish.

House Made Sweet Mint Tea ($6) and Country Time Lemonade with Melbourne Moonshine, $11

We started with a drink each – eating five courses of fried chicken is thirsty work! I went for a refreshing House Made Sweet Mint Tea with a squeeze of lemon for a slight tangy twist, and K opted for their Country Time Lemonade with Melbourne Moonshine. I found the Melbourne Moonshine mix a bit too strong for my liking, but K enjoyed it with the strong lemonade.

Buffalo Chicken Ribs, Blue Cheese and Celery
Buffalo Chicken Ribs, Blue Cheese and Celery – Batters Box, Nashville TN

Batters Box is my favourite dive bar in the world. It was the bar that was closest to Husk in Nashville where we (line cooks and I) would go after service and talk about how much we hate our jobs and how tomorrow we are going to go right back to work. They serve the most insane buffalo wings there with a store bought blue cheese dressing. Tonight we are giving you the same style Buffalo Wings but we make the dressing here.

The first course was made of one of my favourite combinations – Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese. Honestly, blue cheese with spicy fried chicken is one of the best combinations in the food world. However in this case, I would almost say that the standout element wasn’t the chicken or the blue cheese dressing, but instead the celery salad. With a vinaigrette dressing and punctured with random bursts of red onion, it was a lovely refreshing little salad side that acted well as a palate cleanser.

Chicken & Waffles
Chicken & Waffles – Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, Los Angeles CA

Chicken and Waffles has been on the Belle’s menu since day one…though it might sound like a strange combination when you put them together they really do work; just ask Snoop Dogg! I like to eat this once every 2 months especially with Hot Tenders.

I’m a Chicken & Waffles fiend – as evidenced by visits to places like Mr Big Stuff. This was just perfect with a lightly battered chicken tender, a warm and fresh waffle, and oodles of sweet maple syrup. Note to self – this is available as a regular dish on weekends at Belle’s!

House Made Cardamom Lemonade, $6

Fried chicken is thirsty work! Two courses in, I’d already drained my sweet tea, so I ordered myself the House Made Cardamom Lemonade (no moonshine!) to get me through the final three courses. This wasn’t quite as refreshing as the tea as the tangy cardamom lingers on the palate, but was enjoyable in its own right.

Chick-Fil-A Southern Fried Biscuit
Chick-Fil-A Southern Fried Biscuit – Hapeville, Atlanta

No one makes the Chicken in a Biscuit like Chick-Fil-A, you might not agree with their policies but there is no doubt that their spicy Chicken biscuit is the BOMB.COM! We are serving them tonight with buttermilk biscuits and a spicy thigh fillet, cheese and pickles.

I’ve never tried Chick-Fil-A before and to be honest, I probably never will given that I would still make a point of boycotting them the next time I visit America. Variations of their meals made by other people though? Fair game when it’s Chicken in a Biscuit made by Belle’s. While I still can’t get over the fact that an American ‘biscuit’ doesn’t have chocolate chips in it, one can’t deny that their biscuit/scones go great with a juicy fried chicken thigh fillet! Too bad it doesn’t have structural integrity, with the bottom half of the biscuit crumbling to pieces in my hand with every bite I took.

Mission Chinese Chongqing Wings, Cucumber Salad
Mission Chinese Chongqing Wings, Cucumber Salad – New York City, USA

Danny Bowien and I met whilst I was working at Husk Charleston, we have kept in touch and have caught up all over the world recently in Copenhagen at the MAD Food Camp 2016. This year in February Danny did a dinner at Attica with my buddy Ben Shewry and we hosted the after party at Belles Fitzroy. These wings are the go to dish when you eat at Mission Street Chinese restaurant I hope tonight we do them justice.

Oh man. These Mission Chinese Chongqing Wings had my lips burning with every bite. There’s a crazy good amount of spice on this fried chicken, with the type of spice that really lingers on the palate and brings tears to your eyes. This is where the pickled cucumber salad comes in handy as it helps to cool your palate, especially with the fresh coriander and spring onion in the mix as well.

Belles Hot Quail, Red Eye Dressing, Cauliflower Salad
Belles Hot Quail, Red Eye Dressing, Cauliflower Salad – Sydney/Melbourne, Australia

Hot Quail is a dish we put on at the start of the year. Chef Scott and I wanted to try frying other types of birds and this was the one we loved the most. It is served with a red eye mayonnaise which is a play on Red Eye Gravy…the pickles in this dish extinguishes the heat of the Quail.’

We finished our degustation on the Belle’s Hot Quail, but unfortunately, I was so stuffed by that point I couldn’t manage much more beyond the quail breast. I have to say that I definitely prefer chicken over quail – I find that quail is still a bit too ‘game-y’ for my liking. That cauliflower salad was beautiful though!


Having a five course fried chicken degustation brings to mind the crazy Fried Chicken Crawl I did through Sydney a few years ago. It’s not something you would want to do every week, or even every month. As it is, I think this one single night of fried chicken bliss probably increased my rate of heart disease threefold! As an occasional treat, or as a fitting end to an ongoing 30th birthday celebration though, it’s a pretty mind-blowing and button-popping experience.

I’d love to return to Belle’s to try some of their more standard dishes. Their fried chicken expertise is evident and as much as I enjoyed their degustation, I’d like to try some of their standard dishes like Chicken Ribs in Peach BBQ sauce…mmmm yum…

Belle’s Hot Chicken is located at 107 Swan St in Richmond (and other locations too – Fitzroy, Windsor, Barangaroo, Tramsheds).

Sydney Fried Chicken Crawl: Hot Star Fried Chicken, Mamak, Arisun, Mary’s and Hartsyard

As if a dumpling crawl in Chatswood wasn’t sufficient, I decided that the next outrageous group eating activity that I was going to con all our friends into was going to be a day-long crawl around Sydney CBD and Newtown, indulging in a variety of deep-fried poultry. A fried chicken crawl it was!


The first stop around midday was to Hot Star Fried Chicken on Liverpool St. In the ten minutes that we were there between ordering and receiving our freshly fried chicken, around ten groups or individuals showed up to order as well – a clear indicator of the lasting popularity of the franchise after its grand opening earlier this year.


It’s my first visit and I’m impressed by the efficiency of their kitchen. With one guy taking orders and two guys manning the deep fryers, each order is pumped out quickly so that you’re always guaranteed the hottest and freshest order on demand.


We order a side of sweet potato fries to share, and they’re deliciously more-ish, hot and soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside. I only wish there was more to go around, as it’s a very modest serve.


And the chicken? Well it’s as big as my head for one, and very intimidating when you first hold it in your hands! I’m impressed by the quality of the chicken when I bite into it – the meat is incredibly tender and moist, despite the fact that it’s been hammered out to quite a thin schnitzel-esque piece. It’s certainly a lot tastier than many of the schnitzels I’ve had in my time! The combination of spices and peppers that have been used in the batter also gives the chicken an addictive flavour that leaves me wanting to order another serve…if only we didn’t have many more stops on our fried chicken journey!

Conclusion – Hot Star Fried Chicken is amazing value for money. Our sweet potato chips and original fried chicken cost only $10.90, and would only have been $11.90 if we chose to add a drink. The flavours of the chicken are dangerously addictive as well, and I think I’ll be back to try their smaller popcorn chicken bites.

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon


Our next stop was Mamak on Goulburn Street, Haymarket. Best known for their many varieties of roti, both savoury and sweet, you can always pick out Mamak by the length of the line outside. A twenty minute to half hour wait is pretty standard for Mamak, which is why K and I normally go to the one in Chatswood as the queue isn’t quite as demanding.

The amount of spices in the Hot Star fried chicken leaves us quite thirsty, and we start our visit to Mamak with some drinks – Kopi O Ais (Iced Coffee, $4) for K and our friend Anita, and a Teh O ais limau (Iced tea with lemon, $4) for me. Malaysian-style iced drinks are always dangerously drinkable, generally because of the amount of sugar and condensed milk that they add!


We start our Mamak eating with a roti bawang (Roti with sweet red onion, $6.50), a bit of a savoury treat that we’re hoping will help cleanse our palates in between courses of deep fried chicken. It’s a simple dish, but made spicy and interesting when dipped in the sambal and two curries that it gets served with.


The ayam goreng (fried chicken, $14 for 4) comes out and we’re momentarily startled and shocked by how big the pieces were. Forget the tiny wings that you might get at a standard chicken joint – these are massive pieces guaranteeing huge mouthfuls of tender moist chicken.

Conclusion – I find that the ayam goreng at Mamak lacks a certain something, and for a moment, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is…then I realise it’s the lack of spices and herbs in the batter. After being spoiled with the explosion of spices in Hot Star’s chicken, the relative plainness of Mamak’s ayam goreng is quite disappointing. We’ll be back to Mamak as always, but I think we’ll stick to our rotis and nasis next time.

Mamak on Urbanspoon


Our next stop was Arisun on Dixon Street, a well known Korean restaurant and beer garden – not unlike the hof bars that we encountered in Seoul! As it’s now mid afternoon, we decide to slow down and linger here for a few hours and a few drinks to rest our stomachs before we move onto our next stop. It’s the type of restaurant where you can sit and linger – they don’t rush you out the way many other Asian restaurants seem to.

We order a basket of Sun’s Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken ($30), and are briefly disappointed by the fact that they don’t allow you to split the baskets as we also wanted to try the Hot & Spicy Chicken with Melted Cheese ($30)…however we weren’t game to order two baskets of chicken! Despite our disappointment, we find ourselves thoroughly enjoying the chicken we did order – it’s all very boney, but you get a real sense of satisfaction in sucking the spicy sauce off the chicken!

Conclusion – Arisun is a great place for a long lazy Sunday lunch with friends, and the basket of fried chicken and a couple of drinks really does make you feel as though you’re in a genuine Korean hof bar!

Arisun on Urbanspoon

Our next stop is Mary’s of Newtown, and we choose to walk there from Haymarket. The half hour odd walk does us good! It’s my first visit to Mary’s and we almost miss the entrance as it’s quite cunningly hid away and free of any signage whatsoever. We arrive quite early, and manage to miss the evening crowd. The music is already pumping, and people are already getting their ‘end of the weekend’ drinks on.


Mary’s fried chicken has a crispy batter, and seems to me to be significantly oilier than the earlier variations of fried chicken that we had. It’s good but not great, and I find myself wishing that the herbs in its batter were more complex.


The mashed potato and gravy was ultra-creamy and terribly decadent. It’s the kind of melt-in-your-mouth barely-there mashed potato that leaves you with a deliciously buttery slick of creamy flavours on your palate.


The burgers at Mary’s are by far the highlight though, and my friend who has joined our crawl late in the game orders two cheeseburgers. With that soft style of brioche bun that melts to nothingness in your mouth, the thick juicy patty and American style cheese really hits the spot…as do the serve of french fries!

Conclusion – The burgers are the choice item on Mary’s menu, and that’s what most people seem to visit for. I look forward to visiting the burger joint that they’re rumoured to be opening up in the city though, as the scene at their Newtown venue isn’t quite for me – I’m a bit over the pumping music and drinks scene.

Mary's on Urbanspoon

Our next and last stop is Hartsyard, which I last visited almost two years ago.


By this time, we’re already stuffed to the gills with seven hours worth of non-stop fried chicken eating. We play it safe, and order the single dish of fried chicken with a buttermilk biscuit and gravy to share. I savour every morsel of the crumbly and buttery biscuit, smothered in the creamy gravy, and lick my fingers to make sure I get every tasty piece of fried batter.


We see a couple on the table next to us order one of these amazing weekly special desserts, and reason to ourselves that surely dessert has a stomach of its own, and therefore we could fit more in…right? Even though we’re left groaning in pain by the end of our long day of eating, we don’t regret this choice of dessert – themed around the Greek soccer team during the World Cup, this dessert was an excellent blend of textures and flavours – and not too sweet either. It was the perfect portion size to be shared between five people.

Conclusion – Hartsyard always brings the goods in reinventing old favourites and delivering delicious shareable food for big groups. I regret not having been there more often – one visit every two years is simply not enough!

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon

Overall? I’d actually have to say that Hot Star’s fried chicken gets my vote – largely because of the excellence of the spices and herbs used in its batter. It’s also a lot more accessible than the other options, and I can see myself dropping by every now and again to get a bucket of chicken bites.

In terms of being able to provide the full package though, Hartsyard wins by a long shot – a larger and more creative menu, accommodating wait staff, and an atmosphere conducive to larger groups means that the dining experience is always special and memorable.