Normally, I made this family favorite using a combination of my stove and crock pot. I decided to speed things up and used the electric pressure cooker. I will definitely make it this way from now on!
No more! Never again will I ever spend time boiling up chicken, reserving some of the broth to boil noodles in later, thickening the remaining broth, and then putting it into the crock pot to make the cheese sauce, chopping up the chicken to add, later on adding the broccoli at just the right time, and then later still boiling, draining, and stirring in the noodles. Nope! Never again! This recipe alone makes the purchase of an electric pressure cooker worthwhile!
Using the electric pressure cooker cuts down greatly on time, there is no need for additional ingredients and steps just to thicken the broth into a gravy, it requires far fewer steps overall and very little effort, — and, best of all, it creates a much creamier texture as well as a better, much richer flavor.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
1-1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 cup uncooked elbow noodles
3 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 box (a block) Velveeta cheese
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Place olive oil and then chicken breasts in the pot. Turn breasts once to coat with oil.
Pour in water.
Cook on highest pressure for 35 minutes. Manually vent if chicken went in raw and natural vent if chicken went in frozen.
Remove chicken with tongs to cutting board. Allow to rest.
Pour frozen broccoli florets into the hot broth of pot. Give it a stir. Allow to rest.
Chop chicken into coarse more or less bite sized chunks. Set aside.
Stir milk into the frozen broccoli and now slightly cooler broth.
Sprinkle uncooked elbow noodles on top of broccoli.
Add chopped chicken on top of noodles.
Sprinkle seasonings on top of chicken.
Slice up the block of Velveeta cheese and lay it over top of the chicken.
Cook on highest pressure for 18 minutes. Manually vent.
Stir, stir, stir, stir scraping sides and bottom and folding the mixture to thoroughly mix and incorporate the layers, broth, and cheese.
Remove pot from base and allow to rest for five minutes to ten minutes for the sauce to form and thicken.
It will magically go from being in a very liquid state to having a thick creamy cheese sauce!
Stir once more and it is ready to pour up into a casserole dish or bowl and serve.