Pressure-Cooker Chicken Youvetsi (Chicken and Orzo in Tomato Sauce)

Chicken Youvetsi is a classic Greek dish and a popular comfort meal made in many regions of Greece. Known for its simplicity, the recipe is essentially a tomato based chicken stew that is often cooked in the oven from beginning to end. This recipe speeds up the process by cooking the chicken in a pressure cooker and finishing it off on the stove top.

For me, this Greek youvetsi dish tastes like home. It is a dish that my mom has cooked for me so many times in the past and a dish that I have continued to cook for myself and my husband since venturing out to live on my own. It is truly one of my favourite meals!

Full disclosure: I had a difficult time determining the reasonable servings for this recipe. I don’t exactly eat a reasonable portion of this, I’m afraid. Neither does my husband. We should eat it with a side salad. We should. But most of the time, we greedily fill our plates and dig in without a thought towards portion control. We should know better but sometimes its good to be bad and it sure as heck doesn’t feel bad in the moment!

chicken youvetsi orzo in tomato sauce

Why you should make pressure-cooker chicken youvetsi

  • this dish is so delicious

  • its comfort food at its best!

  • this is a hearty meal, sure to satisfy the whole family

  • it takes only 40 minutes to make

  • it uses simple ingredients

  • the steps are simple and easy to do

  • the liquid used to cook the chicken is used to boil the orzo infusing so much flavour. Each and every little bit of orzo soaks up the flavours from the liquid.

  • it’s delicious. (Yeah I said it twice but it deserves to be said twice!)

How to make Chicken Youvetsi in a pressure cooker

The version of Chicken Youvetsi I am sharing with you is a pressure cooker version I use to speed up the cooking process on a busy weeknight. It is an easy recipe that uses ingredients you probably have on hand already. Nothing too fancy here!

The steps involved are pretty simple and don’t require a lot of hands on time. I set the prep time for the recipe to 20 minutes only to account for the time needed for the pressure cooker valve to drop so it is safe to open. In reality, there is very little prep and hands-on time needed.

Steps for making this recipe:

  1. Salt and pepper the chicken. Add the olive oil to a pressure cooker and add the chicken and onion. Cook on medium heat to brown the chicken on all sides. Add the tomato sauce, water and cinnamon and secure the lid on the pressure cooker.

  2. Once the pressure cooker has reached desired pressure and is whistling, lower the stove temperature to medium low. Cook for 8 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool.

  3. When it is safe to do so, remove the lid on the pressure cooker. [Note: Pressure cookers vary so be sure to follow the safety instructions for your own model]. Remove the chicken and set it aside. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Cook until the orzo is fully cooked, stirring often. As the orzo is cooking, most of the liquid will be absorbed. If the liquid is absorbed before the orzo is cooked, add hot water. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

  4. Spoon orzo into dishes and top with chicken. Serve with shredded mitzithra cheese (or Parmesan cheese).

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

-Cathy

You may also like:

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono Soup)
Simple Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken Thighs
Oven Roasted Lemon Chicken Drumsticks

If you try and enjoy this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know what you think!

chicken youvetsi orzo in tomato sauce

Pressure-Cooker Chicken Youvetsi (Chicken and Orzo in Tomato Sauce)

Herbs and Flour
Known for its simplicity, Chicken Youvetsi is essentially a tomato based chicken stew that is often cooked in the oven from beginning to end. This recipe speeds up the process by cooking the chicken in a pressure cooker and finishing it off on the stove top.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8 servings
Calories 374 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 jar tomato sauce (I use a simple homemade tomato sauce with tomato and basil)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups orzo pasta
  • mitzithra cheese (or Parmesan cheese) to serve

Instructions
 

  • Salt and pepper the chicken. Add the olive oil to a pressure cooker and add the chicken and onion. Cook on medium heat to brown the chicken on all sides. Add the tomato sauce, water and cinnamon and secure the lid on the pressure cooker.
  • Once the pressure cooker has reached desired pressure and is whistling, lower the stove temperature to medium low. Cook for 8 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool.
  • When it is safe to do so, remove the lid on the pressure cooker. [Note: Pressure cookers vary so be sure to follow the safety instructions for your own model]. Remove the chicken and set it aside. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Cook until the orzo is fully cooked, stirring often. As the orzo is cooking, most of the liquid will be absorbed. If the liquid is absorbed before the orzo is cooked, add hot water. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Spoon orzo into dishes and top with chicken. Serve with shredded mitzithra cheese (or Parmesan cheese).

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 21gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 309mgPotassium: 448mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 219IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken, comfort food, greek food, orzo, pressure cooker, youvetsi
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