This creamy, hearty, and delicious Japanese Cream Stew is a popular western-style (yoshoku) dish consisting of chicken and vegetables with a savory white sauce. Cooked in the Instant Pot, it's true comfort food in cold winter months!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cream stew, instant pot
Author: Namiko Chen
1lbchicken thigh(substitute it with vegetables/mashrooms for vegetarian)
½tspkosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
freshly ground black pepper
2potatoes(14 oz, 397 g; you can use Yukon gold or Russet potatoes - I used russet potatoes today)
1carrot(4.5 oz, 128 g)
1onion(10 oz, 280 g)
1 ¾cupchicken broth(or vegetable broth; If you don't use a pressure cooker, use 2 cups/480ml chicken/vegetable broth and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.)
3Tbspall-purpose flour (plain flour)
⅛tspwhite pepper powder(highly recommend!)
freshly ground black pepper
½ - 1tspkosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
Peel and cut each potato into bigger chunks (if you want to keep their shape when serving).
Peel the carrot and cut into smaller chunks. I use "rangiri" Japanese cutting technique.
Cut the onion in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into 6 wedges. Finally, cut them in half widthwise.
Slice the mushrooms and cut the head of broccoli into florets.
Cut the chicken thighs into smaller pieces. I use "sogigiri" Japanese cutting technique to create more surface space so the chicken pieces cook faster. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To Cook Ingredients in Instant Pot
Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot and heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp unsalted butter.
When the pot is hot and butter is melted, add the chicken.
Stir and coat the chicken with oil.
Add the onion, carrot, mushrooms, and potatoes.
Add the chicken broth and 1 bay leaf.
Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 2 minutes.
Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. The float valve goes up when pressurized.
To Cook Ingredients in the Pot over the Stove
Heat the olive oil and butter in the pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute for 2 minutes. Then add onion and carrot and cook until coated with oil. Add the mushrooms, potatoes, broth (3.5 cups/800 ml), and bay leaf. Bring it to boil, then reduce heat to simmer (low) to cook for 20 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender.
To Blanch Broccoli
While pressure cooking, blanch broccoli. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and broccoli florets.
Cook until tender but do not overcook. Transfer the broccoli to ice water to stop cooking further. Once cool, remove, drain, and set aside.
To Make White Sauce (Bechamel Sauce)
In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat but don’t let it brown. Microwave 1 cup of milk until it is warm to the touch and set aside.
Once the butter is melted completely, add the flour.
Stir quickly and constantly with a whisk to combine. Cook the flour mixture for 3-4 minutes, without letting it brown.
Pour a small amount of the warm milk at a time, and stir as the sauce thickens.
Gradually add the rest of the milk by whisking continually until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until starting to bubble and thicken.
Lower the heat and add white pepper and salt to taste.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Once Pressure Cooking Is Done...
When it’s finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes and then proceed with the quick release by turning the steam release handle to the “venting” position to let steam out until the float valve drops down. Tip: Hold a kitchen towel and do not place your hand or face over the steam release valve. There should only be a little bit of steam left after 15 minutes of natural release.
Open the lid and insert a skewer in the center of the potato to see if it’s cooked through.
Using a ladle, take out 1 cup of soup from the stew.
Put the white sauce back on the stove and heat on low heat. Add several tablespoons of the soup and whisk well to combine.
Gradually add the rest of soup, stirring constantly, to combine.
Put the white sauce back in the instant pot and gently mix the white sauce with the rest of stew.
Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot and press “Adjust” to set “Less” heat.
The stew will thicken as it's heated. Season with freshly ground black pepper and discard the bay leaf if you can find it.
Add the blanched broccoli and heat up. Serve the steamed rice on one side of the bowl and pour the Cream Stew on the other side of the bowl.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months (but remove potatoes as they will change the texture once frozen).
If you use a packaged Cream Stew Roux, place ½ package of the roux on top of the ingredients (do not mix in) and close the lid to cook. Once pressure cooking is done, stir and wait to see how it thickens. Add more cubes to achieve the consistency you like.