This post was sponsored by Ninja Kitchen.
We live in the age of the multi cooker. Many modern kitchens have one small appliance that does many jobs, and it isn’t your stove. The latest to launch in the UK comes from Ninja Kitchen, the Ninja Foodi. It announces itself as the pressure cooker that crisps.
When people ask me what piece of kit I have in my kitchen that I love and would recommend, there are a few contenders. Firstly, every home cook just needs to start with a good knife, a wooden spoon, a chopping board and a heavy pan. Beyond this, I rely heavily on my mixer, food processor and my pressure cooker.
A pressure cooker was not something that I thought that I would ever want. As with many people I have terrifying memories of pressure cookers that seemed to hiss and dance and threaten to explode. The veg cooked inside – always veg – were limp and lifeless. The flavour all gone with the hiss and the steam scream, leaving pale carrot batons and burst potatoes.
Redefining the Pressure Cooker
Then in university, an Indian friend introduced me to her small pressure cooker. She used it all the time, it was the most essential thing in her kitchen. She made curries in there, cooked beans, she seemed to use it for everything. Since I have learned that they are essential in Mexican kitchens too, and many other countries. It was just us who didn’t get it.
Pressure cookers have had somewhat of a renaissance having been reconfigured and redefined less as a threatening and hazardous piece of kitchen kit and more as a helpful gentle kitchen friend. Not just any friend but a wizard with homemade stocks and beans, two staples of my kitchen. You can cook things faster, in some cases better. Pressure cooking is a brilliant modern way of cooking, it just took us a while to catch up.
Enter the Ninja Foodi. The Ninja Foodi has multiple functions, the primary focus of these being the pressure cooker and the air fryer which when used in sequence result in what Ninja Kitchen describes as TenderCrisp. Use of the Ninja Foodi promises food that is tender from pressure cooking and crisp from air frying. Not just this, the Ninja Foodi is a slow cooker, dehydrator, steamer, grill, and can be used to bake and roast. It also has a Keep Warm function.
I decided to put the TenderCrisp function through its paces with one of my all time favourite things to eat, a roast chicken. A juicy roast chicken with crispy skin. I go down the paprika lemon route, studying first some existing Ninja Foodi recipes to see how it works.
Lemon and Paprika Roast Chicken with Chicken Fat Potatoes
First, I pressure cooked the chicken in the TenderCrisp Air Fry basket over a fragrant mix of lemon juice, water, rosemary, garlic and black peppercorns. There is salt in here too which will season the chicken as it pressure cooks, which it does for 22 minutes. I season the inside of the chicken and the outside too with a little salt.
Once the 22 minutes were up, I released the pressure letting off a jet of steam (fyi: one thing about this is that the switch is deliberately loose and so this takes a little getting used to). Then it is time to remove the moisture by removing the basket with the chicken still in and emptying the pot. Then I seasoned the chicken with a little paprika and air crisped it in the basket for 15 minutes (this depends on the size of your chicken).
While the chicken is air crisping it will release some fat into the pot below. Not being one to waste anything, especially precious chicken fat, I air fry diced potato in this while the chicken rests. The end result? Sublime chicken fat roast potatoes which are buttery and rich. The chicken itself is juicy and crisp and it roasts faster than in the oven.
The Ninja Foodi has earned its place on my kitchen counter.
Air Frying Potato Skins to Make Crisps with the Ninja Foodi
Who doesn’t love crisps?! You should absolutely crisp the potato skins that are left from peeling the potatoes to go with the chicken earlier. Here is how.
The potato skins had been stored in acidulated water (water with a bit of lemon as before to prevent the potato skins discolouring). Starting a tablespoon of duck fat in the Ninja Foodi pot and heated quickly – 1 minute on the Air Crisp function – I add the potato skins, with a few slices of streaky bacon which I have chopped small and some sea salt, stirring them through. I air crisp them for 12 minutes – aiming for crisp without being too dark, and serve them with some finely sliced spring onions and chives scattered on top and a small bowl of gojuchang mayo (50% Korean gojuchang (fermented red pepper paste) / 50% mayo). I have made those potato skins 4 times since. And I will make them again and again.
Overall thoughts on the Ninja Foodi
Kitchen counter space is precious and why have four things hogging space and energy when you can have one that does an excellent job. And just one to wash up. I love the air fryer function independently and as part of the TenderCrisp function. I have used the steamer function which is very effective if a little noisy (due to a stream of steam emitting from the pressure cooking lid). The only downside is its size in a small kitchen like mine. However, I wouldn’t want it any smaller either.
Win your very own Ninja Foodi
The Ninja Foodi retails at £199 and is available now from Ninja Kitchen. I am delighted to have one to give away to UK based readers. You can’t be related to me, but that is the only condition. (Sorry family members!). The competition will be run across the blog and Instagram. You can enter in both places and if you tag a friend on Instagram you will be entered twice. The comments will be pooled and numbered with the winner being selected at random on March 31st and Ninja Kitchen will send the winner their prize.
Please comment below and tell me what makes you curious and why you would like a Ninja Foodi. Best of luck! I know you will love it.
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