If you’re making this recipe in an 8-quart pressure cooker, increase the water to 1 cup.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Instructions: Decrease the cooking time under pressure to 8 minutes, and follow the rest of the recipe as written. Different stovetop cookers will vary in height—make sure that the steam rack and sweet potatoes will fit inside the pot before proceeding.
Stovetop Instructions: Steam the sweet potatoes in a steamer pot for about 20 minutes, or until you can pierce them with a fork. While the potatoes are steaming, cook the chicken separately in a skillet, searing it over medium heat as in the recipe below, then sautéing the onions and garlic, deglazing the pan with water (increased to 1 cup), adding back the chicken, and simmering, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Shred the chicken, reduce the cooking liquid in the skillet with barbecue sauce until thickened, then add the chicken back and toss to combine. Continue with the stuffing and broiling steps as written.
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (if they’re more than 8 ounces, cut them in half)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 (4 1/2 to 6 ounces each) sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite brand)
For the toppings:
- 3/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 Sear the chicken: Season the chicken breasts all over with the salt and pepper.
Select the Sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker and heat the oil for 3 minutes, until shimmering. Using a pair of tongs, lower the chicken breasts into the pot and sear them for 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total), until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a dish.
2 Cook the onions and garlic: Add the onion to the pot and sauté for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or so, just until it is no longer raw.
3 Assemble everything in the pressure cooker: Add the water and use a wooden spoon to nudge any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken back to the pot, nestling it in with the onions and garlic.
Lower a tall metal steam rack into the pressure cooker, making sure all of its legs are touching the bottom of the pot. Arrange the sweet potatoes on top of the rack in a single layer.
4 Pressure cook the potatoes and chicken: Secure the lid on your pressure cooker in its Sealing position. Cancel the Sauté program, then select the Manual or Pressure Cook program for 10 minutes at high pressure. (It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
While the recipe cooks, line a sheet pan with foil and set it aside.
5 Release the pressure: As soon as the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to its Venting position, releasing the steam. (At this point, the pressure cooker can be left on the “Warm” setting for up to 10 hours.)
Use tongs to gently transfer the sweet potatoes to the foil-lined sheet pan. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or dish.
6 Make the BBQ sauce: Stir the barbecue sauce in with the liquid and onions in the pot. Cancel the Keep Warm program, select the Sauté setting, and let the mixture boil and reduce for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and glazy (the timing will vary slightly depending on how much sugar is in your barbecue sauce).
7 While the sauce is reducing, use a pair of forks to shred the chicken.
8 Mix the chicken with the BBQ sauce: Turn off the Sauté program. Add the chicken back to the pot and toss to combine.
9 Stuff the potatoes and broil: (You can skip this step if you like. Everything is already cooked through—it’s just to get the cheese bubbly and browned.)
Heat your broiler to high with a rack positioned a few inches below the heating element.
Split the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then stuff them with the chicken mixture. Top each sweet potato with two tablespoons of shredded cheese.
Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown in spots. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve hot.
Leftovers will keep for 3 to 4 days and can be reheated in the microwave.