Instant Pot Bone-In Chicken

I love chicken. Chicken is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other proteins such as meat, fish, and pork. Our local Safeway sells cut up chicken parts for about $2.99 a pound and whole chickens for $1.99 a pound. I will regularly see sales for whole chickens as low as 79 cents in the summer and 99 cents for cut up parts. The organic chicken is certainly more expensive. If you really want to save on chicken, buy a whole bird and learn how to chop it up for parts. Save the backs for chicken stock and freeze what you don’t use immediately so you can stock up on what you want for whatever meal you’re making.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

I used to only eat white meat, because it was lean and I knew when it was cooked once it was no longer pink. But, as I learned more about cooking and watching the temperature of foods to determine when they were done, I grew an appreciation for the other cuts of the bird like thighs and legs. Thighs and legs work wonderfully for such creations as my Filipino-inspired adobo chicken or for barbecue recipes. Chicken breast can be a blank slate for your seasonings while chicken thighs and legs have a wonderful flavor and are forgiving for the average cook like myself.

There are various chicken recipes that are weeknight friendly. Bone-in pieces take longer due to the fact that the meat closest to the bone takes longest to cook through. Before I made this, I didn’t find bone-in chicken to lend itself to quick weeknight cooking.

In making this recipe, I took into account the fact that the kids were starting school up again (SUMMER WAS SO SHORT!) and that I wanted to make a meal that would be ready in under an hour.

Husband and I have started talking after-school activities for the kids. If we go this route, our time at home will be extremely limited. So, Instant Pot to the rescue! Read on for the bone-in chicken recipe that will change your cooking game.

I have a 6 quart 7-in-one Duo Instant Pot that I bought it just after we first moved into our house in 2016. One of my best friends wanted to buy me one because she loved hers so much, but the sale on Amazon was too good to pass up. Several years later, I bought a 3-quart Duo at a super cheap price to do things like sides, beans, and rice. When I told her this, she let me know she couldn’t use hers anymore, so I adopted her 6-quart.

Yes, we are an Instant Pot family. It isn’t the only thing we use to cook – our stove, grill, and smoker get exercised every so often. I love that the Instant Pot is a multicooker with the sauté function built in. I use that function in this recipe to great success.

Equipment List:

  • Instant Pot – I used my 6 quart.
  • Trivet with short legs (I used the one that came with my Instant Pot).
  • Measuring spoons.
  • Measuring cup (you don’t really need it, but if you’re particular like me, you may want it).
  • Cutting board.
  • Carving knife.
  • Food-safe rubber gloves (I use these Kirkland ones).
  • Decontamination wipes. Can’t be too safe with that raw chicken!
  • Wooden spoon.
  • Tongs.

Ingredient List:

  • Bone-in chicken breast halves. I used three from Sprouts.
  • 3 teaspoons Paprika.
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt.
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning.
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder.
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or water.
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil of choice, divided.
Cast of characters for today’s recipe.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Clean the chicken. I like to remove the sliminess from the chicken if it’s been in packaging. If I bought the chicken previously and repackaged it, I skip this step.
  • Decon everything within a million feet of where you washed the chicken.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Season liberally with the spices.
  • Push the sauté button on the Instant Pot and with the adjust button (or sauté button, depending on your model) set the temp to the highest setting.
  • Once the display says “HOT,” pour one tablespoon of cooking oil into the inner pot.
  • In batches, place the chicken skin-side down and do not disturb for three minutes. You’ll want to brown the skin to get the Maillard reaction. This adds depth of flavor to the dish. I recommend you don’t skip this step, but you could certainly dump and go if you’re really short on time.
  • Flip the chicken and brown the other side for about three minutes. (If you notice the pot getting a little dry, pour in the rest of the cooking oil, wait for it to heat up, and continue browning your chicken.)
  • Remove the chicken and allow to rest on a clean plate.
This is the color you’re looking for in browning the meat.
  • Pour about a 1/4 cup of the chicken stock and scrape up the browned bits with your wooden spoon. This performs two functions: 1. it mixes those delicious browned bits into the stock and 2. deglazing the bottom of the pan will prevent the dreaded “BURN” notice.
  • Pour in the rest of the chicken stock.
  • Push the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to stop the sauté mode.
  • Place the trivet into the pot.
  • Put in the browned chicken on top of the trivet. Make sure all the chicken is in an even layer. If they have to overlap, do so with the thinnest side of the breasts. I place the thinnest side toward the middle, which is the easiest for me.
Browned chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
This is how I layered my chicken in my 6-quart Instant Pot. Notice that the thinnest parts are toward the middle, which made nestling these pieces in very easy.
  • Lock the lid into place and turn the sealing knob back to the sealing position.
  • Push the “Poultry” button and set for 10 minutes (or you can use the Manual button if you prefer).
  • After the cooking cycle is over, let the pot rest for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  • Test the temperature to ensure that the thickest part of the chicken reads at 165 degrees for at least five seconds. If it’s not quite there, give it another minute or two in the pot, but for three large bone-in breasts, 10 minutes under pressure was plenty!
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!

I had my chicken with my Jasmine rice and Dominican habichuelas guisadas, both made in the Instant Pot. Delish!

Instant Pot Bone-In Chicken with some Instant Pot Jasmine Rice and Instant Pot Habichuelas Guisadas.
Small plate… because I was feeling fancy that day.

I really hope you liked this recipe. Please let me know in the comments below how you like to use your bone-in chicken breast. If you used different seasonings, I’m interested to know! Give this recipe a go, hit the like button, and please don’t forget to subscribe so you can get more recipes.

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

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