Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Chicken is wonderful. Growing up, I only liked eating white meat chicken. I found thighs, legs, and backs to be entirely too much for me. Besides, my mother always made the juiciest chicken breast whenever she roasted her chicken. Someday, I’ll do a pollo al horno (oven-roasted chicken) recipe to post here. Hopefully it’ll be just as good.

When I bought my Instant Pot years ago, one of the things that intrigued me was the fact that it could cook a five- to six-pound whole chicken in about an hour. This is insane to me, because I normally oven-roast my chickens for 20-25 minutes per pound. The Instant Pot does it at about 5.5 minutes per pound. So, for a five pound chicken, the traditional oven method takes an hour and forty minutes to two hours and five minutes. However, the Instant Pot cooks the same sized bird in about 63 minutes from start to finish! That’s about 4 minutes each side of browning, 2 minutes to deglaze the bottom of the pot, 10 minutes to build pressure, 28 minutes (rounded up) for cooking, and about 15 minutes for a natural pressure release.

On top of this, the oven method does not produce much by the way of drippings, whereas the Instant Pot creates a delicious broth that you can freeze to use for later. My recipe below will create a delicious, juicy, tender, fall-off-the bone chicken with a flavorful broth. This chicken is great for meal prep, simple dinners with picky children, chicken salad, cheesy chicken alfredo (a hit with the kids!), chicken for salads, or anything else your heart desires.

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

I bought my Instant Pot in 2016 for about $69 from Amazon. At the time, having newly bought a house, extra expenditures were not on the list. We were going to have a simple Thanksgiving and Christmas and start to save money again. That meant not just spending money on the newest, flashy things. I’ll admit that I have a bit of a thing for kitchen gadgets. Toaster ovens, waffle makers, slow cookers, blenders, choppers, you name it. If it was a new gimmicky thing, you can bet your bottom dollar I at least considered buying it.

One of my best friends wanted to get me an Instant Pot as a house-warming gift. She sang its praises from top to bottom and said I had to have one. Well, when I saw it on sale on Amazon at such a deeply discounted price (it used to sell for over $100), I couldn’t NOT get it. My friend was a little disappointed and got us a deep fryer instead. That poor deep fryer has now been collecting dust on the patio since we can’t really have high fat food anymore.

In the meantime, the Instant Pot has almost never failed me. Within a couple of weeks of getting the Instant Pot, I finally took it out of the box and wondered what I was going to make first. I decided that a whole chicken would be the first experiment to see if this appliance was all that it was hyped up to be.

I seasoned it liberally with salt and a poultry seasoning I used for my roasted chicken, sauteed it on all sides, and set the cook time based on the 5.5 minutes per pound calculation. Folks, let me tell you that my husband keeps telling people how much luckier he is than I am because he married a woman who can cook.

I’ll say that Pinterest helped me along.

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot
  • Trivet (I used the one that came with the pot)
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cup
  • Oven-safe casserole dish to place the chicken in after cooking
  • Gloves (I use them to handle raw meat and minimize the chance of cross-contamination)
  • Wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits
  • Plate to place browned chicken prior to pressure cooking
  • Small bowl for the squeezed lemon juice

Ingredient List:

  • Broiler or fryer chicken.* (*See note below)
  • Desired amount of preferred seasoning. I used my own homemade Adobo seasoning.
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt*
  • Lemon
  • 2-4 tablespoons of preferred fat (I use bacon grease), divided
  • 1 cup of water

*Note #1: Make sure the chicken you get isn’t too big for your pot. I can easily get a six-pound chicken into this pot, but that’s about the largest I’d go in a 6-quart. If you have an 8-quart, you could probably go for a seven- or possibly eight-pound bird. If you have a 3-quart, I recommend you stick to Cornish hens, since you can handle them pretty easily in the 3-quart. If you go for the 3-quart, reduce the water to about 1/2 a cup if you don’t want a ton of broth.

*Note #2: You can certainly omit the salt if you want to watch sodium intake. I only used salt for the cavity of the bird since my Adobo seasoning already has salt in it.

The cast of characters.
Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide! Har, har!

Recipe Instructions:

  • Don’t skip this step!: Take note of how much your chicken weighs, rounded to the nearest half pound! You will need this number when you calculate how long to cook the chicken for under pressure.
  • (Optional step) Wash your chicken. I know, there is a lot of information regarding whether you should wash your chicken. Does it need to be washed in the first place? Won’t it make the germs fly all over the kitchen? Does it really need the gamey taste washed out? I grew up in a Dominican home where you wash the chicken to make sure you get at all of the leftover pin feathers from the processing, peel off any outer skin, and wash off the accumulated blood. I usually just use plain water. My mother would wash the chicken with white vinegar.
  • Whether you wash your chicken or not, pat the bird dry inside and out with paper towels. This will help to ensure the seasoning sticks to the bird and you get as even of a sear as possible.
  • (Optional step) Season the cavity of the bird with salt.
  • Season the outside of the bird liberally.
  • Tuck the wingtips back behind the bird. Even though you don’t run the risk of burning the wing tips, tucking them back provides for better presentation and also gives you the option of broiling the bird for a crispy skin later!
I seasoned the outside liberally with my homemade Adobo seasoning. I heavily salted the inside cavity, too.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and higher for a hotter pot.
  • Once the display reads “HOT,” drop in two tablespoons of your grease or oil. Swirl it around the inner pot to coat the bottom.
  • Sear the chicken on both sides, starting breast-side down. Sear for about three to four minutes a side.
  • Meanwhile, cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Do not discard the lemon.
During the browning process.
  • Place your trivet, with the handles out, on a clean plate.
  • Remove your chicken and set on the trivet atop the plate to rest a moment. Stuff with the squeezed lemon halves.
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pot with a little bit of the water from the measuring cup and a squeeze from half the lemon. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up those flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot. (My mouth is watering right now.)
  • Once the pot is deglazed, push the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to stop the saute mode.
  • Pour the remaining water into the pot.
  • Carefully lower the trivet with the browned chicken into the inner pot.
  • Pour the lemon juice all over the chicken.
Set on top of a rack, ready to pressure cook!
  • Set and lock the lid onto the pot. Turn the sealing valve to sealing.
  • Pull out the calculator or ask Google or Siri to calculate the weight of your chicken by 5.5. Round UP to the nearest minute. (Example, a 5.5 pound chicken times 5.5 minutes is 30.25 minutes. I set this for 31 minutes of cook time.)
  • Press the poultry button and adjust the time to the calculated number (or you can use the manual button. It’s all the same). The pot should be on high pressure.
  • Walk away.
  • After the cook cycle is over, wait at least 10 minutes of natural pressure release prior to quick releasing any remaining pressure.
The resulting broth was full of flavor.
  • Remove the chicken and place into an oven safe dish. At this point, you can broil the chicken for a few minutes to get some delicious crispy skin.
Resting for a mere second before I tore into it.

When I pulled this chicken out, I lost the thighs, legs, and wings. It was super juicy and flavorful. I had it in an oven-safe casserole dish and I probably could have popped it in the oven for some browning, but I could hardly take this picture without gnawing at some breast meat!

Like I mentioned earlier, this chicken is so versatile for anything you want. Think BBQ chicken sliders, salad-topping, tacos, enchiladas… the possibilities are endless.

What do you like to use your chicken for? Hit me up in the comments!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 69 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot Filipino-Inspired Chicken Adobo

I love chicken adobo.  I mean, LOVE.  That delicious combo of vinegar and soy sauce with all the garlic you could stand, drizzled over some white rice and some tender, fall off the bone chicken makes my mouth water and the scale climb in number.  However, my husband loves it more than I do.  He will almost do a happy dance when he finds out that he’s going to have chicken adobo, he loves the dish so much.  It’s almost comical how happy he gets, but I’ll take it as a compliment to my cooking.

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

Chicken adobo is a Filipino dish that is very simple to make, yet extremely satisfying.  Growing up, adobo meant something else other than the dish I enjoy fairly frequently today. Check out this Chowhound article on the difference between Latin and Filipino adobo. 

The word adobo may come from the Spanish word adovar which means to marinate. So, basically, this recipe is all about the marinade. Typically, the chicken is stepped in this delicious, vinegary, and tangy marinade and then braised in the same marinade. The yield is a tender, delicious meat, falling off the bone. Typically, this dish is done at a low temp and cooked over hours.

It’s easy to make this Filipino-inspired chicken adobo in the slow cooker, but it’s quicker and just as fantastic in the Instant Pot. In fact, as much as I love this dish, I don’t love how the house smells when I make it in the slow cooker. It’s still fragrant in the Instant Pot, but not quite as in-your-face. And besides, you can cook this and have dinner served within an hour or less. Have nothing planned for dinner tonight? Chicken adobo to the rescue. You have an excess amount of chicken? Put it together in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for dinner in a pinch. Read on for the recipe!

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart instant pot
  • Tongs to flip the chicken
  • Measuring cup and measuring spoons
  • Serving ladle (I used the one that came with my pot)
  • Plate to hold the reserved chicken (optional)
  • Wooden spoon to saute the chicken (optional)

Ingredient List:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs – bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce (or aminos if going gluten free)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil for browning (optional)
Ingredients for instant pot Filipino-inspired chicken adobo.  Simple and delicious.
The Cast of Characters for this recipe include: garlic, bay leaves, chicken thighs, soy sauce, and white vinegar, and peppercorns (not pictured). Six simple ingredients for a delicious dinner!

Recipe Instructions:

  • Optional step: wash and pat dry the chicken pieces.
  • Optional step: set the Instant Pot to “Saute” and adjust to medium heat. When the display states “HOT,” pour in and swirl around the oil. When the display reads “HOT” again, saute the chicken, skin side down, in batches. Brown the chicken for about two minutes and flip. Saute for two minutes. Set aside the chicken on a plate.
After browning. I personally found that the browning does not add too much additional depth of flavor to the finished dish, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
  • Pour one cup of white vinegar together with one cup of low sodium soy sauce in the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
  • Peel and smash the garlic cloves, as many as you would like to have. Add to the vinegar/soy sauce mix.
  • Add peppercorns. They don’t make the dish spicy, but the peppercorns add a nice kick in each bite. You can omit them altogether, if you prefer.
  • Add the chicken.
  • Stir everything together. If you’re able to submerge the chicken, this is a good time to do that.
  • Add the bay leaves on top.
Ready for some pressure.
  • Cook under high pressure for about 10 minutes. If cooking from frozen, cook for 13 minutes.
  • Allow the pot to rest for about 10 minutes after the cooking cycle is complete.
  • Release any of the remaining pressure.
  • Option step: Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a clean plate. Tent with aluminum foil to retain the heat. Press the saute button on the pot and boil the liquid for a couple of minutes to thicken slightly.
  • Serve chicken adobo over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice!
  • Enjoy!
Plated with Instant Pot Jasmine Rice. It was so delicious the next day, too!

What do you enjoy the most about this recipe? I think it’s the tanginess of the vinegar mixed in with the saltiness of the soy sauce. I also really like how tender this chicken becomes. It practically falls off the bone. Not to mention, the garlic takes on a smooth and slightly sweet taste, which is nice smeared over the chicken or on the rice. Delicious!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 69 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot Burger from Frozen!

Instant Pot Frozen Hamburgers

Hamburgers are one of my favorite things to eat. When done right, they are juicy, flavorful, and all around awesome. I love a well-seasoned, perfectly cooked, juicy burger. My favorite burger joint is a place called Clarke’s CharBroiler, which has a ton of choices to make your perfect burger. I don’t go there often because it’s spendy, but it’s delicious. It’s also a fairly quick drive to and from the office.

My recipe for burgers from frozen works pretty well and can be increased, if needed.

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

I enjoy burgers so much, that I’m pretty sure both kids came out the womb craving ground beef patties. I largely ate burgers, pizza, ice cream, and hot dogs while pregnant. I tried to eat right, but the cravings were real. So I decided to enjoy myself and eat burgers. When else could I eat what I wanted (within reason)? I was totally eating for two. Yes, excuses, I know.

As my kids grew up to be somewhat picky eaters, we could agree that one thing they would probably always enjoy is a burger. But think about the expense of going to the golden arches to get an OK burger. The time, money, and gas it takes to pick up a Happy Meal for the littlest one and a “Quarter Pound” for the big one. Making sure that the burger is plain, which isn’t just without cheese. Not to say that McDonald’s doesn’t have a place in their lives – after all, it’s a thing I do with them when we go to see the doctor – but when I learned how to make an Instant Pot burger from frozen, the game changed dramatically.

First of all, I will mention this. I love my Instant Pot. I will do my best to figure out how to cook everything in it. I know it’s ultimately impossible, but you can’t blame a girl for trying, and I’m sure gonna try. This appliance has changed my cooking life and added confidence in the kitchen, something I never had before.

That being said, I was skeptical about pressure cooked burgers. Why not throw it on the grill or make it on stove? Well, for starters, I don’t mess much with the grill; sometimes I just don’t want to stand there flipping burgers. Secondly, cleaning up the splatter after cooking on the stove is just a pain. I don’t like my stove much because it’s electric and I prefer a gas range. I also don’t like how long it takes to cook frozen burgers on the stove. After all, I don’t have a whole lot of room to work with on the stove, so I inevitably do one burger at a time, which.takes.forever. Not conducive to a quick meal.

Then, I read a post on the Instant Pot Community Facebook page about cooking fresh burgers for 10-15 minutes in the Instant Pot. I was intrigued. So I decided to give it a try with frozen and see what I came up with.

I haven’t had a bad Instant Pot burger yet. My kids devour theirs nearly every time. My husband is a believer and suggests it as a quick meal.

In fact, last night, we were at a loss last night for quick dinner options. We looked at each other after a minute and said “burgers.”

We were eating within 35 minutes.

I think it’s safe to say that this recipe is a keeper. Read on for the recipe and let me know what you think!

Equipment List:

  • Instant Pot – I used my 6-quart. The size pot depends on how many burgers you want to make.
  • Trivet with legs – the one that came with my pot is perfect
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredient List:

  • Frozen burger patties – I used 1/4 pound burgers from Costco
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Or, seasonings of your choice
  • Condiments, lettuce, tomato, buns (or lettuce wraps if you’re going no carb)
  • 1 cup water for the inner pot
Meal ingredients for Instant Pot Frozen Burgers
Cast of characters for tonight’s quick dinner. I think it took me longer to set up the photo than actually prep and make the meal!

Recipe Instructions:

  • Tear a piece of aluminum foil just over 12″ long. Place a frozen patty directly in the middle.
  • Season liberally and to your heart’s content.
Seasoned frozen beef patty for Instant Pot Frozen Burgers recipe
Salt, pepper, and garlic all over my burger. Yummy!
  • Wrap each burger by loosely folding the foil over.
  • Add one cup of water to the inner lining of the Instant Pot.
  • Place trivet inside the pot.
  • Stack the foil-wrapped burgers on top of each other in the pot. This allows the burgers to retain as close to a circular shape as possible during the cooking process. *Note that the ones in the middle will be fully cooked, but slightly pink in the middle.
Instant Pot burgers from frozen!
This is how frozen burgers wrapped in foil look stacked in the Instant Pot.
  • Lock the lid in place and set the steam release valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual/pressure cook/meat button and using the +/- buttons, adjust the time to 18 minutes. (If you stack and don’t want any pink, go with 20 minutes).
  • About five minutes before the cooking cycle is over, prepare your toppings and condiments.
Instant Pot burger from frozen.
One of the burgers after the cooking cycle was over. Nice and juicy!
Instant Pot burger cooked from frozen on a bun with mayo.
I decided to slather some mayonnaise on one of the burgers I made.
  • Assemble your burgers.
  • Enjoy!
Instant Pot burger from frozen with cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  There's a pickle and some chips to go with!
An assembled dinner in less than 30 minutes.

How do you like your burgers? Let me know what sides you like with your burgers in the comments below!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 69 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Asparagus

I love Shrimp scampi. It is buttery, garlicky, lemony, and delicious. When done right, the shrimp pops with flavor and is perfectly cooked. Sometimes, I’ll take some crusty bread and sop up that delicious sauce.

Shrimp scampi is quick to make for a fast meal and is a home run with the kids. They recently started eating shrimp, which is another good way to get protein in their diet without them getting too tired of eating the same thing. Sometimes, you just gotta mix it up, even if they are picky eaters.

The other day, my husband accidentally grabbed my leftovers for lunch at work, assuming it was my 1950s Pot Roast. At first, he was disappointed, but after eating it, he immediately called and told me how good the combination of shrimp and asparagus was. Yes, you heard right, shrimp and asparagus in that buttery, garlicky, and lemony sauce tasted amazing.

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

As happens more frequently or not, Bay Area traffic robs me of precious time with my family. Right when I open the door, my kids come barrelling at me telling me that they’re starving and they can’t wait another moment to eat something, so can they please have a snack?? Gotta get them feed, so I go straight to the kitchen to give them something light to eat and get to work making dinner.

Most of the time, I’m scrambling. I’m scrambling to slap something together that I know they will eat, because I’m tired and I don’t want to fight them on dinner. They are tired, too. Their dad might have made them do a bunch of homework and read to him. They might have had a long day at school. Little kids, for all the energy they have, get tired easily. I will admit that there have been times when I’ve decided “it’s breakfast for dinner!” or “how about some cheese quesadillas?” It’s quick, easy, and I don’t have to think.

I’m working to break us of this habit. Not that breakfast for dinner or a cheese quesadilla is bad, but when it’s at least one weeknight a week, I have to question my planning skills.

You see, I’m the planner of the family. I have to have everything lined up, regimented, planned, with all the details, and almost exact. I don’t do so well flying by the seat of my pants on anything. I may or may not be a control freak in that aspect. My husband, on the other hand, wings it. I guess he’s the ying to my yang.

Meal planning, though, is tough. I, more than you know, understand that meal planning is a challenge. Plans are good until plans change and sometimes adapting to overcome is a life skill one has to attain and employ. So that night, when I sat in traffic for almost an hour and came home with no dinner after 6 pm, I had to think fast. What was I going to feed the kids?

I knew that my Instant Pot would come in handy to make something fairly quickly. What would I put in it was the question.

There are things that I always try to have handy in the house. As you look at what you and your family like to eat, think about the staples you should have in your pantry at all times to throw together a good meal. I keep a lot of spaghetti around. Mondays are usually spaghetti and meatball night for the kiddos. I also keep chicken stock, butter, fresh garlic, and frozen shrimp on hand.

So, that night, when the kids were pulling at my legs begging for food, I told myself to whip up something pretty quick. I texted my neighbor to see if she had a lemon, which she did.

Shrimp Scampi was a go!

The boys loved it. They really enjoyed the smooth, buttery, garlicky, lemony sauce that coated the noodles and the shrimp. It was so simple to put together that the boys were well into their meal within 30 minutes. And my husband and I were happy, because we could talk about our day without verbal interruptions from the boys.

Absolutely perfect. Read on for my recipe for my Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi!

Please note that this recipe comes together FAST! It’s critical you stick to the cooking times in this recipe so you don’t end up with overcooked, rubbery shrimp! This is also not the recipe to use your tiny, cooked, salad shrimp. This recipe specifically calls for “large” (31/35 count), raw shrimp. Different shrimp sizes may change the cook time.

Equipment List:

  • Instant Pot (I used my 6 quart)
  • Steamer basket
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons and cup

Ingredient List:

  • 1 pound large (31/35 count) raw, peeled but tail-on (or unpeeled) shrimp
  • Asparagus (optional, but goes really well with the dish)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic (3 if you don’t want too much), diced or minced
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Cooked spaghetti noodles

Recipe Instructions:

  • Prepare your asparagus (if using).
  • Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of water into the inner liner of your Instant Pot.
  • Pour raw shrimp and asparagus (if using) into the steamer basket and place basket inside your Instant Pot.
Shrimp and asparagus ready to go for Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi
Asparagus on the bottom and shrimp on the top.
  • Lock the lid and ensure the steam release valve is set to sealing.
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and set the timer to “0.” Yes, “0” minutes. Any more time and the shrimp will bounce like rubber balls.
  • While the Instant Pot is cooking, mix the garlic and 2 tablespoons (up to 1/4 cup) of lemon juice together.
  • After the Instant Pot finishes its cooking cycle, carefully quick release the pressure. This process can take up to 3 minutes.
  • At this point, your pasta should be ready. Drain and set aside.
  • Once the pin drops, carefully open the Instant Pot and remove the steamer basket.
  • Peel shrimp, if desired.
  • Dump out the cooking water and wipe the inner pot clean.
  • Turn off the keep warm mode by selecting the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button.
  • Press the saute button and using the adjust button, set the temp to normal (not low or high).
  • The pot should already be warmed. Drop the butter and olive oil into the pot. Swirl the fat until the butter is mostly melted.
  • Pour in the lemon and garlic mixture. Using a wooden spoon, move the minced garlic as you don’t want this to burn.
  • Pour in the chicken stock.
  • Allow to thicken for just a couple of minutes.
  • Serve shrimp and asparagus with a drizzle of sauce on top of spaghetti. Sprinkle some parsley on your dish.
  • Enjoy with some bread to sop up that tasty sauce!
The kids just opted for shrimp with the pasta. My bowl had asparagus. Yum!

Do you like shrimp scampi on pasta? What veggies do you like on the side? Tell me what you enjoy eating with this recipe and I’ll incorporate it into my meals.

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 69 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Dominican-Style Chicken Fricassee

I was born in New York City, daughter to Dominican parents. Our dinners mainly consisted of white rice, pinto beans, and some kind of meat with a green salad. Very simple, but very flavorful.  It’s a meal known as “La Bandera” (the flag).  

The rice was perfectly fluffy and salty.  The meat was juicy and tender.  The beans were a delicious sauce that brought it all together. I didn’t eat salad much growing up. I probably should have. I’m sure the coolness of the tomato and the lettuce works really well with the rest of the meal.

Chicken fricassee, also known as pollo guisado is the perfect recipe that hits all of these highlights.  It’s flavorful, forgiving for the average cook, and softens tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions just enough. Pollo guisado is generally done on the stove top and simmered until the chicken becomes fall off the bone tender. As soon as it was ready, you’d call your other half, kids, and the neighbor kids over for a nice meal and enjoy the deliciousness.

This recipe requires a little prep work, but you can skip searing the chicken to cut back on time when you need to get dinner on the table ASAP. Depending on how many batches of chicken you need to saute, you could save 6 minutes or more. When I made this recipe, I used nearly 4 pounds of chicken quarters which had to be seared one by one. Including the 25 minutes or so it took to do that, plus 10 minutes building pressure, 20 minutes at high pressure, and 15 minute natural pressure release, dinner was served in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Had I skipped searing, dinner would have been ready in 45 minutes.

Pollo guisado pairs nicely with my habichuelas guisadas, Jasmine rice, and a green salad. Read on for the recipe!

Equipment List:

  • 6 Quart Instant Pot (I have a Duo 7-in-1)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Plate to hold the browned chicken
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs (to transfer the chicken)
  • 2-gallon zip top bags

Ingredient List:

  • 2 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (I used chicken quarters)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small white onion sliced into strips
  • 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 cup pitted olives cut into halves with its juice (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lime
  • Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish
Cast of characters for tonight’s recipe. Not pictured: olive oil and lime.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Mix the seasonings and set aside. (Note: the Adobo seasoning has plenty of salt, so no need for any in this recipe!)
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives with their juice, and garlic to a 2-gallon zip top bag. Set aside.
  • Prepare the chicken.  I wash my chicken, but you don’t have to.  Just be sure to pat it dry.
  • Add the chicken to the vegetable mix, include the seasoning and two tablespoons of olive oil and close the bag.
  • Thoroughly massage the bag to incorporate the chicken, vegetables, olive oil, and seasonings. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Decon all areas within ten feet of the raw chicken. Salmonella is no joke.
  • Set your Instant Pot to the sauté mode and press the adjust button to medium heat.  When the screen reads “HOT,” add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot.  (You may have to take the pot out and swirl the oil around due to the slightly curved bottom of the pot.)  Add the sugar and cook until caramelized – about two minutes. Watch to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn!
  • After a minute, brown the chicken on each side for about three minutes.  (Reserve the marinade.) After browning, place the chicken on another plate.
This is the color you’re looking for when searing the chicken.
  • Pour two tablespoons of water plus some of the marinade juice. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits to incorporate into the liquid.
  • Pour the remainder of the marinade into inner lining of the Instant Pot. Add the chicken on top, ensuring it’s in an even layer. 
  • Juice the like and pour it all over.
Look at that bed of delicious veggies and marinade!
The chicken, nestled on top of the veggie layer.
  • Lock the lid in place.  Set the knob to sealing.  Press the poultry button and set to 13 minutes at high pressure, if one layer, 20 minutes if you had to overlap meaty pieces.
  • After the Instant Pot completes the cooking cycle, let the pressure come down naturally for about 15 minutes then release any remaining pressure after that. 
  • Carefully remove the lid (make sure you keep away from the steam escaping!) and set aside. 
  • If you want, carefully remove the chicken and switch to saute mode to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve chicken over rice with a small bowl of stewed beans on the side.  I personally like the beans on the same plate, so I can get that perfect bite easily and every time!
  • Enjoy the savory flavors!
The finished plate. I smothered the chicken in the veggies, which added a nice pop of flavor.

What do you think of this recipe? I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Give it a like, so I know to make more recipes like this.

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot 1950s Sunday Pot Roast

“Sam, the 1950s want their pot roast back” – my husband after eating my old-fashioned pot roast that I made in the Instant Pot.

It’s just that good. A warm, flavorful, comforting meal of beef chuck roast, potatoes, and sweet, buttery carrots with delicious gravy in every bite. I made this pot roast for the first time last year and my husband has raved about it ever since. I could tell that he liked it because he kept going up for more even though he was full.

Yup, it’s just that good.

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

Although pot roast was never a thing for me growing up, I associate it with Sunday afternoon dinners after church services. Several years ago, when visiting family in Phoenix, my mother-in-law made one for after worship supper that was delicious. The delicious and savory smell greeted us when we came home after socializing with the other congregants. It was a smell that makes me think of a warm and happy home. I wanted to do that for my family.

Despite my desire, I was never good at making pot roast in the oven, old-fashioned or not. I could never get it fall-apart tender and I didn’t have an hour per pound or the patience to spare to get the job done. I tried everything when making it in the oven, resulting in fail, after fail, after fail.

On a number of occasions I have done a great pot roast in the slow cooker, but that involves searing the meat on a separate pan on the stove, then transferring the contents to the slow cooker. In the morning. Before work. With two rambunctious, demanding-my-attention-all-the-time boys that I have to get ready and fed before school lest I want to have the meltdown to end all meltdowns from either or both of them. (Despite that description of them, I love them dearly and can’t picture my life without them.)

My slow cooker pot roast is nothing short of fantastic. I endeavored to convert it into an Instant Pot version, because, why not?

A good pot roast starts with chuck roast. A chuck roast is a cheap cut of meat that’s tough and stringy with all of that fat running through it. Because of this, a chuck roast only becomes tender from low and slow cooking temperatures and long cooking times. So the slow cooker is the only way to get it done, especially if I can’t hack it the oven. Right?


WRONG! The Instant Pot can get you a spoon tender, melt-in-your mouth result just as well – or better – than the traditional methods.

My pot roast recipe which fools people into thinking I spent three hours alone just cooking the thing. Maybe I’m the Hispanic June Cleaver, it’s so good.

Don’t let me sway you away from the slow cooker version of this dish. It certainly has its place. There is something about the smell of delicious meal welcoming you home after a long day’s work. I love that about my slow cooker. My Instant Pot will never replace my slow cooker. But my slow cooker does not do anything fast. It wasn’t build for that.

Now, before I jump in, I need you to be aware of something. In this exact form, this isn’t a weeknight friendly recipe. However, you employ a few shortcuts if you want to have this meal the same day.

For example, you could skip the sauteing of ingredients and just dump and go and be eating in about 1 1/2 hours. And that’s fine. BUT, meals like pot roast, chili, and beans are always better the next day because the flavors have had a chance to meld.

I made this recipe and had it the same evening and it was phenomenal. But the next day, my boss who cannot eat meat due to dietary concerns asked me where I got my lunch. This old-fashioned pot roast recipe upset the balance in the world.

Ever see Once Upon a Time in Mexico (AKA Desperado 2)? There’s this side story about Sheldon Sands, a CIA agent who eats the same pork dish at every Mexican restaurant he ends up at. In one particular scene, he meets with El Mariachi and remarks that the slow cooked pork he’s eating is the best he’s ever had. And because it’s the best he’s ever had, it upsets the balance in the world. In order to reset the balance, he has no choice but to kill the cook.

My pot roast upsets the balance in the world. It is the pot roast of pot roasts, the recipe to end all recipes of this sort. Try it and you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t shoot the chef after you eat it.

For my 1950’s Sunday Pot Roast, read the recipe below.

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Tongs
  • Ladle to scoop the deliciousness
  • Wooden spoon
  • Veggie chopper (optional)
  • Plate
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredient List:

  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, cut into two even sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried or ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt (cut down to 1 teaspoon if you’re sensitive to sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (I used bacon grease)
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • baby carrots (your choice how much)
  • creamer potatoes (your choice how much)
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter, divided
  • Au jus seasoning packet (I used Lawry’s)
  • Dried parsley for garnish, if desired
Ingredients for an instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
Cast of characters for tonight’s recipe.

It’s a lot of ingredients. But they all work together to produce a delicious pot roast. Trust me when I say it’s all worth it.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Slice the onion into half-rounds. Set aside.
  • Using the veggie chopper or your chef’s knife, dice the celery and garlic. Set aside.
  • If using, wash and pat dry the rosemary and thyme sprigs. This is optional, but I have these herbs growing in my garden and I wanted to use them here.
  • Mix together your dried seasonings. Do not include the fresh rosemary and thyme here. Reserve those for later.
  • Place the potatoes and carrots on separate pieces of aluminum foil. Add salt and pepper to taste and drop in one tablespoon of butter in each. Wrap up the foil and set aside.
Buttered creamer potatoes for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast recipe.
I did the same with the carrots. I also decided to season each in their own packets for added flavor.
  • Cut your roast into two or three uniform-sized pieces. You will want each piece to fit in the bottom of your inner liner.
  • Season each piece of meat with the dry seasonings. Don’t be stingy with the seasoning here. You should use it all up.
Cut and seasoned chuck roast for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
This is how your roast should look prior to searing. Feel free to add more seasoning if you want.
  • Push the Saute button and adjust the heat level to more. When the display reads “HOT,” put in the cooking fat and swirl it around the bottom of the pot.
  • After about a minute, brown the pieces of meat for about two to three minutes a side. Flip using tongs. Do not disturb the meat while it’s browning and make sure to not crowd the bottom of the pot.
  • While the meat is cooking, mix your wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Seared chuck roast for my old-fashioned instant pot pot roast.
This is the color you’re looking for on the roast. Those browned bits equal delicious flavor that will blow your mind.
  • Once the meat is seared, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Meanwhile, pour in about a 1/4 cup of liquid mixture and the remaining butter and deglaze the bottom of the pot using your wooden spoon. Make sure to get as many of those browned bits up as possible since this will add depth of flavor to the finished dish and will prevent the pot from displaying a burn notice during the pressure cooking process.
  • Saute the onions for a few minutes, then add the celery and garlic. Saute the vegetables until they become translucent. Take care in this step to not burn the garlic.
  • Pour in the remaining liquid mixture and mix well. The browned bits will infuse with the liquid.
  • Place the roast back into the pot. If you cut it, be sure to nestle the pieces in evenly.
  • If using, place the rosemary and thyme on top. of the roast.
Prepared ingredients for instant pot old fashioned pot roast.
I know this is going to be goooooooooood eating!
  • Press the “Cancel/Keep Warm” button to stop the saute function.
  • Place the foil packets on top of the roast.

Now, you might be wondering, why put the veggies in now? It’s going to be a long cook time and they’ll turn to mush! True if potatoes and carrots are going straight in to the pot. But something about putting them above the rest of the ingredients and wrapped in foil keeps them from disintegrating. They certainly get cooked, but they don’t fall apart when you stick in a fork.

Almost there. I promise.
  • Seal and lock the lid. Place the pressure valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button (I used the meat button. Note that there is no difference here) and using the +/- buttons, set the time to 60 minutes.
  • After the cooking cycle is over, let the pot naturally pressure release for about 15 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure by moving the pressure valve to venting.
  • Carefully remove the lid.
  • Remove the foil packets and set aside.
  • Remove and dispose the herb sprigs.
  • Remove the roast and set aside on a plate. The roast may fall apart at this point, so take care to not have hot liquid splashing on you!
  • Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button again.
  • Press the “Saute” button and adjust the heat to more.
  • Pour in the au jus seasoning and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Allow the mixture to bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken to the desired consistency.
  • Slice meat.
  • Serve with the thickened sauce, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Enjoy!
Look at it. Just look at it. It needed a hunk of bread!

Bread hack: wrap in plastic and freeze your bread in medium sized hunks so you can heat up when the mood strikes! Warm in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes and slice to desired sized pieces. Crusty bread is great for sopping up that delicious sauce!

Let me know how you like your pot roast and when you usually have it. There isn’t one “right” way. I usually know it’s a hit when my husband goes for a second serving on a full stomach! I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 69 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.