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!

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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 64 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 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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