Instant Pot Chicken
Want to know the secret to a lot of my 10-Minute Meals? It’s Instant Pot chicken! I make it most Sundays primarily to use for lunches like a last-minute chicken salad or protein on a bagged salad. BUT it can also save family dinners – especially when you don’t feel like cooking!
So for this week’s 10-Minute Meal, I am sharing TWO of my favorite recipes that got me started cooking chicken in the Instant Pot.
A Bountiful Kitchen’s Frozen Instant Pot Chicken: You know those recipes that you can ALWAYS count on to come through? Well, that pretty much describes all of Si’s recipes that she shares on her site, so A Bountiful Kitchen was the first place I went to for guidance when I decided to give cooking chicken a go in the Instant Pot. This recipe is a great, no-fail, basic recipe that even allows you to use FROZEN chicken!
A Pinch of Healthy’s Instant Pot Shredded Chicken: This is another great reference that found later, and it was Marjorie’s recipe and that pushed me to give thighs a try and encouraged me to try out new seasoning combinations as well as using other liquid components (like a fresh salsa instead of broth). Because of this recipe, I now usually do a mix of skinless boneless breasts and thighs when I make chicken in the Instant Pot.
Never tried Instant Pot Chicken before? Use either recipe as a good starting place! They won’t let you down! Also, here are a few key things I’ve learned along the way!
Trust the Directions on Time
The quickness of the Instant Pot continues to throw me for a loop. I mean, 7 minutes just doesn’t seem long enough for chicken to cook and be safe to eat. And even though I’ve NEVER ended up with undercooked chicken in the Instant Pot, I doubt the short cook time EVERY time. So basically, try not to overthink things like me – just program based on the recipe directions and step away because there’s nothing worse than way-overcooked chicken. And, should it end up needing a little more cooking (which I highly doubt it will), it’s super-easy to seal the lid again and cook another minute or two.
Trust the Liquid Ingredient Amount
This isn’t braising, broiling or simmering; pressure cooking is it’s own unique cooking method. A little broth, water or other liquid is essential for the pressure cooker to work, and typically this is about ¾ to 1 cup of water, broth or other liquid. If you like to overthink things like me, then, once again, just trust the recipe.
Cool and Store in the Juices
Once I remove the lid and allow the steam to dissipate, I place the chicken on a cutting board or plate to cool a little more before shredding or chopping. I then put the chicken back in the Instant Pot juices and even refrigerate the chicken with some of the juices to keep extra moist. Then drain the chicken when reheating or before adding to recipes and dishes.
Season, but Don’t Stress
Some Sundays when I’m cooking the chicken, I really have no idea how I might use the chicken. Or, I may plan to use it several different ways – all with different flavor profiles – such as in an Asian Chicken Salad, in skillet quesadillas, and then in a Tomato-Basil pasta toss. Here’s the thing to know: don’t stress over seasonings. When in doubt, keep it simple with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and broth for the liquid. This allows you to season later once cooked and you’re ready to use.
And once you get the hang of how simple pressure cooking is when cooking chicken, then you can start to play around with seasonings and ways to add flavor. Here are some of my favorites.
MEXICAN OR SOUTHWESTERN: Add some fresh salsa in place of some of the liquid and/or use a taco or fajita seasoning (or a few spices like cumin and chile powder).
ITALIAN OR MEDITERRANEAN: Amp up the garlic powder, and add a little basil and oregano or an Italian-seasoning blend. A little lemon, pesto or olive oil can add a nice touch.
ASIAN: Sauté chicken pieces in sesame oil in Instant Pot to lightly brown before pressure cooking. Add soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
Now, keep watching my blog and social media feeds for all the dinners you can make in 10 minutes or less with your Instant Pot chicken!