I know that I’m late to this trend but I just got an instant pot as a gift for Christmas. I’ve used it multiple times already and I’m actually not sure how I survived without it! Sure, the crockpot is great and I use that quite a bit especially in the winter, but you know, things happen. I forget to plug it in, I forget to put food in it, I forget to turn it ON. One too many a wasted dish because my brain isn’t functioning enough at 5am to get the crockpot started before I head to work.
Enter, magical cooking pot, aka Instant Pot. Y’all seriously, I am totally kicking myself for not getting one sooner! It’s been a game changer! Especially for chicken. Does anyone else struggle to cook chicken? I know that sounds silly but I’m overly paranoid about salmonella from under cooked meat so my chicken usually winds up being way over cooked and takes forever (because I’m busy over cooking it!).
I got brave last night and decided to throw an entire chicken in my instant pot. I love making whole chickens the flavor is always so much better than chicken breasts, there is more meat to go around and I can save the bones for bone broth (stay posted for that!).
Also, shameless plug for my favorite grocery, Aldi! They have come such a log way since the days when I was growing up eating Aldi food simply because we could afford it. They have revamped the store and now offer so many organic options both in produce and really throughout the whole store. They’ve even added a baby line of snacks, diapers, wipes, etc. As you can see below most of my ingredients came from Aldi, even the chicken. “Simply Nature” is their store brand organic selection and “Fit & Active” includes healthier choices. But I digress….
Prepping the Chicken
I was really just winging it with seasoning the chicken but I started by throwing some garlic cloves in the bottom with a teaspoon of sunflower oil and set the pot to saute.
Meanwhile, I rinsed the chicken, pulled out the innards (not my favorite part let me tell you!) and stuffed that bad boy (or girl?) with some apples just for fun. Remember I said I was winging it! Turn off the saute function on the pot now. At this point I placed the steaming rack in to keep my chicken up out of the liquids and to allow for easier removal.
You can season your chicken before or after you place it in the pot but I decided to do it after so any extra seasoning fell into the bottom of the pot. I placed the chicken in, breast side up and poured a cup of chicken broth over it. Then I brushed the chicken with a bit more sunflower oil and put my seasonings on. I used salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Pretty simple right?
Cooking the chicken
Close the lid and make sure the the steam release handle is set to sealing. Choose the meat setting and set the timer to 25 minutes (I cooked mine 30 but again, I’m paranoid, it would have been fine at 25). Once the pot comes to pressure, the 25 minute clock will count down. After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat – you don’t want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.
This chicken was literally falling off the bones!
- 1 Tbsp Sunflower oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Garlic seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ head of garlic (just smash the cloves)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 whole pastured chicken (around 5 lbs)
- Apples, lemon, orange (your choice for stuffing)
- Put the garlic cloves and sunflower oil in the bottom of the pot, set to saute for 5-10 minutes while you prep the chicken
- Turn off saute setting and place the rack in the Instant Pot
- Stuff your chicken (optional but adds a little extra flavor)
- Add the chicken breast side up carefully to the pot and pour 1 cup of chicken broth over the top
- Brush the chicken with oil and add your seasoning
- Turn the vent valve to closed, push the “Meat” setting, and then bring the time down manually to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically. It takes about 10 minutes for it to come to pressure and then the 25 minute clock will count down.
- After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat – you don’t want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.
- From there you can take your chicken out, chop it up and either freeze it for later in the week or use it right away. You can strain out the liquid in the bowl (called meat stock) to use for soups or other cooking, and then toss the rest of the chicken carcass back in to make your bone broth.
So are you ready to give it a shot? Do you have another whole chicken recipe you’d like to share?