Whole chickens are inexpensive, frugal type of meat. They provide easy leftover meals, and you can use the bones to make homemade broth for soups and to flavor other meals. While you can cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (this is the type I have) just by seasoning it and adding it to the pot with liquid, a few extra steps will add even more flavor to the final result.
Customize your whole chicken
I like to keep the seasonings fairly neutral so that I can get creative with the leftovers. My family often gets bored with multiple meals of chicken and vegetables. If I use some of the chicken for chicken tacos for the next meal and chicken soup with the rest, it makes it less monotonous.
In this recipe, to keep it neutral I use salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to flavor the chicken. It’s easy to adapt the seasonings for a different twist. Cumin, chili pepper and cayenne pepper work well for making chicken chili, tacos or tortilla soup with the leftovers. Garlic, ginger and orange zest work well for making leftover chicken stir-fry. Get creative with the flavors you like.
You can also leave out the potatoes or swap them out for other hardy vegetables. Root vegetables hold up the best with the longer cooking time the chicken requires. Sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips are some possibilities.
One neat feature on most electric pressure cookers is the ability to use them as a slow cooker. If you’d rather slow cook your whole chicken, follow the steps through step 11. Instead of locking the lid and setting it to cook under high pressure, keep the lid in the venting position and select the slow cook setting. You will want to cook the chicken for about 3-4 hours on “high” slow cook or 6-7 hours on “normal” slow cook, which is the equivalent of “low” on a traditional slow cooker. I do recommend double-checking the instructions for the slow cook setting on your pressure cooker, as there may be some variations.
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Whole Chicken and Potatoes
- Electric pressure cooker
- Trivet or rack insert for the electric pressure cooker
- 5-6 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges
- 5-6 medium potatoes cut into large chunks Firmer potatoes, like Yukon golds work a little better, but I used Russets because that's what I had on hand.
- 4 tbsp coconut or other high heat oil
- 3/4 cup water or chicken broth
- poultry seasoning
- Season both sides of your chicken with your choice of seasonings. I used salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, but you can adjust this to your family's taste.
- Select the "Saute" setting on your pressure cooker.
- Add the coconut oil to the pot and heat until melted and shimmery.
- Brown the whole chicken on both sides in the coconut oil until lightly browned. I use this time do cut up the onion and potatoes.
- Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add the onion wedges to the pot and cook until translucent and starting to brown.
- Add about 1/2 cup of water or broth to the pot with the onions to deglaze the pot. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot to mix into the liquid.
- Turn off the "Saute" function.
- Place the trivet on top of the onions and liquid in the pot. Add about 1/4 cup more of water or broth to the pot.
- Place the browned chicken on the trivet.
- Place the potato chunks around and on top of the chicken.
- Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally and carefully open the lid.
- Check the temperature of the chicken to ensure that it has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not done, cook for another 3-5 minutes under high pressure and recheck.
- Carefully remove the potatoes, chicken and trivet.
- Optional: Press "Saute" and allow the onions and liquid to simmer for a few minutes to condense the liquid to serve over the chicken and potatoes.
- Optional: Place the chicken on a broiler-safe pan and place in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to crisp up the skin.
- Plate and serve with a side of veggies.
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