Tips To Make The Best Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- Allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes: This helps keep the meat from seizing up and becoming tough. It will also help finish the meat to cook through completely and absorb more flavours.
- Thicken the sauce: I really enjoy this dish without needing to thicken the sauce. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the cooked chicken from the Instant Pot, and turn on the Sauté setting. Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Alternatively, make a slurry by mixing 3 Tablespoons water with 3 Tablespoons flour until smooth. Stir into the sauce and cook on saute for 1 – 2 minutes until thickened.
- Use fresh spices: Paprika, in particular, loses its strength and flavour rather quickly. Use the freshest spices possible for maximum flavour.
- Don’t add too much liquid: Repeating this again due to how important it is to not add too much liquid. Particularly for this recipe which includes vegetables that release a lot of liquid when pressure cooked.
- No need to use a trivet: Most recipes will have you place the chicken thighs on a trivet to prevent them from boiling in the liquid. In this recipe, the chicken will rest on the large amount of onions and peppers so one is not needed. That said, if you are omitting the peppers, or you don’t have a lot of vegetables, consider using a trivet if you have one.
- Remove a few onions for garnish: This is optional but once the onions brown, I like to remove a few and reserve them for garnish.
Preparing Frozen Chicken For The Instant Pot
The Instant Pot relies on moisture for cooking, so you need to make sure you include some with your chicken. Simply add a cup of liquid to the inner pot before adding your chicken and spices.
To enhance the flavor you are going for, Id recommend cooking it in the juice, says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD. For instance, if you want a pineapple chicken, substitute a portion of the water for pineapple juice to allow it to cook into the meat.
If youre just meal prepping plain chicken to add to recipes later, water or chicken broth works perfectly.
Once you have your frozen chicken ready for cooking, simply press the manual or pressure cook button on your Instant Pot and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, and youre ready to enjoy it!
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs From Fresh Or Frozen
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs from fresh or frozen are tender, juicy, and deeply flavorful! Served with a delicious brown butter garlic sauce to smother the chicken or as additional gravy and pan sauce. Instructions included for fresh or frozen chicken thighs.
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Whole Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot For Real
The Instant Pot can cook a whole chicken thats frozen solid in less than an hour. Its a dadgum miracle, I tell you. And this recipe is super handy since I typically make a whole chicken every week so Im stocked up on homemade bone broth.
Not only is this recipe a time saver, its delicious to boot. The fact its healthy and full of protein, nourishing fats, and joint, hair, and nail supporting collagen is icing on the cake.
Youll also find high amounts of selenium, B vitamins, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamin A.
How To Make Fresh Chicken Thighs In An Instant Pot
Cooking perfect Instant Pot chicken thighs is a no-brainer. Check out the recipe overview below:
- Trim and Season Chicken: Trim any excess fat and skin from your chicken thighs. Massage the seasoning all over the thighs until they are completely coated.
- Brown the Chicken and Onions: On the sauté setting, brown the outside of the chicken thighs. Remove the chicken. Cut onion into half rings and sauté in the brown bits leftover from browning the chicken.
- Pressure Cook Chicken: Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, nestling the thighs on top of the onions. Seal and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Allow the chamber to have a natural release for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!
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How To Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs In The Instant Pot
Very easy! All you need is a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs , your favorite seasonings and a cup of water. Pour 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot, add chicken thighs and sprinkle or rub them with your favorite seasonings . Close the lid of the Instant Pot, turn the vent to a Sealing position, press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the time to 15 minutes for fresh chicken thighs or 30 minutes for frozen. When its done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release the remaining steam. The chicken thighs are ready juicy and tender!
As you can see on the above picture, I put chicken directly in the water without a trivet. If youd like, you can use the trivet the outcome will be the same. Im just lazy and find the trivet to be one extra thing to wash There are some recipes that truly require a trivet , but unless trivet is necessary, Im known to dump the ingredients directly in the pot .
What to make more than 1 package of boneless skinless chicken thighs? You can add as much chicken as youd like, as long as it fits below the Max Fill line of the Instant Pot. The cooking time remains the same and the amount of water remains 1 cup.
If you are looking for more Instant Pot chicken recipes, you will love these:
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken turn these chicken thighs into BBQ chicken thighs! This recipe is so easy and everyone loves it!
Yes You Can Take Frozen Chicken Directly From The Freezer And Cook It In The Pressure Cooker Just Add Some Water Turn It On And Let It Cook Dinner Is On The Way
Featured in 11 Recipes to Make with Freezer Ingredients
Pressure cooking is convenient for so many things, and one place where it really shines is with frozen chicken.
If you keep frozen chicken breasts or thighs on hand, you can always have some protein ready in a pinch, making dinner prep that much easier.
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How To Cook Instant Pot Chicken Thighs:
- Because Im all about EASY these days , I normally use boneless chicken thighs in this Instant Pot recipe. The difference in cook time is significant, so make sure you read through thoroughly.
- I pretty much always use skinless chicken, because I know Im not going to eat the skin anyways. The choice is up to you, though, as skin or no skin wont affect cook time. You will, however, really want to make sure you brown it well first on saute!
- If you choose to brown your chicken before pressure cooking, its important to deglaze well first so that you do not get a burn notification. Simply add the chicken broth while on saute, wait for it to get hot, and then scrape the bottom of the pot well with a sturdy spoon.
- I like to cook my chicken breasts or chicken thighs in the Instant Pot with chicken broth and simple seasonings, and then add thicker sauces and finishing seasoning or spices at the end, after it is cooked. The reason for this is that thick liquids can clock up the steam release valve and cause a burn notification if the sauce sticks or begins to caramelize on the bottom of the pot. No one needs that head ache!
- Ive included a super simple homemade bbq sauce that we use to glaze the chicken thighs after cooking. Feel free to use my recipe, or serve with your own favorite sauces or seasonings, or simply shred the chicken for salads and sandwiches.
How To Cook Whole Frozen Chicken In Instant Pot
Cooking a whole chicken is an awesome move for any cook. It yields a ton of meat that you can use for any recipe that calls for shredded chicken.
Its a convenient protein to have handy whether you want to dip a chicken wing into BBQ sauce or toss some cold chicken on to a salad. Chicken filling, delicious, and especially awesome if you take that extra step to get your skin nice and crispy in the oven. Finally, the bones will yield you a hearty chicken bone broth which you can also make in your Instant Pot .
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How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Pressure Cooker
To cook frozen chicken breasts or thighs, use the times given here and follow the basic method for How To Cook Chicken in the Pressure Cooker. In short, youll add the chicken to the pot with some water and seasonings, then close up the pot and cook at high pressure.
Since the chicken goes in the pot frozen, I tack on a few extra minutes to ensure that its cooked through. See the times below for cooking times for boneless and bone-in breasts and thighs.
For extra flavor and to speed up the time the pot takes to come up to pressure, you can also brown the frozen meat in a little bit of oil before adding the liquid, if you like!
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs How To
These chicken thighs are incredibly flavourful and easy to prepare thanks to to a few pantry-friendly and the handy Instant Pot. After quickly browning the chicken and sautéing some onions and peppers, then add in just about a half hour, it is done!
Here is a visual step-by-step:
- Season chicken with spices and slice onions and peppers.
- Brown chicken in two batches in the Instant Pot on one side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Sauté onions and peppers. Deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of water and scrape up all the browned bits.
- Place chicken on top of sautéed onions and peppers.
- Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes for fresh chicken thighs, and 12 minutes for frozen. If using bone-in thighs, add 2 minutes to cooking time.
- Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 to 15 minutes then turn the valve to venting to release any remaining steam.
- Release any remaining pressure. When the steam has released, turn the lid, and carefully remove it. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, and sauté the sauce to thicken, if desired.
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Seasoning The Chicken Thighs
Dark meat has more flavor than white meat, but seasoning is a must. You can simply season it with salt and pepper, but I recommend adding more flavors. In this recipe here Ive used paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
But feel free to use your favorite seasonings, I love this homemade fajita seasoning, Italian seasoning is also great, and if youre feeling adventurous then go for Middle Eastern flavors with this easy shawarma seasoning recipe.
Fresh Vs Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Instant Pot
One of the great advantages of Instant Pot cooking is you can cook straight from frozen, no thawing required. To cook chicken thighs of any kind from frozen, you’ll want to up the cooking time to about 14 minutes . See below for exact cooking times.
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs From Frozen
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs can totally be cooked from frozen! Its such a lifesaver when youve forgotten to pull meat out of the freezer for dinner.
Yes, its true: You can totally cook chicken thighs straight from frozen in your Instant Pot. This is a miraculous revelation for crazy weeknights when youve forgotten to take something out to defrost.
Can You Put Frozen Meat In Pressure Cooker
It is possible to pressure cook smaller cuts of frozen meat and frozen poultry. You can also easily pressure cook frozen vegetables. To pressure cook thick pieces of frozen meat like beef or pork roasts, it will take up to one -third more than the normal cooking time, and the results will not taste very good.
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How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs
Not every piece of chicken is the same size and some will have bones, some will be frozen, some wont be. We want to make sure your chicken thighs turn out perfect no matter how they start out. So here is a chart to help you decide how long to cook your chicken.
- More than 15 pieces: 15 minutes
- Boneless: 6 minutes
- More than 15 pieces: 13 minutes
The chicken should be 165 degrees F after cooking when measured on a meat thermometer. Its important to make sure its reached the right temperature before you eat it.
Step Four: Cook On High Pressure According To The Cook Times Below
- The cook time will remain the same whether you have a small amount of chicken or a lot, but the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure will increase the more chicken you have. The time it takes to come to pressure will also be longer if youre cooking frozen chicken.
The below cook times are based upon average weights. If your chicken is smaller, decrease the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes depending upon the extent of the size variation. If they are larger, increase the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes. When in doubt, error on the side of less time. You can always cook the chicken for longer, but once its overcooked , you cant reverse the process.
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What Makes These Instant Pot Chicken Thighs So Good
- Cooking your chicken thighs in the Instant Pot with just a couple ingredients makes dinner so incredibly easy, yet still SO tasty. This recipe is also perfect for meal prep or cooking your chicken to use in another recipe.
- I literally gasped when I tried these chicken thighs for the first time and said out loud , Oh, mama! You know its good when you cant stop yourself from shouting for joy!
- Forgot to thaw chicken for dinner? No problem! This recipe is meant for frozen chicken thighs.No more long waits or accidentally nuking your chicken in the microwave!
How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Instant Pot
Alright, Ill give you the straight up answer right off the bat. But please take the time to read our hard-earned lessons weve learned about cooking freezer meals and frozen food in the Instant Pot below, k?
After adding 1 cup of chicken broth or water to the Instant Pot here is how you cook frozen chicken thighs:
1-2 Pounds Frozen, Boneless Chicken Thighs: Cook at high pressure for 15-20 minutes with a quick release
2-3 Pounds Frozen, Bone-In Chicken Thighs: Cook at high pressure for 17-22 minutes with a quick release
Id recommend adding salt and pepper to add much-needed flavor to the chicken.
You can also add a more complex seasoning like in our recipe below. To make Instant Pot chicken thighs even more delicious, broil them on a sheet pan for a few minutes after they cook to get the skin crispy.
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs And Rice Recipe
I already have a pressure cooker rice and chicken on the blog but it uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Todays recipe, I am sharing with you how to perfectly cook bone-in chicken thighs with rice in your instant pot without the rice turning mushy or the chicken overcooked.
You can also use chicken legs for this recipe. Chicken legs or quarter is a combination of thighs and the drumstick.
If you follow this recipe to the letter, you wont get the almighty BURN notice, a big statement but it is the truth and that is why I made a video just to show you how easy it is. I cant deny I have had a few shares of BURN notices when using my 6qt Instant pot Duo but one thing I didnt do is fret.
I just believe the new instant pot has a mind of its own and it sometimes doesnt like tomatoes. There you have it, this recipe didnt use tomatoes, so no cause for alarm.
Related post: If you dont own a pressure cooker but you would still love to make this recipe, check out my one-pot chicken and rice recipe.
Chicken Breast Instant Pot Cook Times
BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS
Fresh Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 8 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 10-ounce boneless chicken breasts
Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 12 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 10-ounce boneless chicken breasts
BONE-IN CHICKEN BREASTS
Fresh Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- 10 minutes, natural release for 5 minutes
- Based on 12-ounce bone-in chicken breasts
Frozen Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- 25 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 12-ounce bone-in chicken breasts
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