This Instant Pot whole chicken recipe is moist, tender, and so easy to make! It can be carved into delicious pieces or shredded and used in a variety of dishes, including your meal prep!
Has anyone been craving a delicious 'roasted' chicken but didn't want to wait hours for it to bake in the oven? Or maybe, you didn't want to turn on the oven on a warm summer day? Were you craving tacos with shredded chicken? Or maybe, tossing some chicken on your salad? Or heck, maybe you were trying to meal prep for the week and wanted to shred some rotisserie chicken for any number of meals. All is good folks, as this whole chicken in your Instant Pot has you covered!
This recipe is one of those quick and easy go-to recipes that you will find yourself making again and again. You can serve a delicious Sunday dinner with roasted chicken that didn't take you all day to make. Cook up some corn on the cob and you have comfort food on the table without all the hassles.
If you are new to using the Instant Pot, you'll find some useful tips is my article How To Use The Instant Pot.
It's a great chicken recipe if all you want to do is shred chicken for another recipe or have the shredded chicken ready to go for the week. Most of the time for me, I make this recipe so I have a piece or two of chicken for dinner the night I make it. Then, I shred the rest of the chicken. I then either put the shredded chicken in containers and refrigerate it or freeze it - or possibly both! Are you getting the idea here how many options there are with and Instant Pot whole chicken?
Storage Tips: Chicken can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. When freezing, store the chicken in portion-sized packages for easier use.
Best of all, the chicken always comes out moist and tender. If you are planning to shred it, it's pretty much fall off the bone too! Oh hey, I almost forgot to tell you that I save the juices from the pot as stock for another dish. You will want to skim any excess fat from the stock before using it. That last step is really easy after it has been refrigerated and the fat has congealed. Again, I can either pack the stock in portion-sized containers and refrigerate it or freeze it.
What I Love About This Chicken Recipe:
- 5 Ingredients. Chicken, cooking oils, poultry seasoning, paprika, and chicken broth. I don't count salt, as it is a kitchen staple.
- Moist and Delicious. Pressure cooking the whole chicken keeps the moisture inside the bird, right where you want it. Browning the chicken before pressure cooking creates a richer flavor in the chicken. Known as the Maillard Reaction, browning breaks down the larger molecules into smaller ones which we perceive as flavor.
- Versatile. Can be carved and served as a comforting chicken dinner. It also can be shredded as used in many other dishes, such as salads, tacos, enchiladas, soups, and sandwiches.
- Faster. Approximately 40 minutes for sauteéing, pressure cooking, and resting. This timing does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
Alright, let's get down to business...
To make this Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe, you will only need these 5 Ingredients:
- Whole Chicken: A 3-pound chicken (approximately) works well. Any much larger chicken will be difficult to brown and will not fit well in the Instant Pot.
- Poultry Seasoning: Easy to find in most grocery stores. Or, you can make your own seasoning with 1-½ tsp each dried sage, thyme, and rosemary. You can add a bay leaf to the broth for added flavor.
- Paprika: Gives the chicken it's lovely reddish colored seasoning. Adds just the right hint of peppery flavor.
- Vegetable Oil and Butter: I like using butter with the vegetable oil when browning the chicken as it adds a golden color and rich taste. You could use just vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Chicken Broth: You can use either store-bought chicken broth or homemade chicken stock.
Steps for Success:
- Season the chicken. Sprinkle the poultry seasoning, paprika, and salt all over the chicken.
- Brown chicken. Use long tongs if you have them to turn the chicken during browning. Be careful to avoid any splattering oils as the chicken browns. You can see in the picture above, just how much spattering is on the inside of the pot. This occurs more frequently as the chicken fat breaks down into the pot.
- Pressure cook. 18 minutes and done!
- Rest. Let the chicken stand 10 minutes to seal in the moisture and tenderness. Now you are ready to either carve or shred!
Side Dish Recommendations:
Instant Pot Whole Chicken (Moist and Tender)
- Steam rack
- Season chicken all over with poultry seasoning, paprika, and salt. Set your Instant Pot to sauté on Normal. When the display says Hot, add butter and oil; heat until butter is melted. Add chicken and cook for about 8 minutes, turning often and adding more oil as necessary, until browned on all sides. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate.
- Pour in broth and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, for about 1 minute. Add bay leaf (if using). Press Cancel.
- Place the steam rack in the pot. Transfer chicken to the rack, breast side up. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken.
- Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing. Set your Instant Pot to pressure cook on High for 18 minutes.
- When the cooking time is done, press Cancel and turn the steam release handle to Venting. When the float valve drops down, remove the lid.
- An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast should register at least 165°F (74°C). (If more cooking time is needed, continue pressure cooking on High for 2 minutes.)
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes or until ready to carve or shred. Strain cooking liquid and make gravy (see tip), or let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days to use as stock (see tip).
- This will yield about 3 cups shredded chicken.
- Measure the diameter of your inner pot and purchase a chicken that will fit in it.
- To make gravy, transfer the cooking liquid to a glass measuring cup and spoon off as much fat as possible. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water to make a slurry. Stir slurry into cooking liquid until well combined. Set your Instant Pot to sauté on Less. When the display says Hot, add gravy and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until thickened to your liking.
- If using the leftover cooking liquid as stock, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Skim fat from stock before using. You will have 2 ⁄3 to 1 cup (150 to 250 mL) stock.
- In place of poultry seasoning, you can use 1-½ tsp (7 mL) each dried sage, thyme and rosemary.
- If your chicken came with giblets, you can add them to the pot in step 4.