I have to admit that since I got my Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker), I haven’t done much more than fry an egg on my hob. A lot of that is getting to know a new piece of kit but mostly, it’s because it’s just so convenient and fast to use. It’s exactly what you need if like me, there’s a constantly growing to do list glaring at you and one very Hungry Hubby who wants feeding on a daily basis! (How very rude eh?) You may have seen my post on how to slow roast a chicken to perfection and that is all well and good for those glorious days of pottering about your kitchen still wearing your jimjams mid-afternoon. But even my weekends are becoming precious commodities and making a roast dinner hasn’t been a regular here for many years. Between the full time day job, blogging (the full time night job!), trying to maintain a clean and tidy Apple Chapel and dare I say finding a bit of time with Hungry Hubby, friends and family and a spot of self-care; well cooking dinner gets pushed further down the list of things which seem feasible everyday. Even for a food blogger! That’s all about to change thanks to my Instant Pot Roast Chicken Dinner.
I fear no chicken within a 50-mile radius will be safe now I’ve discovered how easy and how very the Instant Pot makes cooking a whole chicken. Chicken is Hungry Hubby’s most favourite food but roast dinners are such a lot of work for one meal, even just for two people like we are but you can now get the whole dinner on the table in under one hour! That’s right, a 1.5kg chicken (which would be a medium to large chicken at the supermarket) cooks in 25 minutes and the potatoes and veg take 15-20 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly! I’ve flavoured the chicken simply with garlic and parsley butter but you can get inventive with the seasonings if you prefer. I love the way the Instant Pot cooks potatoes until tender without ever making them mushy and after a bit of tinkering with timings, I’m happy with how the cauliflower, broccoli and edamame cook here. You could add some carrot if you like too. And a knob of butter on the piping hot veg is never a bad thing 😉
There are a few teeny compromises to make in cooking the “roast” in a pressure cooker but let me assure you, they aren’t anything too significant. You will still feel you’ve had your roast dinner itch scratched when the plates are licked clean. The first thing to say is the chicken needs to be browned first (you can do this on the sauté mode) and you won’t get the same crisp skin you would in the oven but honestly after testing it myself, it is still very enjoyable to eat – just make sure you get the breast good and brown. I use my Thermapen to check the chicken is to cooked through (you want it to hold at 70˚C for a few minutes) then allow it to rest under foil whilst the veg cooks.
The next compromise, which actually, in the summer, I have no problem with, is the potatoes will come out steamed/baked and so will the veg. Normally I roast both and both Hungry Hubby and I love the caramelisation you get in the dry heat of a domestic oven but really, it’s nice and light this way. If you have some of this stuffing tucked away in your freezer, simply thaw and reheat as the Instant Pot does the rest. It even cooks the gravy for you so all in all, you get everything you want from a Roast Chicken Dinner – juicy, tender, well-seasoned meat, perfectly cooked spuds, freshly cooked veg and lashings of gravy to bring this delicious meal together. How could you want more? And ooo, I almost forgot the best bit – if you have left over chicken a day or two later, simply cook the veg as per the recipe in your Instant Pot and voila – a roast dinner on the table in 15 minutes! (I often freeze some of the concentrated juices from particularly juicy chickens so we can always have plenty of delicious home-cooked gravy).
- One 1.5kg chicken
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- Large knob of butter
- A drizzle of olive oil
- 60 ml white Vermouth*
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to season with
- 6-8 new potatoes Charlotte and Jersey work very well here
- One small head of cauliflower cut into florets
- One small head of broccoli cut into florets
- 150 g frozen edamame shelled
- 2 tsp cornflour
Start by mixing the garlic with a little seasoning and some of the butter (a couple of teaspoons will do) then loosen the skin around the neck of the chicken and push the garlic mix underneath as far as you can.
Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the oil and rest of the butter (I never measure but use around 2tsp oil and a good heaped tbsp of butter mostly). It will heat rapidly so when hot, pop the chicken in and give it a good browning on all sides.
When brown, sit the chicken breast side up and season the top with salt, pepper and the fresh parsley then pour in the Vermouth and cancel the Sauté mode
Set the Instant Pot to Manual. Set the time at 25 minutes and when it's finished, do a quick release (push the knob to "Venting") and retrieve the chicken using tongs. Check the temp is 70˚C with a meat thermometer if you have one to be sure it's cooked or check the juices run clear when you pierce a thick part of the meat if not.
Pour any juices from the Instant Pot into a jug whilst you cook the veg - this will be the gravy later.
Now put the steaming rack in and place the potatoes on top. Add 250ml water and put the lid on, ensuring the knob is turned to "Sealing". Set Manual to 10 minutes.
When the time is up, do another quick release and carefully place the cauliflower, broccoli and edamame on top. Put the lid on for one final time and give the veg 5 minutes further on Manual.
This time, I like to wait 1-2 minutes maximum after the cooking time is finished to ensure the veg is cooked through - please note this is personal preference and you are best advised to check it at 5 mins the first time to see if the veg is cooked to your own liking. Do not leave it on Keep Warm for a prolonged period as the veg will overcook.
When ready, tip all the veg into a large colander and season as liked.
Return the jug of cooking juices to the Instant Pot along with any that have collected from the chicken itself. Place on Sauté and bring to a bubble.
When bubbling, slake the cornflour in 1 tbsp cold water then pour in and use a whisk to blend well. Bring back to the boil and when thickened to your liking, taste for seasoning and check if you want to add anything. A splash of single cream is lovely if you want to be decadent or simply a splash of Worcestershire sauce if it needs a savoury bite, mustard if you like a little heat or even some red currant jelly if it needs sweetening.
I love to put all the chicken and veg on one large platter and carve at the table. Serve whilst the gravy is piping hot.
* = you can use white wine instead but I always have a bottle of Vermouth in for cooking with and drink the all the white wine ... 😉
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