Part One: Cooking a Whole Chicken
Chicken is a staple in our home and I cook a whole chicken almost every week. My husband is currently raising our first round of meat birds but up until now we have been purchasing our chicken from the local grocery store. Organic chickens are not cheap so I try to make them stretch as far as possible.
My routine is to first cook the chicken and use it in a meal. A favorite around here is chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Then I remove all the leftover meat from the chicken and use the bones to make bone broth. The meat can then be used for lunches throughout the week or for another meal. I love to shred up the chicken and use the bone broth to make a delicious chicken soup. Honestly, there are endless possibilities when it comes to utilizing a chicken.
This three part series will teach you how to do all these things using the Instant Pot . The process of cooking the chicken, making the bone broth, and cooking the soup was something that used to take me two days to accomplish. With the Instant Pot, I can get all of it done in just one afternoon!
In case you aren’t familiar with the Instant Pot, I will give you a quick run down. It is seriously one the most amazing kitchen appliances I have ever used! It is a pressure cooker that has so many different functions. It cooks food in a very short time so meals come together very quickly. It can be used for cooking meats, vegetables, soups, stews, rice, and even yogurt. It can even double as a slow cooker and keeps food warm for hours after it is done cooking. There are two different sizes and this is the one that I own. Using the Instant Pot allows me to cut down on my time in the kitchen. All my busy moms out there know how important that is.
Now you definitely don’t need to have an Instant Pot to do all these things. Roasting chickens in the oven and simmering bone broth on the stove had been my weekly routine for years before I came across the Instant Pot. But I have found that using the Instant Pot is just so convenient and fast that I rarely use my oven to cook a chicken anymore.
Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot
- 1 medium onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 3-4 lb chicken
- 1 cup water
- fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, and parsely
- salt and pepper
Cut the onion into quarters and the carrot in half. Finely mince the garlic clove. Lay the vegetables in the bottom of the pot.
Set the rack the comes with the Instant Pot over the vegetables. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack.
Chop up your herbs and sprinkle them over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Close the lid of the pot. Press the Manual button and set the timer to 25.
When the 25 minutes is up, wait 10 additional minutes before releasing the pressure from the pot.
Cooking a whole chicken with the Instant Pot is actually a very simple process.
First, you will need to cut a medium onion into quarters and carrot in half. Finely chop a clove of garlic. Place all the vegetables in the bottom of the pot.
Now place the wire rack over the vegetables. Wash your chicken and place on top of the rack.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. I love the flavor that fresh herbs add to the chicken but you can also use dried herbs. Pour one cup of water into the pot.
Close the lid of the pot and press the Manual button. Pressing the [+] button, increase the cook time to 25 minutes for a 3.5-4 pound chicken. You will need to increase the time by a couple minutes if your chicken is bigger.
When the chicken is done cooking, allow it to sit in the pot for approximately 10 minutes and then turn the vent to release the pressure. Lift the chicken out of the pot using the handles on the rack. Now you have a perfectly cooked chicken that is ready to eat. Save the cooked vegetables to use for bone broth.
Stay tuned for Part Two where I will walk you through making bone broth in the Instant Pot.