I love the idea of homemade soup, slow cooked chicken, and paleo but honestly, I struggle with making room in the schedule. Until recently cooking a whole chicken, broth, storing the broth, and clean up was a full day affair. This Instant Pot Whole Chicken from start to finish (including clean up) took less than 2 hours and the majority of it I wasn’t even in the kitchen for. It’s a fix and forget with minimal mess. Who doesn’t love minimal mess!
First I gathered the ingredients:
- thyme and oregano from the garden
- roughly chopped celery, onion, and carrots
- bay leaf
- salt & pepper
- and of course a whole chicken
Place the chopped vegetables and bay leaf in the bottom of the Instant Pot and cover with 3 cups of water.
Handling raw chicken requires care. Rather than re-write the details, here is a link on 6 Tips to Prevent Salmonella. Preventing foodborne illnesses can be avoided with proper food handling techniques.
Next mix the fresh cut thyme and oregano with salt and pepper. Take a big handful and rub it into the chicken under the skin. Once the chicken is thoroughly seasoned, place it in the Instant Pot. Put the steam rack on top of the vegetables and rest the chicken, breast side down, on the steam rack. Throw in an extra sprig or two of herbs and close the lid.
Make sure you seal the lid. Set the Instant Pot for “meat” and reduce the time to 25 minutes. It should take approximately 10 min to reach pressure and begin the 25 min cook (if you are at a higher altitude, like us, it will take a tad bit longer).
While you wait for the pot to pressurize and cook there’s plenty of time to clean up and do a little research on what to do with that weird bag that came from the inside of the chicken. This bag contains the giblets (heart, liver, kidneys, and gizzard). It’s worth keeping.
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Giblets
- Fried Chicken Hearts and Giblets Recipe
- Spicy Chicken Giblets
- Chicken Heart and Liver Adobo
Once the 25 minutes are up, allow the Instant Pot to de-pressurize naturally for 15 to 30 minutes. Just unplug and do a load of laundry, or better yet grab a glass of wine and enjoy an episode of your favorite show.
If you force it to depressurize before the 15 minutes it will suck some of the moisture out of your chicken. No one wants dry chicken. Be patient and go put your feet up.
30 minutes after the cook time has ended I found the chicken cool enough to handle and debone.
I keep the broth and carrots but remove the onions and celery. Throw in just a handful, 1/2 to 1 cup of the shredded deboned chicken. This is easy to freeze and add noodles to at a later date. It’s always good to have homemade chicken noodle soup at the ready for sick tummies.
Save the bones to make bone broth. You’ll need a few more vegetables and some apple cider vinegar. You can find an adaptable recipe to your taste at Stupid Easy Paleo.
The meat can be used immediately in your favorite dish, served as the main course, or frozen for later.
We love using Pyrex for food prep and storage. Works great for freezing full meals and reheating (just make sure you let it thaw to room temperature before placing in the oven or microwave, you don’t want to learn this the hard way).
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Whole Chicken (about 5 lbs)
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 2 Carrots
- Bay Leaf
- 3 cups water
- 3 Tbsp Thyme, fresh
- 3 Tbsp Oregano, fresh
- salt & pepper
- Cut up onion, celery, and carrots in large pieces and layer in the bottom of the instant pot. Add the bay leaf and water.
- Place the steam rack on top of the vegetables.
- Combine thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub under the skin of the chicken.
- Place chicken on steam rack, breast side down.
- Turn the vent valve to closed, select the "Meat" setting, and change the time to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically. Depending on your altitude it will take approximately 10 min to come to pressure before the 25 min countdown begins.
- Once it is completed, unplug the Instant Pot and let it release naturally for 15 min.
- Let it sit for up to 30 min to cool.
- Take your chicken out, cut it up, freeze it for later or use it immediately.
What would you use this Instant Pot Whole Chicken for? We’re using it for Grandma’s Chicken Spaghetti this week. A favorite in our home and easy to freeze for a quick meal.