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Instant Pot Spiced Chicken, and More: A Recipe Flow

Do you have an instant pot? I got mine a few months back after hearing my friend and sister rave about theirs. While I was reluctant to add another kitchen tool, I can now say with full confidence: this thing is amazing. Cook a whole chicken on the fly? Perfect. Soups and broths? Yum. Steel-cut oats in minutes? Yes, please. It’s the crock-pot on crack. It’s a crack pot.

recipe flow

A Recipe Flow: When One Recipe Turns Into Four

One of my favorite things to do is to cook a whole chicken in the pot. It’s so easy and delicious, and it feeds my whole family. All it takes is a little salt, pepper, and garam masala (my current favorite spice mix), and you’re ready to go.

instant pot spiced chicken

Oh, and your whole kitchen will smell amazing. But the best part for me is that one chicken in the instant pot makes several meals: dinner that night, leftover shredded chicken for the rest of the week to use in lunch boxes and soups, and an incredibly rich and immune-boosting bone broth. I make that broth by tossing all the bones back into in the Instant Pot along with a few other ingredients, then hit a button, and wait. It’s really that easy.

When all is said and done I have plenty of bone broth to both freeze for later and keep in my refrigerator for weekly use. I use it as a base for soups, or when I want an extra immune boost, I pour it into a mug and drink it. It’s liquid gold.

Because several recipes for the week come out of one instant pot chicken recipe, I’m calling this series a “recipe flow.” Today I’ll share the Instant Pot Spiced Chicken. Next up I’ll post the Rich and Nourishing Bone Broth recipe, then the Shredded Chicken Salad, and finally, the Lemony Orzo Bone Broth Soup. Start on a Monday with the Instant Pot Chicken and follow this recipe flow – you will be so happy you did!

Recipe: Instant Pot Spiced Chicken

instant pot spiced chicken

  • 1 whole organic, pastured chicken, approx. 3 – 4 lbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (I go with ghee)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala*
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth

Rinse your chicken under cold running water, pat dry, and set on a plate. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and garam masala, mix together, then set aside. Break up 1/2 the tablespoon of butter or ghee and rub on the outside of the chicken, then tuck any leftover bits under the skin of the breast. Rub the spice mixture all over the outside of the chicken and sprinkle some inside the chicken as well.

Set your instant pot to ‘saute’ mode. Add the other 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the pot, along with the tablespoon of olive oil. Once the butter/oil is melted, add the chicken (breast side down) to the pot and allow it to brown for about 3-4 minutes. Turn it over and let the other side brown for the same amount of time.

Carefully lift the chicken and add the trivet to the bottom of the pot along with 1 cup of chicken broth or water. Set the pot to ‘poultry’ and the manual time to 24 minutes.* Make sure the valve is set to ‘seal.’

**If serving for dinner**, while the chicken is cooking I like to prep one or two easy sides, such as green beans and/or rice (my kids love this green beans recipe because the beans stay crunchy). I served it this time with roasted potatoes. If you aren’t serving this for dinner, just focus on the chicken.

Once the chicken is finished, let the pressure valve naturally release. (This is important to keep your chicken from drying out.) You can try to remove the whole chicken from the pot and de-bone it on a separate plate, but honestly, it’s so moist and juicy that it usually starts falling right off the bone in the pot. Do what works for you to get the bones in the pot and the chicken meat in a separate bowl. If you’re going to eat dinner you can start the bone broth now, or wait until you’re done – whatever works for you.

Serve, and enjoy! Here are the other recipes off of this one:

Recipe Notes

  • You can use whichever herb mix you like. But if you want my honest opinion, the garam masala is what makes this dish, the bone broth, and all leftovers, amazing.
  • I use ghee because my son can tolerate the lactose in dairy butter, but I’d use it even if he could because the ghee adds to the richness of both the chicken as well as the bone broth.
  • The cook time of 24 minutes is for a 4 lb. chicken. The general rule is 6 minutes per pound of chicken, so adjust accordingly based on the size of your bird.

Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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