This Instant Pot chicken and rice reminds me of eating in my Grandma B’s kitchen after school. It’s a brothy dish, not dry, similar to a bog or congee.
(Scroll through for picture tutorial.)
Originally posted on January 6, 2018; updated process pictures on August 22, 2019.
Grandma B’s Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice
Some of my most vivid memories are attached to food. And I don’t think I’ve ever known a cook as good as my Grandma B. I remember growing up and being amazed at how good even her rice tasted. She is no longer with us, so I can’t ask – but I’m pretty sure this Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is similar. Even if it isn’t, it sure reminds me of eating in her kitchen after school. And that’s just fine with me.
Few Ingredients. Few steps.
Ya gotta love a recipe that doesn’t require many ingredients or complicated preparation. Every now and then it’s just nice to have something simple that still delivers delicious flavor. I mean, the toughest part of this pressure cooker chicken and rice is trying to remove the whole chicken from the pressure cooker. Then just remove the meat from the bones while the rice cooks, and add it back. Anyone can do this! Anyone.
Benefits of Whole Chicken Broth
It’s not just folklore, chicken soup really does have healing powers with colds and the flu. People have known this forever, but some don’t know exactly what the benefits are. Well, the chicken releases an amino acid called cysteine into the soup that helps thin mucus in the lungs. Chicken broth is also a great source of protein for your muscles, which is particularly good when you are feeling weak. And while adding more ingredients before cooking the broth (like onions, carrots, ginger, etc.) will add additional benefits [see this chicken noodle soup], this particular recipe is about as simple as it gets. It really is chicken and rice; one of the comfort foods of my childhood.
And this is the AMAZING result…
Tips for Making this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
After you cook the chicken and the pressure has released naturally, the longer you can leave the chicken in the broth the better! Because we are quick-cooking the chicken, this will give it a little more time to become one with the broth. This is not a necessity, but I think it tastes a little better. And it’s worth it if you’re not pressed for time.
Also, after you completed the entire process, do not return lid to pot. This rice will continue to cook and become complete mush.
Can I substitute the rice? Yes. I’ve made this dish with all kinds of rice, and it works. I prefer regular long grain white rice, but jasmine and basmati works as well.
Can I use brown rice? While you can sub brown rice, it has a different texture and consistency that will yield a different result. But, that being said, cook the brown rice for 22 minutes at low pressure.
Can I use store-bought broth and boneless skinless chicken breasts? The magic of this recipe is in the broth made from a whole chicken. If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in doing, you should probably not use this recipe. The results will be disappointing.
What is a controlled quick-release? Controlled quick-release is when you open the release valve halfway, then monitor it closely as the steam escapes. Often times, meals with high starch content like rice or pasta, may build up lots of bubbles inside the pot. If the bubbles begin to escape, simply close the valve for a few seconds, and then open halfway again. A full quick-release may spew them all over the countertop.
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Grandma B's Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 4-6 lb. whole chicken
- 4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper divided
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Place whole chicken in Instant Pot breast side up, then add water, salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Lock lid, close vent, and cook for 30 minutes on high pressure.
- Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally (will take about 30 minutes). Then transfer chicken from pot to a separate bowl. Be careful because it might be falling apart, which is good! Using a fine mesh strainer or slotted spoon, remove any pieces of chicken that may still be in broth.
- Add lemon juice and rice to broth, then mix well. Lock lid, close vent, and cook` for 4 minutes on low pressure.
- Meanwhile - remove all the meat from the bones and tear into medium-size pieces. Discard all the skin and bones.
- Once cook time is complete, do a controlled quick-release of pressure. (If liquid starts to come out of vent, just close it and wait 15 seconds or so, then open vent halfway. Sometimes the rice will produce those starchy bubbles.) Then remove lid and add chicken and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to pot. Mix well.
- Serve and enjoy!