Ya’ll. Have you heard about the Instant Pot?? It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté -er, and much more! I got one for Christmas last year and I’ve used it no less than once a week ever since (sometimes twice in one day)! For a while, my oven wept from neglect. You can do so much in this one pot wonder. Here’s a post I’ve written with the Top 5 Reasons I Love the Instant Pot.
Order your Instant Pot and then… this is important… take it out the box. Do NOT be intimidated. (This is not your grandma’s pressure cooker – it’s got lots of safety elements.)
*Nerd Alert*: I read all the manuals of all the things. If you wanna jump right in, here’s what I suggest:
- Wash the inner pot.
- Wash the inside of the lid.
- Wash the O ring and insert it into the lid. (it’s super stretchy)
- Get ready to make magic.
This is your maiden voyage. Let’s keep it simple. Doesn’t juicy chicken sound delish?! For Food Prep Sunday, I make this exact dish – Every. Single. Week.
**Now, if this is your first time, you can just make chicken (like the recipe below)… orrrrr make that IP really work for you and try the pot-in-pot method to cook rice at the same time! My husband will only let me make rice in the IP now because it’s his favorite. Just remember: consult your manual for the type of rice you’re making to get the right rice to water ratio. Brown rice (like I use in the video) requires 1 cup brown rice : 1.25 cups water. (There’s a handy food guide in the middle of your manual for all the things – cooking time and water requirements.)
Let’s Make Chicken
- Plug in your Instant Pot (IP) and be sure that it’s not directly under a cabinet, etc. (This is important later when you release the steam.)
- Add 3-4 chicken breasts into the pot.
- Add whatever dry spices you want. (old faithful salt & pepper, lemon pepper, yummy southwest spices like chili powder and cumin, etc.)
- Add ½ – 1 cup of water or broth (Important: you must use at least ½ cup or she won’t come to pressure.)
- Put on the lid, lock it in place and turn the knob/dial to SEAL.
- Press POULTRY or MANUAL. Set timer to 14 minutes. Display says “ON” until she comes to pressure.
She beeped. Don’t freak. The magic stuff I talked about is about to happen. Your display says “ON”. As long as your dial is turned to “seal”, your IP will come to pressure within a few minutes. You don’t need to do a thing. In fact, you could have already walked off. But if you’re like me that first time, you’re probably still standing there… staring at it like dynamite on your counter.
A few minutes have passed. She beeped again! What’s happening? Eeeek! The countdown has begun. The display changes from “ON” to “14”. The countdown has begun. Seriousy. Stop staring at her. Go. Do a load of laundry. Eat a snack. Check out some of my other recipes that use shredded chicken, like Southwest Chicken & Rice, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or Buffalo Chicken Dip. Whatevs.
At the end of 14 minutes, your IP is going to beep. Maybe you’re busy. Of course you’re busy. Don’t rush over. Finish the thing. Your chicken is done, but it’s switched over to warm! You go when you’re ready.
7. It’s time. Release Tha Pressure!!! (said in a very dramatic voice)
There are two ways to release the pressure:
- Natural Release. (Depending on what you’re cooking, some things have to naturally release, to continue to steam.) When the IP releases pressure by itself, you don’t touch a thing. Let it sit. The “floater” will drop when the pressure has released on its own and you’ll know it’s safe to turn and lift the lid.
- Quick Release. When you carefully move the dial/knob over to “open” or “release” to let the steam out. CAUTION: The steam starts rolling out like Old Faithful – the geyser. Keep your hands, arms and face away from it, and out from underneath cabinets. (This is where flashbacks of Grandma’s pressure cooker start flipping through your mind. Don’t panic. That steam rushing out really is OK.) The house smells amazing, huh? I toldja! The steam will start to slow down. Once all pressure is completely released, you need to wait for the “floater” to drop. Then, it’s safe to turn and remove the lid (pointed AWAY from you. Channel your inner Captain America and wield that shield!)
8. Prepare to be amazed. Peek Inside. Oh my word. Gorgeous. Congratulations! Now… either grab a pair of tongs and pull those chicken breasts out whole, OR… (and this is my favorite) grab a fork and stick it in. Swirl that fork! The chicken just falls apart. Instant. Shredded. Chicken. Take out a little. Try it (carefully, it’s hot). Close your eyes. Savor the flavor. I. Know. It’s ahhhh-mazing.
You just made the most delicious, juicy chicken breast in a fraction of the time it would normally take in the oven. No flipping. No babysitting (unless you couldn’t help yourself). Today was exciting. If you were hypnotized and sat there, don’t do that next time. Set her and let her go. Get stuff done! Come back when it’s over.
(Insert slow clap here. Clap. Clap Clap. Clap Clap Clap.)
YOU ARE WINNING AT LIFE. Well done, friend. Well done.
Next time, try one of these other recipes that use simple shredded chicken:
*I am an Amazon affiliate and if you make a purchase, I earn a small commission. My love for this product is genuine and all opinions are truthful and my own.