Do you need help with meal planning? Cook Smoky Whole Chicken in your Instant Pot and use the meat in recipes throughout the week. It’s almost as easy as buying a rotisserie chicken!
Did you know you can cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot? As long as it fits, of course. (Make sure you check that first.) Pressure cooked whole chicken is unbelievably moist and flavorful, especially when you stuff some garlic cloves, onion wedges, and lemon halves into the cavity. One recipe tester said “The smoky whole chicken came out so juicy! I got a chicken a bit over 4 pounds and cooked it for 25 minutes – it was perfect!” The rule of thumb is 6 minutes per pound, by the way.
Full disclosure here… the skin will not be as crispy as it gets in the oven. But my co-author Simone Harounian (an RD and CDE) advises not eating the skin anyway because of its fat content, so it doesn’t really matter. I do recommend cooking the chicken with the skin on rather than removing it, however. This helps keeps the meat juicy.
How to Use Smoky Whole Chicken in Other Recipes
Cook the chicken on the weekend, the use the meat in soups or on top of salads for quick meals on busy days. You could also get creative and try dishes like these:
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Acorn Squash
- White Chicken Lasagna with Spaghetti Squash
- Chicken Chili Verde with Hominy and Pumpkin
Don’t forget to save the bones so you can make Chicken Bone Broth and eat the cooked garlic too!
Smoky Whole Chicken (Instant Pot)
Cooking a whole chicken in your electric pressure cooker is almost as easy as buying a precooked rotisserie chicken!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken rinsed and patted dry, giblets removed
- 1 large lemon halved
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed with the flat side of a knife
- 1 large onion cut into 8 wedges, divided
- 1 cup Chicken Bone Broth or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth, or water
- 2 large carrots each cut into 4 pieces
- 2 celery stalks each cut into 4 pieces
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, herbes de Provence, and cayenne.
Place the chicken on a cutting board and rub the olive oil mixture under the skin and all over the outside. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, garlic cloves, and 3 to 4 wedges of onion.
Pour the broth into the electric pressure cooker. Add the remaining onion wedges, carrots, and celery. Insert a wire rack or trivet on top of the vegetables.
Place the chicken, breast-side-up, on the rack.
Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Set the valve to sealing.
Cook on high pressure for 21 minutes.
When the cooking is complete, hit Cancel and allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
Once the pin drops, unlock and remove the lid.
Carefully remove the chicken to a clean cutting board. Remove the skin and cut the chicken into pieces or shred/chop the meat, and serve.
The rule of thumb for cooking whole chickens is 6 minutes per pound: a 3-pound chicken will take 18 minutes and a 4-pound chicken will take 24 minutes.
Repurpose tip: Save the bones to make Chicken Bone Broth and strain the liquid remaining in the pot to replace some of the water in the bone broth recipe for even more flavor.