I have ruined a laughable amount of roast chickens in my life. Usually that means I cooked it to death or ate half of a chicken breast before realizing it’s partially raw. I have tried everything possible to get it right, and I still end up with dry overcooked birds. But at my brother’s graduation party, my grandpa, a far more experienced cook than I, asked me if I’d ever roasted a whole chicken in my Instant Pot and raved about his recipe.
My grandpa’s borderline obsession with the Instant Pot has proved both useful and funny to me. He also asked me if I’d made cornbread in it. I’m beginning to think he’s sworn off the stovetop altogether, but I don’t mind because I have successfully “roasted” a juicy chicken with the help of my new kitchen gadget. It doesn’t make the chicken taste dry, poached, or boiled, but more fall of the bone, tender and more flavorful than the buttery (and let’s be honest, sometimes dry) rotisserie chickens at the store.
Here’s how to make it. Start with a three to four pound whole chicken and remove the giblets. Pat it dry with paper towels.
Chop up your thyme and add a glug of oil to it. Stuff it under the skin on the breast on both sides along with a pat of butter on each side. Sprinkle your chicken all over with salt.
To truss the chicken, start by tying the feet together with a knot, then pull each end of string between the thigh and breast and flip over. Tie the string in a knot on the back of the chicken.
Then you’ll add a pat of butter to the instant pot on saute. Sear the chicken breast side down in the butter until browned. Then flip and sear the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the instant pot rack. Pour in white wine and the bay leaf and add your chicken breast side up. Pressure cook for 25 minutes and let the pressure release naturally before opening.
I love this recipe! The chicken turned out so juicy and delicious. And it just falls off the bone.
I learned the herbs under the skin trick from Jamie Oliver. It’s been some of the most flavorful chicken I’ve made. I did make this same recipe in the oven recently, and it was pretty great, too. To do this in the oven, no need to sear it first. You’d just place it in an oiled baking dish in an oven preheated to 475. Then bring the heat down to 400 and bake for about 1 h 30 mins to 1 h 40 mins until your chicken breast is cooked through.
The herbs really infuse themselves into the meat and it’s such a nice touch.
What are your chicken roasting secrets? Do you find it easy, or do you struggle with it like I did? If you try the recipe, let me know what you think! See the full recipe below.
- one 3-4 lb whole chicken
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- Remove the giblets from your chicken. Pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt.
- Add the olive oil to the thyme leaves in a small dish. Gently pull up the breast skin from the opening at the bottom of the chicken, stuffing the thyme leaves under the skin, trying not to break the skin. Add 2 tbsp pats of butter under the skin on each breast as well. Truss the chicken by tying together the legs at the ends, taking the ends of twine between the thigh and breast on each side. Flip the chicken over, and tie on the back side, holding the wings to the sides. (see photo tutorial)
- In your instant pot, using the sauté function, add the remaining tbsp of butter. Place the chicken, breast side down, in the pot to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over and brown for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate, add the rack to the bottom of the instant pot. Add the wine and bay leaf. Put the chicken on the rack, breast side up. Place the lid on the pot, making sure the steam valve is set to sealing. Pressure cook for 25 minutes. Let valve release naturally and remove chicken to serving platter.