My recipe for Instant Pot chicken thighs and rice is simple, but I have a few easy tricks to up the flavor game. This dish will become a favorite in your dinner rotation.
First, let’s get this out of the way: this isn’t necessarily a quick recipe. Though, it’s not long either. The chicken and rice cook in two stages and takes about 45 minutes. There is plenty of hands off cooking time which I think is as good as being quick. With this time, you can make a side dish or finish some emails or color with your kids.
♥ Related: Instant Pot Broccoli in Zero Minutes
Often, we run to the Instant Pot for speed, but in this case, we’re using it for its other super power: building intense flavors. By browning and then pressure cooking the chicken thighs, we extract a bunch of flavor that we use to cook the rice.
The final dish is of perfectly cooked chicken served with rice that’s been imparted with the chicken-iest of flavors. It’s a perfect roast dinner that you can easily make on any weeknight.
♥ Related: Instant Pot Orange Almond Rice Pilaf
And, here’s a hack: while the rice has just a few minutes left, broil the chicken and you’ll end up with crispy chicken skin even on chicken cooked in the Instant Pot!
This recipe was created in a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs & Rice
- ½ tbsp neutral oil or light olive oil
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/4 cup shallot minced; ~1/2 a large shallot
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups Jasmine rice or another long grain white rice
- Mix together the salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Season chicken thighs liberally on all sides with the salt mixture.Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function on the highest heat. Add the oil. Once the pot heats up, add two chicken thighs, skin side down, to the pot. Brown for about 5 minutes until the skin is golden brown and remove from the pot. Note: we aren't searing both sides of the chicken. Searing the skin provides enough good flavor to the cooking liquid so you can save some time here. Repeat with the remaining two chicken thighs.Turn off sauté function.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the wire rack/trivet into the pot and place the chicken thighs on the rack. Place the lid on the pot and move the valve in the correct placement for pressure cooking. Using the pressure cook function on high (this is "manual" for older Instant Pot models), set the timer to 20 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, release the pressure immediately and remove the lid. Remove the chicken thighs and set aside. Remove the trivet. Pour the cooking liquid in a glass measuring cup. Skim off the fat and place that in a smaller container.
- Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of chicken fat to the pot. Then add the shallots. Saute for about 2 minutes until the shallots soften and just start turning brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Then add the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the seasoned fat and toast for a minute or two.
- Top the cooking liquid off with water if it contains less than two cups. Then pour the cooking liquid into the Instant Pot. Scrape any rice off the sides of the pot. Place the lid on the pot and move the valve in the correct placement for pressure cooking. Using the pressure cook function on high (this is "manual" for older Instant Pot models), set the timer to 7 minutes.Once the timer goes off, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Move the racks in your oven so they are just a few inches below the broiler on the top rungs of the oven. Put the chicken thighs on a baking sheet. When the timer goes off for the rice, turn your broiler on high. When there is 5 minutes remaining on the natural pressure release, put your chicken thighs in the oven with the door cracked. Broil for 3-5 minutes until the skin gets crispy. Turn them every minute or so to ensure even crisping.Remove from oven and serve with rice.
- The chicken seasoning calls for a full tablespoon of salt and that is not too much. The salt in this case does double duty seasoning the chicken and the cooking liquid which seasons the rice.
Things You Might Need For This Recipe
Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on qualified purchases from affiliate links that you click. Affiliate commissions help support this site so that I can keep bringing you great recipes, kitchen hacks, and product reviews.