Tag: Chicken

Coq au Vin in an Instant Pot

One thing you ought to be able to do really well in an Instant Pot is a stew, and while a lot of stews are really cold weather dishes, we decided that Coq au Vin would be fine in the fairly hot weather we are still having.

You can make this chicken wine stew using either red wine or white wine, but be sure you use a wine you would actually drink, since a cheap wine might well add an off taste to the resulting stew.

This recipe, adapted from Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook, starts by flouring and browning the chicken pieces in oil and/or butter. We used olive oil. While you could do this using the Instant Pot Saute setting, you could only do a few pieces at a time, and would get another dish dirty while you cooked the other pieces, so we browned the pieces in a skillet before potting them up. The original recipe also called for 2 oz of warmed brandy to flame over the chicken before cooking, be we discovered we were out of brandy.

  • 1 4 lb chicken, cut into pieces
  • Flour for dredging
  • ½ cup butter or oil (we used olive oil)
  • 1 slice raw him, diced
  • 10 small whole onions (we used frozen ones)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme
  • 1-2  springs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 whole mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch in ¼ cup water.
  1. Shake the chicken pieces in flour in brown in a cast iron (or other) frying pan.
  2. Transfer the browned chicken to the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the ham, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, mushrooms, salt, and pepper.

in the pot

4. Add the wine, close the pot, make sure the steam vent is closed, and press the Poultry button.  The pot will heat and cook under pressure for 15 minutes.

5. Release the steam, remove the chicken pieces and mushrooms to a serving bowl and thicken the sauce with arrowroot or cornstarch slurry.

6. Put the sauce over the chicken and serve right away with rice.

We noted two things about using the Instant Pot on chicken: the dark meat is cooked correctly, but the white meat is overcooked. Since you can’t easily remove the white meat pieces while it is cooking, it is best to use all dark meat. If you use all white meat, you would need to reduce the cooking time to about 10 minutes.

Chicken fat on the skin does not render out very well in a pressure cooker, so it is better to remove the chicken skin before flouring and browning. Otherwise, you may end up with pieces of “flubber” in your stew.

Lemon garlic chicken in the Instant Pot

Lemon garlic chicken in the Instant Pot

This is mostly an experience report as the recipe is by Jennifer Robins, and is on her Predominantly Paleo site.  In spite of the fact the the Paleo diet is pretty much fiction, her recipe is very good. She suggests some weird oils like avocado, but having nothing to prove, we just used a little olive oil. And while she suggests organic chicken broth, we never buy organic. Any broth will do.

The Rice

riceSince the Instant Pot (IP) is also a rice cooker, we first made the brown rice and kept it warm. The IP has a Rice setting, but that is for white rice. For brown rice, we added a cup of rice and 1 ¼ cups water and cooked it for 22 minutes. Then we released the pressure and put the rice in a covered bowl under our warming light.

The chicken

Here’s her ingredients, slightly modified for common sense:

  • 1-2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 large lemon juiced (more or less to taste)
  • 3-4 teaspoons (or more) arrowroot flour

We used a whole large lemon. Next time we’ll probably use half as much, as it was a little more sour than we hoped.

saute onionsThe nicest thing about the IP is that you can sauté ingredients in the pot before closing it up to cook. That makes it a lot easier and keeps you from getting too many pans dirty.


  1. Sauté the diced onions in the oil using the Saute button. At the last minute, add the diced garlic and let it cook briefly without burning.
  2. Add the chicken and the broth, wine and lemon juice
  3. Add the salt, parsley and paprika.

chicken and liquids4. Close the pot and press the Poultry button. The chicken will be done in about 15 minutes

5. Release the steam, scoop out about a half cup of broth and mix it with the arrow root. Add the mixture back to the pot.

6. Turn on the sauté to heat the broth and allow it to thicken.

7. Serve over the rice.

This whole operation, including cooking the rice, took about 45 minutes. Not bad for a midweek meal!


Butter chicken: an authentic Indian dish

Butter chicken: an authentic Indian dish

Butter chicken
Butter chicken

We came across a really simple and delicious recipe for Butter Chicken (murgh makhani) published  on the 12tomatoes web site. It amounts to spices, chicken breast, tomatoes and adding cream at the end. Needless to say we had to try it and make it our own. While the recipe author suggests a mix of spices, they also note that that mixture replaces using Garam Masala which is easily available at Penzeys, or you might have made it yourself: there are many similar recipes here, here and here, just know that you can now order indian food online if don’t happen to have that much time.


We also made some recipe changes, substituting parsley for cilantro, because of a cilantro allergy. In addition, some Indian chefs have suggested that this recipe is incomplete without fenugreek, which we include in our recipe below.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger root
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tb garam masala (or see spice mix below)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ cup (4 Tb) butter
  • 1 22-oz can plum tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley (or cilantro)
  • Brown rice

Spice mix (if you don’t have garam masala)

  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chipotle pepper or red pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves (we used a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  1. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and lime juice to a Ziplock bag and add the chicken. Toss to make sure the chicken is covered, and marinate, refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion until soft.
  3. Add the marinated chicken and sauté for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Pour all the tomato sauce out of the tomato can and add to the chicken mixture
  5. Chop the plum tomatoes and add them as well.

    Tomatoes added
    Tomatoes added
  6. Stir until uniform and cook covered for 30 minutes at medium-low heat.
  7. Add the whipping cream just before serving, and sprinkle with the parsley or cilantro.
  8. Serve over rice.
Cream and parsley added
Grilled spatchcocked chicken

Grilled spatchcocked chicken

One of the simplest ways to make a roast chicken is by splitting the whole chicken along the backbone and flattening it out. This makes it cook more uniformly, and the breast and dark meat finish at the same time.

Rosemary and garlic
Rosemary and garlic
Mortar with garlic and rosemary and olive oil
Mortar with garlic and rosemary and olive oil

For our grilled spatchcocked chicken, we picked a spring of rosemary and two garlic cloves, and mashed them together in a little olive oil, using a mortar and pestle.

Cutting the backbone out
Cutting the backbone out

Then we cut the chicken along the backbone using ordinary kitchen shears or durable scissors, and then cut along the other side of the backbone to remove it completely.

brushed with spices
brushed with spices

Turning it over, we flattened it out by pressing down on then breastbone, and then brushed the entire top of the chicken with the garlic and rosemary olive oil.

On grill
On grill

To grill it, we heated the outer two burners of our gas grill, leaving the center area unheated, and placed the chicken skin side up in the center, so it would cook by indirect heat.

Grilled chicken completed
Grilled chicken completed

That’s really all there is to this. Just cook the chicken until an instant read thermometer shows 165° F in the thigh. The breast meat will probably be about 10 degrees cooler, but still completely cooked.

Put the cooked bird on a platter, let it rest a few minutes and carve it to serve you can use this blog post about knife to find the best utensil to do this. If you have a lot of diners, you may need several birds, but as you see this is really a low labor meal!

Carved and served
Carved and served