Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee

A chicken thigh in Jamaican jerk chicken fricassee sauce, on a green plate, in front of an Instant Pot, a jar of Jerk seasoning, and a Scotch Bonnet pepper
Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee

Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee. A taste of the Caribbean from your pressure cooker, braised chicken thighs with Jamaican spices.

My first taste of Jamaican food came from a restaurant in downtown Akron, Pots & Pans, which has (sadly) closed. The menu item that surprised me was fricassee – isn’t that French? The word fricassee is French, but the dish was definitely Jamaican, stewed chicken pieces with a spice-heavy sauce. Now that I can’t head downtown for a fricassee fix, I have to try to recreate it at home.

I had a hard time finding Jerk seasoning for this recipe; none of my local stores carry it, so I had to wait for my regular trip to Penzeys spices to get some Jerk.1

After that, this recipe is a straightforward Instant Pot chicken braise. As always, I turn to the dark side of the chicken for my pressure cooking. IF ONLY YOU KNEW THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE…ahem, sorry. Dark meat holds up to pressure cooking a lot better than white meat, and I love chicken thighs for pressure cooking.

The only other note: watch out for the Scotch bonnet peppers. Scotch bonnets, habaneros, and ghost peppers are the flamethrowers of the spice world, the hottest things you can get without distilling Capsicum into a hot sauce. Cutting them releases oils that are tough to wash off, and linger on your fingers for a while. I handle them with disposable cloves, so I don’t forget, rub my eye a half hour later, and pepper spray myself.

Looking for a taste of the Caribbean from the comfort of your own kitchen? Try this chicken fricassee.

Recipe: Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee

Inspired by: Jamaican Chicken Fricassee | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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A chicken thigh in Jamaican jerk chicken fricassee sauce, on a green plate, in front of an Instant Pot, a jar of Jerk seasoning, and a Scotch Bonnet pepper

Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 thighs plus sauce 1x

Description

Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee. A taste of the Caribbean from your pressure cooker, braised chicken thighs with Jamaican spices.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning (I get mine from Penzeys spices)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 scallions (aka green onions), minced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (aka habanero), seeded and minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken broth (Homemade or store-bought low sodium)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth)
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Brown the skin side of the chicken thighs: Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker set to Sauté mode adjusted to high until the oil is shimmering. (Use medium-high heat in a stovetop pressure cooker). Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of jerk seasoning. Sear the thighs in 2 batches: put 4 thighs in the pot, skin side down, and sear until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Move the browned chicken thighs to a bowl, then sear the second batch of thighs, and move them to the bowl as well. The thighs will render a lot of fat – pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot before moving on to the next step.
  2. Sauté the onions and spices: Add the onion, scallion whites, and scotch bonnet pepper to the pot, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of chicken and onion. Once the onions are softened, make a hole in the center of the onions and add 2 tablespoons of jerk seasoning. Toast the seasoning for 1 minute, the stir it into the onions.
  3. Everything in the pot: Pour in the chicken broth (and ½ teaspoon of salt if using homemade broth), and scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon one last time to make sure nothing is sticking. Add the bowl of browned chicken thighs and any juices, then pour the tomato sauce over the top of everything.
  4. Pressure cook for 25 minutes with a natural release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Pressure cook on high pressure for 25 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 20 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes more. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural release).
  5. Serve: Scoop the chicken thighs into a serving bowl or platter. Stir the black pepper and lime juice into the sauce, then ladle a few cups of sauce over the thighs. Serve, passing the rest of the sauce at the table. Enjoy!

Notes

I serve this with white rice, and pour a lot of the sauce over the chicken and rice

Black beans are a traditional side dish with this meal – as are fried plantains, but I don’t have a recipe for that. (Yet?)

This fricassee has some heat, but mine was far from blistering. The heat level is going to depend on your Jamaican jerk seasoning. If you want more heat, add more jerk seasoning. If you want a lot more heat, don’t seed the Scotch Bonnet pepper. Beyond that…you understand your own heat tolerance, so add jerk seasoning and Scotch Bonnet peppers until it burns.

Tools

6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Keywords: Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Fricassee, Pressure Cooker Jamaican Chicken Fricassee

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Jamaican Beef Stew
Instant Pot Jerk Ribs
Pressure Cooker Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean and Meat Stew
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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  1. No, YOURE a jerk. (Sorry, my inner 9-year-old couldn’t help it.) ↩︎

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner

by

Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

5 Comments

  1. I wish I could recall where I found this tip. I tried it and it works well for me—don’t bother chopping scotch bonnet or habañero chiles. Just drop them in the stew whole. You will get that nice fruity flavor and some, but much less, heat.

      • You are probably right about the reference. Thanks.

        Double the chiles for the stew for more heat. 🙂 If nothing else it will eliminate seeding and/or chopping them – a time saver.

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