Chicken drumsticks with peppers and paprika on a white platter

Pressure Cooker Chicken Drumsticks With Peppers and Paprika

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 drumsticks 1x


Simple chicken drumsticks cooked Italian style.

Inspired by: Cosce Di Pollo Con Peperoni E Paprika – Lidia Bastianich



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 810 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked paprika)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 bell peppers, trimmed, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine (pinot grigio)
  • 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth)


  1. Brown the chicken legs on one side, in 2 batches: Heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat (Sauté mode in an Instant Pot) until the oil is shimmering and starting to smoke. Sprinkle the drumsticks evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the paprika. Brown the drumsticks in 2 batches: Add half the drumsticks in a single layer, skin side down, and cook until browned on that side, about 3 minutes. Remove the browned drumsticks to a bowl, add the rest of the drumsticks, and brown on one side, about 3 more minutes. Remove to the bowl.
  2. Sauté the onions and peppers: Add the sliced onions and peppers to the pot and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot.
  3. Simmer the wine, everything in the pot: Add the 1/2 cup of wine to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer the wine for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits into the liquid. Add 1/2 cup of water, the browned drumsticks, and any chicken juices in the bowl.
  4. Pressure Cook for 15 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric PC or 13 minutes in a stovetop PC. (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes. (If you get impatient you can quick release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural release.)
  5. Serve with the pot sauce: Unlock the pressure cooker (carefully – tilt the lid away from you to avoid any hot steam.) Move the drumsticks to a platter with a slotted spoon, then ladle the sauce with onions and peppers over the drumsticks. Serve and enjoy.


  • Can I skip browning the drumsticks? Can I skip sautéing the vegetables? Can I just dump everything in the pot and pressure cook? Of course you can. I’m not the boss of you, and you can do whatever you want. The ingredients will all be cooked when you’re done. But I don’t recommend it. This is a simple recipe. It is important to brown and saute to add depth and complexity to the dish. Without browning, it’s edible – but it’s a pile of ingredients cooked together.
  • Can I cook from frozen? Not really. I know, I know, I said in the opening that I found this recipe while testing frozen drumsticks. Again, I’m not the boss of you, do whatever you want. But frozen drumsticks don’t brown well, and the salt and paprika don’t stick to them. (Especially ice glazed drumsticks – that layer of frozen water “protects” the drumsticks from the seasonings.) If you have to cook from frozen, rinse off any ice glaze, pat the drumsticks dry, and make sure the “brown the drumsticks” step is long enough to actually brown the drumsticks…about ten minutes per batch. Then add 5 minutes to the pressure cooking time.
  • Can I halve this recipe? Can I double it? Yes to both; the cooking time is the same either way. (Cooking time is determined by how long it takes to pressure cook each drumstick, not how many there are in the cooker.)


  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian