One of my favorite French recipes is Poulet au Pot – chicken in a pot, simmered in broth until it falls off the bone. This is my weeknight version, when I need to get dinner on the table with as little actual work as possible. A pack of chicken legs, some dried herbs, and a half cup of water, and I have dinner on the table in about an hour, with most of the time spent staring at the pressure cooker. 1
Now, when I said “the least amount of work possible”, there is one part of this recipe that takes a little work – browning the legs. You can skip this step, but I don’t recommend it. Browning makes the skin taste much better, the browned bits on the bottom of the pot make a rich sauce, and browning renders some of the fat in chicken legs. It’s worth the extra 15 minutes.
For those of you asking “can I substitute chicken breast?” – eh, if you insist, but chicken legs are perfect for this recipe. I’ve said before, I’m a fan of the dark side of the chicken. 2 Chicken legs are best when they’re fall off the bone tender; chicken breast is overcooked and a little stringy. (Also, chicken legs are shockingly cheap when I can get them on sale at my grocery store.)
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric PC)
Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub recipe – hands off chicken legs with pan sauce from the pressure cooker.
- 6 chicken legs (aka “chicken leg quarters”)
- 3 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon per leg)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning (1/4 teaspoon per leg)
- 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder (1/8 teaspoon per leg)
- 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper (1/8 teaspoon per leg)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth)
- Season and brown the chicken legs: Sprinkle the chicken legs evenly with the salt, Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat (sauté mode in an electric pressure cooker) until shimmering. Brown the skin side of the chicken legs in batches – each leg should lay flat in the pot. In my 6 quart Instant Pot, I can fit two legs in the pot, skin side down. Cook each set of legs until the skin is browned, about 4 minutes. Move the browned legs to a bowl, then repeat with the remaining legs. Pour the chicken fat out of the pot.
- Pressure cook the chicken legs: Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot. Over medium heat (or sauté mode), bring the water to a simmer, scraping any browned bits on the bottom of the pan into the liquid. Once all the browned bits are scraped up, add the chicken legs and any chicken juices in the bowl. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. Serve, passing the liquid in the pot on the side as a sauce.
- If you have the time, de-fat the sauce. Pour the liquid from the pot into a fat separator and let it rest for a few minutes, so the fat floats to the top. Then, pour the de-fatted sauce into a serving bowl.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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