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Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub |

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub

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. 3

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.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub |

Ready to lock the lid

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. 4 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



Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 chicken legs 1x


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • 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.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub |

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken
Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos – Tinga de Pollo
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes


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  1. Hope Elliott says

    I am currently browning my chicken in my IP to make this recipe for the 2nd time now! I just wanted to let you know this dish is a hit in my home and to thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. Anna Davis says

    Thank you! My son loved. I did add more water in the pressure cooker for gravy.
    It was very good.

  3. Marilyn says

    I am new to IP cooking. I followed cooking directions and it had to be the best chicken legs/thighs we have had. Fiance raved. He ate 2 legs and 2 thighs. This is a keeper!! Thank you.

  4. matsugirl says

    I followed your cooking direction for 5 leg quarters. I used my 8 qt instant pot and used chicken seasoning that came with our BBQ. When chicken was ready, I put on BBQ cooking tray, brushed BBQ sauce on the leg quarters. Put on the BBQ to carmalized the sauce. Delicous flavor and meat falling off the bones. Soooooo good!

  5. Six chicken legs? Absurd. This is more than worthy of leftovers. Fill it to your pot’s max. Nom nom nom.

  6. Carole Libbey says

    Made just as suggested – brushed some stickey fingers bq sauce on them before pressure cooking. Excellent all around.

  7. Sandy Hudson says

    I made this last night and it turned out perfect. I’ve had 6 qt. Instant Pot since 11/17 – absolutely love it!!!

    This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  8. Laura says

    add paprika to your seasoning and these legs brown up beautifully when searing

  9. Isbrucker says

    The roommates loved this recipe. I would have removed the skin to make it less fatty, but still enjoyed it immensely.

    A few tips and adjustments I made: I started with a single layer of mini potatoes to line the IP. Added some celery and a quartered onion. I browned the chicken in an iron skillet (easier to control the heat on the stove), then deglazed that pan and poured the liquid and brown bits on top of the chicken in the IP. (About a cup of liquid total.)

    After 30 minutes, had delicious chicken, perfectly cooked potatoes, and a few cups of chicken stock.

    Nom nom nom.

  10. Suzy says

    So glad you posted this – never would have thought something so simple could be so easy and good . I used cooking wine and water for the liquid . After it finished I reduced the juices. Doctored it up with a bit of stock and some onion powder and pepper. Added a bit of milk and some cornstarch to thicken it up a tad . Another home run with dadcooksdinner !

  11. spike says

    Good result from this – got a very rich pan gravy and braised some bok choy and garlic in it afterwards. One caveat though – I deglazed the pan right after browning and lost a fair bit of liquid from the 1/2c water as it boiled off during the process, enough to where the pot would not pressurize (IP 6 qt Lux v3) and another 1/2c of liquid was needed.

  12. I made this and it was out of this world ! I did add cornstarch to the essence for a little thickening. Again it was awesome!! Thanks!

  13. Brad Cobb says

    I’m going to try Browning chicken legs this time … I prefer to use for a dry rub the seasonings that they came up with in the Chicago Tribune article for KFC … pressure cook chicken legs for only 20 minutes … use cold water to bring the pressure down instantly … because the next step is to double dip the chickens in the KFC flour mixture … and into the deep fryer to finish off … I’m 100% certain the colonel didn’t do it this way … and I have 16, not 11 ingredients in the flour coating mixture … but this is what I’ve worked out that tastes best to me … 🙂

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