Instant Pot Chicken Stew. A straightforward comfort food recipe from the Instant Pot, with chicken thighs and baby potatoes in a one pot meal.
There are two finesse points to this chicken stew, which is one of my favorite comfort foods.
- Browning bone-in chicken thighs: It takes about twenty minutes to brown the chicken thighs - it takes two batches - but the extra time is worth it. Searing the chicken thighs adds roasted flavors to the stew, from the browned bits of chicken around the edges; also, it renders a lot of fat out of the chicken skin, so we can pour it off before continuing. Also, the bones add depth to the liquid - they give up some of their goodness, just like making broth. After the stew is cooked, I lift the chicken out with a slotted spoon, peel off the skin, remove the bone, and rough chop the meat before stirring it back in.
- Floating the carrots and potatoes above the stew in a steamer basket: The steamer basket keeps them above the liquid; they steam gently, instead of boiling (and overcooking) in the stew liquid.
Both of these finesse points can be skipped if you’re in a hurry - but if you don’t brown the chicken thighs, peel the skin off before adding them to the pot, so the stew doesn’t wind up too fatty.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot Duo electric pressure cooker)
- Steamer basket (I use a collapsible basket)
- Vegetable oil
- Chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- Fine sea salt
- Tomato paste
- Dried thyme
- White wine
- Chicken broth
- Diced tomatoes
- Baby carrots
- Baby red potatoes
- Fresh ground black pepper
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Stew
Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode. Season the chicken with salt, then brown the chicken thighs in two batches, about 4 minutes a side. (Don't crowd the pot.) Move the browned thighs to a bowl.
Add the onions, carrot, celery, tomato paste, and thyme to the pot. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes, scraping any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add in the chicken broth, salt, and browned thighs (plus any chicken juices in the bowl.), and stir to combine. Pour the diced tomatoes on top, but don't stir.
Set the steamer basket on top of everything, and add the baby carrots and baby potatoes.
Pressure cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes with a 15 minute Natural Release.
Lift the basket of potatoes and carrots out of the pot, and cut the potatoes in half. Scoop the chicken thighs out with a slotted spoon and shred the chicken. (Discard the skin, bones, and any gristle). Stir the carrots, sliced potatoes, shredded chicken, and fresh ground black pepper back into the pot.
- I do not drink...wine: Replace the wine with extra chicken broth.
- Swap sweet potatoes for the baby potatoes: Peel a couple of sweet potatoes and cut them into large chunks, about 2 inches thick. Add them to the basket with the baby carrots.
- This stew goes great with a starchy side dish to soak up the juices, like mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. I served this stew over baked potatoes, and it was fantastic.
- A green vegetable (like green beans) helps balance out the hearty stew.
Tips and Tricks
- Cornstarch slurry: if you want to thicken up the pot liquid, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir it into the pot after removing the chicken thighs.
Instant Pot Chicken Stew recipe. Straightforward comfort food from the Instant Pot, with chicken thighs and baby potatoes in a one pot meal.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 3½ pounds) or a cut-up whole chicken
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- ¼ pound baby carrots, cut into ½ inch slices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or low-sodium store bought
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth)
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ¾ pound baby carrots
- 1½ pounds baby potatoes (aka new potatoes)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Sear the chicken in batches: Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil sauté mode in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker until shimmering. (Use medium-high heat in a stovetop pressure cooker.) Brown the chicken in 2 batches, three pieces in each batch. (Don’t crowd the pot, or the chicken will steam instead of browning.) Sear the chicken for 4 minutes per side, or until well browned, then remove to a bowl and sear the next batch. Once all the chicken is browned, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the cooker. (The chicken skin will release a lot of oil into the pot.)
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion, celery, sliced carrots, tomato paste, and thyme to the pot. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for five minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add the white wine to the pot, bring to a simmer, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Simmer the wine until reduced by half - about 3 minutes.
- Everything into the pot: Stir in the chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of salt (if using homemade broth), then add the chicken thighs and any chicken juices from the bowl. Pour the tomatoes on top, but don’t stir. Put a steamer basket on top of everything in the pot - don't worry if it's a little submerged, it will be fine - and put the potatoes and carrots in the steamer basket.
- Pressure cook for 30 minutes with a 15 minute natural release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any pressure left in the pot.
- Shred and serve: Carefully lift the steamer basket of potatoes and carrots out of the pot, then scoop the chicken pieces out with a slotted spoon. Cut the potatoes in half, and then stir the carrots and potatoes back into the stew. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin, bones, and gristle, and stir the shredded chicken meat back into the stew. Stir in the fresh ground black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Category: Sunday dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot Chicken Stew Recipe, Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew Recipe,
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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