Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

Today is the last day of our Christmas holiday. We’re taking the ornaments off the tree, last minute homework is going on at the kitchen table, and the first snowstorm of the year is falling outside the window. We had a good time together over the holiday, and no one is looking forward to the return of the daily grind.2

The fun part of winter is over; all I want to do is curl up under a blanket until spring. Here is the next best thing – a straightforward chicken stew from the pressure cooker. Since I know the power of the dark side (of the chicken), I load it up with thighs, and then add potatoes to make it a one pot meal.

There are two finesse points to this recipe. The first is 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 stock. 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.

The second finesse point is floating the carrots and potatoes above the stew in a steamer basket. This keeps them above the liquid; they steam gently, instead of boiling (and overcooking) in the liquid of the stew.

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.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew




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Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew recipe – straightforward comfort food, with chicken thighs and new potatoes in a one pot meal.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 6 chicken thighs (about 3 1/2 pounds) or a cut-up whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 pound baby carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 pound baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes


  1. Sear the chicken in batches: Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pot until shimmering. 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.)
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion, celery, sliced carrots, tomato paste, and thyme to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 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.
  3. Everything into the pot: Stir in the chicken stock, 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.
  4. Pressure cook the stew: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric PC, 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.
  5. 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. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. (If you used homemade chicken stock, it will definitely need more salt.) Serve.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Browning the chicken thighs

Brown the chicken thighs


Sauté the aromatics

Sauté the aromatics


Everything back in the pot

Everything back in the pot


Potatoes and carrots in a basket on top

Potatoes and carrots in a basket on top


  • I made baked potatoes and smothered them with this stew. I know that sounds a little strange, since there were already potatoes in the stew…but it was fantastic.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

What do you think?

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

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken
Pressure Cooker Basic Beef Stew
Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili
My other pressure cooker recipes


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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


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.


  1. Mike from Austin says

    Didn’t know what to make for dinner this evening, and have some great friends who raise chicken, so I searched your recipes and found this. Had a freezer failure recently, which depleted my stockpile of stock, and the store bought stock that I brought home had been violated by someone opening the container and puncturing the seal. (Who does that type of thing at a food coop?) So I made it with just water. Made the recipe with full size cooking carrots sliced 1/4 inch added all at the beginning. Did the steamer thing with the potatoes. Used Rose wine, because it was what was open. Did some improvisational seasoning at the end to balance the flavors. This is a solid recipe in terms of proportions and our meal was excellent. I think that I have told you that I canceled my subscription to Cooks Illustrated. Your recipes are more consistent and less fussy than theirs. You are my go to guy for pressure cooker recipes!

  2. Linda Garber says

    Served this chicken stew, minus the potatoes, along with a tradionally cooked beef daube and half my guests preferred the chicken.

  3. Anne says

    We love this. I’ve made it at least 4 times already. I save time by browning the chicken on the stove in at big pan (saves a few batches but it does dirty an extra pan) and I cut the veggies while the chicken browns. Thanks!

  4. Very yummy. I had to make it with a couple of chicken breasts for purist hubby, but he licked the plate and the thighs were wonderful.

  5. Penelope says

    Does this have to be thighs? My husband doesn’t like dark meat. Would you suggest bone in chicken breast?

    • It’s much better with dark meat – the white meat will probably overcook. You can try it if you want – cut the time back to 20 minutes at high pressure, with a 15 minute natural pressure release. If you try it, let me know how it goes?

  6. Eileen says

    This recipe is EXCELLENT! I made it twice in a row because it was so good. Total winner. Thanks, Mike!

  7. Robin says

    Just a few questions. The ingredients and picture would suggest you saute some of the carrots with the onions and celery? Also, garlic isn’t listed as an ingredient but you mention to saute it with the onions and celery?

    • The text of the recipe should have said “sliced carrots” where it said “garlic”. Fixed.

  8. Recipe looks great! I’m trying to understand how you put the steamer basket ‘on top’ like that – what did you set it on? I too have an IP and several different racks & baskets, but am not sure how this works. Is the metal steamer floating? I’d think it would just sink if doing that – please explain. 🙂

    • It sits on top of the other ingredients. It’s not a precise method, but that’s OK – it holds the potatoes and carrots out of the liquid enough to keep them from overcooking.

  9. Jackie says

    I have to say Mike but I think this is one of my favs! I love reheating this for lunch at work. Keep these great recipes coming.

  10. Steve Coppage says

    Great! We didn’t have the carrots in the refrigerator but it tasted great. Will definitely come back to this recipe! Your homemade stock always makes a BIG difference in the resulting taste. Thanks!

  11. The steamer basket technique is really interesting- I am not quite sure I get it. The bottom of the basket is in contact with the liquid below?

    I’m new to the instant pot and i’m looking for new recipes- this one looks awesome.

    • The steamer basket raises the carrots and potatoes out of the liquid, so they steam, and don’t cook as quickly. The carrots in particular will turn to mush if they boil in the liquid.

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