I love roast chicken. The crispy skin, tender flesh, and delicious root vegetables… It’s definitely a delicious meal that yields plenty of leftovers and it’s an easy transition to make homemade chicken stock at just about the same time.
“I want there to be no peasant in my kingdom so poor that he cannot have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” -Henry IV
Sounds like a perfect meal, right? Almost.
The trouble with roasting or baking a whole chicken is that it takes a bit of time. Now sometimes that’s alright and part of the fun is the longer time in the kitchen preparing a big weekend meal with your family, but sometimes it would be nice to speed things up, and that’s where the pressure cooker comes in.
How to “roast” a chicken in the pressure cooker
Video Link: How to “Roast” a Chicken – 25 min Cooked Chicken Recipe in a Pressure Cooker
I did a little bit of research, looking for recipes on how to cook a whole chicken, and it seemed pretty straightforward: as long as your chicken doesn’t touch the sides or top of the pressure cooker (with the small stand and platform in place), you can cook it whole. We tested the sizes and found that our 8-quart Fagor pressure cooker was able hold a 3.5-pound bird, on the rack, with little trouble.
Originally we found two similar recipes, one on Food.com and the other on Miss Vickie’s website. Both calling for 25 minutes cook time, so that is what we did. The chicken came out very flavorful and moist (I mean really flavorful and moist), but just a little too tough.
It was overcooked.
I was disappointed, but I wasn’t ready to give up on this recipe just yet. I did a little more research and found the ultimate pressure-cooking time chart.
Based on their timing, we decided to try it again. This time our whole 3-pound chicken was cooked for 18 minutes. And this time it came out perfectly. 6 minutes per pound seemed to be our magic number.
“Roast” Chicken Recipe
1 whole chicken (between 2 – 4 lbs)
Salt/Pepper/Spices to coat the skin (Use salt and pepper at a minimum, but feel free to add whatever spices you like best. We used garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and thyme.)
2 Tbs olive oil
3/4 cup fluid: chicken broth or water
Step 1: Season and Brown
Take the fully defrosted and rinsed chicken and liberally coat the skin with spices and seasonings. Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker, and carefully brown the top, sides, and bottom of the chicken.
Step 2: Degalze and add metal stand
Now remove the whole chicken and deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker with a spatula after adding the water or broth. There shouldn’t be much oil in the pan, but you may want to let it cool for a minute or two to lesson the risk of a little too much steam or splashing. Now put in place the little metal stand and the metal platform.
Step 3: Cook
How long to cook the chicken?
We found great results when we cooked a whole chicken for 6 minutes per pound. We then used the quick release method to equalize the pressure cooker.
Note: There seems to be some conflicting ideas on exactly which release method to use. Several authors like Miss Vickie and online recipes like ieatmostlymeat.com (great site) list the natural release method, while others like the cook book direct from one of our pressure cooker manufacturers as well as highly reviewed recipes like this one on Food.com cite the quick release. We understand the science and how the meat should be affected but so far both seem to produce great results. Our next chicken will be natural released to triple check the lack of a meaningful difference.
While the chicken is cooking, chop and cook your favorite vegetables. We like an assortment of root veggies: carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, and a little celery for extra kick.
Step 4: Open and crisp if you would like
When you open the pressure cooker you’ll see beautiful juices that can be thickened and used to make chicken gravy.
Optional: If you want crispy skin you’ll have to take the cooked chicken, baste it with just a little butter or oil (and if you want – more spices), and oven roast for about 10 – 15 minutes at 400 degrees. It will already be cooked, and it won’t take long to simply crisp-up the skin. You can also add the cooked veggies to the roasting pan during this step too. We thoroughly enjoyed ours right out of the cooker.
Awesome, we were able to enjoy “roast” chicken on a weekday, without having to wait and eat until 10PM or trusting our old oven’s cooking-timer functions. (ok, it’s not that bad, but this chicken was fast and fantastic)
Step 5: Make stock with leftovers
Wait, hold on. Don’t throw away the bones. One of the best parts of pressure cooker chicken is the simplicity of going from “roast” chicken right into homemade chicken stock using all the juices and bones still in the cooker, and then if we want right into homemade soups like homemade chicken soup and a few days worth of lunches. :~)
How did yours turn out?
Thanks for reading.
"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia ChildWhy learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...
In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance. It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy. Pressure Cooker Recipes? We've got'em here. Get new recipes and videos in your inbox. Looking for a pressure cooker? Read our pressure cooker reviews. Our favorite Pressure Cooker Cookbooks including the food book that changed my life. Similar Posts: