An unbelievably savory dish of perfectly seasoned brown rice with tender and juicy chicken thighs. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make in the Instant Pot. In fact, whenever people ask me what they should make when they first get an instant Pot, this is the recipe I recommend.
Chicken Thighs are Perfect for Instant Pot Cooking
Chicken thighs are an excellent meal to make in an Instant Pot. They hold up great to pressure cooking and don’t need to be shredded to enjoy. For this recipe we use 4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs with a simple seasoning mix that gives it a wonderful and traditional roasted chicken flavor. And we can enjoy the chicken with a knife and fork.
Make Chicken and Brown Rice at Same Time!
This recipe cooks the chicken thighs and the brown rice at the same time in your Instant Pot. Brown rice is different that white rice in that it is a whole grain, including nutritious germ, bran and endosperm. Don’t worry, these things are all good, and are which make brown rice the essence of a “whole grain”. Brown rice is considered healthier than white rice, which has had most of it’s nutritional parts removed. And because brown rice is a whole grain, we’re going to help it along in the cooking process by soaking it water before we cook it. This will allow the brown rice to cook to perfection at he very same time as the chicken thighs. We only really need to give the rice a soak of about 30 minutes. But more is fine too. If you want to rinse the rise and but it in a bowl of water in the morning before work, it will be good to go when you get home from work if you want to start the recipe right away.
Sear the Seasoned Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot First
Another great thing about an Instant Pot is that you can saute. This means we can season our chicken thighs and seal in all the flavor before we pressure cook it. The chicken will be seasoned with some classic chicken seasonings – fresh thyme, paprika, garlic powder, salt and some lemon juice. Fresh thyme is such a wonderful herb to keep around for a variety of recipes, especially Instant Pot recipes. When using fresh thyme, just pinch the stem and slide your thumb and finger up the stem, removing the little leaves. You don’t want to chop up with the stems. If using dry thyme, use about half the amount. Mix the dry spices together with the lemon juice and rub into both sides of the chicken thighs. Feel free to get under the skin and on the sides too. Then we heat the oil on “saute” mode and when hot, we sear each side of the chicken thighs for 2-3 minutes each. When searing, don’t move them around, let that sear take place, especially when doing the skin side down. Leaving it alone will also help the chicken to not stick to the pot.
After we’ve seared the chicken thighs, we remove them and set aside and add some butter to the instant pot. Be careful to scrape up any browned up bits on the bottom of the pot too. Then we add our chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes or until they start to become translucent. Then add in the garlic and stir another minute. Don’t let the garlic saute too long. It will start to burn after about a minute or so.
Then we add our rice, fully drained to the pot and toss it with the onions, garlic and butter, still in saute mode, for about 2 minutes. Press cancel and pour in the chicken broth. Use a wooden and scrape along the bottom once again to get up and browned on bits. Then we arrange the chicken thighs on top of the rice, season with a little salt and pepper, secure the lid with the vent set to the sealing position, and pressure cook (manual setting on some pots) on high pressure for 18 minutes. After the 18 minutes are up, we let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes. If, after 20 minutes, the pin hasn’t dropped, go ahead and release the rest of the pressure. There should be very little. Then remove the chicken to a plate and let the rice sit in the Instant Pot, with the lid off, for about 5 minutes. It will continue to absorb the liquid and thicken to perfection. Your chicken thighs and brown rice are now ready to serve!
As an option, you can place the chicken under the broiler of your oven for about 5 minutes to crisp up the skin. It’s worth the time!Print
A savory recipe for chicken thighs and brown rice for your Instant Pot. One of the easiest and best recipes to show off how good an Instant Pot recipe can be!
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs with skin
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Rinse rice and soak in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes minimum.
- Mix lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder; season chicken thighs with mixture.
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. Once oil is heated add chicken thighs, skin side down. Sear for 2-3 minutes then flip and sear other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Continuing in saute mode, add butter to the pot, followed by onion. Saute onions for about 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute another 1 minute.
- Press cancel to stop the saute mode and pour in about ¼ cup of the broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get any browned bits that might be stuck on. Drain the rice and pour it into the pot. Pour in remaining broth and place chicken on top of rice. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Secure the lid, set the valve to seal, and pressure cook (manual on some Instant Pots) on high pressure for 18 minutes. After cycle is complete, let pressure naturally release for 20 minutes (quick release after 20 minutes if it’s not fully released).
- Remove chicken and let rice sit for 5 minutes with the lid removed to continue to absorb liquid.
- Optional Step: Place chicken under broiler for 5 minutes to crisp skin.
Keywords: instant pot, chicken thighs, brown rice