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 and the brown rice at the same time in your Instant Pot. Because brown rice is a whole grain, we’ll 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 the 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.
Sear the Seasoned Chicken 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. If using dry thyme, use about half the amount. Mix the dry spices together with the lemon juice and rub it all over the chicken thighs. 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. As the chicken sears, it will begin to loosen from the bottom of the pot.
After the chicken is seared, remove them and set aside on a plate. Continuing in the saute mode Add the butter and chopped onion. Saute for about 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. Press cancel to stop the saute mode.
Now, pour in about a ¼ cup of the chicken broth and use a wooden and scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. This is called deglazing. It’s important to get it all up. Next, add the remaining broth and stir in the rice (drained and rinsed). Add the chicken thighs on top of the rice, 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 15 minutes. 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. 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!
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 2-3 minutes or until translucent, 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 sealed position and pressure cook (manual on some Instant Pots) on high pressure for 18 minutes. After cycle is complete, let pressure naturally release for 15 minutes (quick release after 15 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