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.
Sear the Seasoned Chicken First
Another great thing about an Instant Pot is that you can sauté. 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 “sauté” 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 thighs are seared, remove them and set aside on a plate. Continuing in the sauté mode Add the butter and chopped onion. Sauté 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 sauté too long. It will start to burn after about a minute or so. Press cancel to stop the sauté 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 (rinsed first). 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!