For many of us, winter is a low-energy time of year. It’s especially tough to come home on a cold, dark night only to realize that you can’t decide whether your hunger outweighs your fatigue. You want something warm and comforting, but you’re so tired that you’ll just going to settle for a TV dinner or a can of soup yet again. Well, you can ditch the frozen meal once and for all and instead opt for this Instant Pot chicken and potatoes recipe!
"This recipe is for all the busy people out there," recipe developer Susan Olayinka says. "The fact that you can cook potatoes and chicken together and it’s so succulent and not dry is a serious game changer." She says that the chicken cooked this way is "very savory" and tastes just "like a Sunday roast." While it may taste like Sunday, this dish is easy enough for a Tuesday as it can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Gather the ingredients for Instant Pot chicken and potatoes
The ingredients in this dish are all simple, basic stuff. For the chicken, you’ll be using boneless, skinless breasts, and you can use any type of potatoes you happen to have on hand. You can also add more vegetables, if you wish, though Olayinka advises using "hard veggies so [they] won’t overcook" and suggests carrots or parsnips. Olayinka keeps it simple, though, seasoning her chicken with stuff from the pantry: garlic powder, dried thyme, and marjoram. The only other thing you’ll need is a bit of vegetable oil for cooking, though Olayinka says you could also use "added chile to give some spice" if you like.
Season and sauté the chicken
The very first thing you’ll need to do to make this recipe is to remember to take the chicken breasts out of the freezer, which is something you can do in the morning or even the night before you plan to cook this. Food is safest when thawed in the fridge, after all, but if you’re a wait-until-the-last-minute-type, you may need to resort to thawing it in the microwave.
Once your chicken is thawed, mix the spices along with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Rub this mixture all over the chicken. Set the Instant Pot to sauté on high heat, add the remaining oil, and cook the chicken for three minutes on each side, and six minutes total.
Add the liquid and potatoes
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and set it aside for a moment. Pour 2 ½ cups of water into the Instant Pot. If you like, you can boost the flavor of this dish by using chicken or vegetable stock or bouillon in place of the water.
Use a spoon to scrape the cooked-on bits of chicken from the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put a trivet in the bottom of the pot and set the partially cooked chicken on the trivet. Add the potatoes — whole if they are small, but Olayinka advises to cut them in "pieces if using the bigger potatoes."
Pressure cook the chicken and potatoes
Close the lid, then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high heat for 15 minutes. Once the cooking is done, you’ll need to do a quick release of pressure before you can open the lid. While Olayinka says she just discards the cooking liquid, if you aspire to a zero-waste kitchen, you might want to re-purpose it, instead. Olayinka does say "If you are using stock, you could thicken it with flour and turn it into gravy."
When this dish is done, you’ll have both meat and veggies, so it makes for a one pot meal. If you want to supplement your meal with a little more color, though, you can always toss up a simple green salad.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound potatoes
- Mix the thyme, marjoram, garlic powder, and salt with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Rub the chicken breasts with the spice mix to coat.
- Pour the remaining oil into the Instant Pot and set it to sauté on high.
- Sauté the chicken for 3 minutes, then flip to the other side and saute 3 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and set it aside.
- Pour 2 ½ cups of water into the Instant Pot, using a spoon to scrape up all the cooked chicken bits.
- Set a trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot and put the chicken breasts on the trivet.
- Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot.
- Cook the chicken and potatoes on high for 15 minutes.
- Do a quick release, open the Instant Pot and remove the chicken and potatoes, and serve.