Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – Fresh or Frozen [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
4.96 from 23 reviews

Instant Pot Whole Chicken is juicy, tender, and incredibly easy to make. You can make this time-saving recipe with fresh or frozen chicken in less than 60 minutes!

Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here, you just can’t beat the convenience. The Instant Pot Orange Chicken is the most popular recipe on the blog, without a doubt it’s delicious. Being a huge fan of rotisserie chicken, and cooking it so often in the pressure cooker, I have finally perfected the recipe to share it with you.

Instant pot whole chicken

Instant Pot Whole Chicken – Fresh or Frozen

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Rotisserie style is very popular in our household. The best thing about this recipe is that in case you forgot to thaw the meat, you don’t have to worry, you can still cook a delicious dinner. That is the beauty of the pressure cooker, you can cook frozen meat like its no big deal.

Learn here How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Pressure Cooker, Frozen Chicken Wings, and Frozen Ground Beef!

The pressure cooker rotisserie-style chicken is to die for! The meat is perfectly cooked, juicy, and very tender. To get the skin crispy, just brush the meat with a garlic butter mixture and broil until golden brown. Your family will love this easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal.

Why cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

Cooking a whole chicken in the pressure cooker is a great idea. First, you can cook it fresh or frozen, which adds bonus points to it. The meat ends up being very moist and tender, just like it has been slow-roasted for hours.

Also, you can’t beat the convenience of being able to cook frozen meat in just under 2 hours, it takes way longer to defrost it.

What do you need to make the Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe?

  • Whole Chicken – fresh or frozen, both work
  • Water
  • Trivet with handles
  • Your favorite seasoning
  • A baking sheet to broil the meat

Instant pot roast chicken

How to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot?

Making Instant Pot Whole Chicken is very easy and it involves just a few steps, you can also make this in any other electric pressure cooker:

  1. All you have to do is add either fresh or frozen poultry to the pressure cooker, add water and cook on High Pressure per recipe directions.
  2. Then, release pressure, remove the bird from the pressure cooker and brush with melted butter mixed with your favorite seasoning.
  3. Lastly, broil it, checking often so the meat doesn’t burn.

How long to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot?

Cooking time for Instant Pot FRESH whole chicken:

  • 3 pounds = 20 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 3.5 pounds = 23 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 4 pounds = 25 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 4.5 pounds = 28 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 5 pounds = 33 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release

Instant pot whole frozen chicken

Can you cook a whole frozem chicken in an instant pot?

Yes. The beauty of the pressure cooker is that you can cook whole frozen chicken in it. However, you need to make sure that the poultry has the innards/gizzards removed and has no plastic ties around the feet. Because, if the meat is frozen, and these are not removed, you will not be able to cook it that way.

For frozen poultry, you will have to increase the pressure cooking time by about 5 minutes per pound. Here are the cooking guidelines for frozen whole poultry:

Cooking time for Instant Pot FROZEN whole chicken:

  • 3 pounds = 39 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 3.5 pounds = 46 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 4 pounds = 52 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 4.5 pounds = 59 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
  • 5 pounds = 65 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release

Can you Brine the Chicken Prior to Cooking it in the Electric Pressure Cooker?

Absolutely! Brining it before will give the meat an additional flavor boost. You can use your favorite brine method. Just remember, if you will brine it with salt, just limit the salt accordingly when following the recipe steps below. 

What to serve the Instant Pot Whole Chicken with:

What can you do with leftover chicken?

Leftover meat doesn’t have to go to waste, it can be added to many delicious recipes, like this Chicken Spaghetti Casserole or Crack Chicken Casserole. You can also add it to salads, wraps sandwiches.

What is Natural Pressure Release?

A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10-15 minutes (or based on what the recipe says), after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10-15 minutes (or based on what the recipe says) and after that open the valve.

A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel-cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe Tips:

  • If you are cooking a frozen chicken and need to remove the giblets, just run that area under warm-hot water for 5-10 minutes, so you can remove and discard them.
  • Weighting the bird is very important, as pressure cooking it for too long will make it “explode” in the IP. Basically, the cartilage becomes too soft and the end result won’t be as pretty but still delicious. Tieing together the drumsticks helps prevent that.
  • Also, make sure to use a relevant poultry size, so it fits the IP. If the chicken is larger than your pressure cooker, then it won’t work. You could either follow the Oven Baked Recipe or use a larger sized 8 QT Pressure Cooker
  • To make this recipe healthier, replace the butter in the “Buttery Mixture” with olive oil.
  • For super-crispy skin, brush the chicken with oil after it has been pressure cooked. Then, place it under broiler for about 2-4 minutes, until the skin becomes golden brown. 

Save Recipe
4.96 from 23 reviews

Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken from Fresh or Frozen

Instant Pot Whole Chicken is juicy, tender and incredibly easy to make. You can make this time saving recipe with fresh or frozen chicken.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

Stuff Chicken (optional):

Buttery Mixture for Broiling:

Instructions

Stuff Chicken:

Cook:

Buttery Mixture for Broiling:

Broil:

Nutrition information

Calories: 441 Carbohydrates: 5 Protein: 24 Fat: 42 Saturated Fat: 20 Cholesterol: 125 Sodium: 729 Potassium: 319 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 0 Vitamin A: 1140 Vitamin C: 17 Calcium: 64 Iron: 2.3
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Comments

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Stacie

And THAT'S why I love my Instant Pot. I can't wait to make this. My family is going to devour it.

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Amanda

The family loves this meal and it’s so easy to make !!

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Aduke Schulist

I never make whole chicken, and I don't have an instant pot, but now I want both of these things. That looks GOOD!

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Demeter

This is going to be such a life saver to busy families! So quick and easy!

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Cathy

Can't wait to try this! It looks so perfect!

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Toni | Boulder Locavore

This is perfection!! Great to try this weekend!

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Ruth I

We love this kind of recipe. Perfect for when there is a special dinner or a get together. Easy to make and it looks so delicious!

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Shannan P

I haven't tried a whole chicken in the IP, but this makes it sound so easy! I am going to have to give this a try very soon!

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Paula

That looks wonderful!

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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!

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Allyce Stein

Great use of instant pot love how this came out!

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Sharee

Wheres the video. 

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got deleted somehow, adding again

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Merry Boyd

I made this tonight and it was so tasty and tender. We loved it. This is a must try recipe.

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Thank you Merry :)

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Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

This looks really good for dinner tonight!

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Isabella

Wow what a good idea to make the perfect chicken!!!

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Maggie

Made this for dinner tonight and LOVED it. It was so easy and the chicken turned out very moist and tender. I did not have lemons so I used oranges instead. Thank you!

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Hi Maggie, thank you for the feedback, so happy that you loved it!

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Victor

I used a 5 Lbs  chicken. I was very impressed with this recipe. Everything turned out perfect but the really  surprising thing was I had six meals off the bird and each meal was as tender and juicy as the first meal! 

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I am so happy that you liked it :)

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Danielle

Good recipe. The cooking time was not right for me. I used a 4.5 pound chicken (weighed it right before) and cooked at 28 with 15np release. My chicken basically blew open, still edible but not nice looking like the picture. Not sure if others have come across this but definitely cook less than shown just to be safe. You can always add a few extra minutes. 

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Danielle

Can a larger oven stuffer roaster that weighs 6 lbs be cooked in the instant pot too? What would the new cooking time be?

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Yes, if it fits you can cook it. Check the post I provide the timing per pound, so it can be derived from that.

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Nicole

Looks good...need one clarification, please. The recipe instructs to place chicken breast side down in the pot. However, the video shows breast side up in the pot. Which way should it be?

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Its actually breast side down in the video, it means the thick part of the breasts if that confused you.

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Sandra

Wonderful, delicious recipe. My third time using my new instant pot and your recipe was a complete success. My chicken was still partially frozen and your posted frozen cooking times were appreciated. I did stuff it with the lemon and herbs. The only change I made was to not put any salt in the butter topping. This topping really was the cherry on top! Can't wait to make this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe

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Lesli

Made this for the first time in my IP. Had to approximate the weight of chicken, about 4.5-75 lbs, chose Meat setting (HP) x 30 min. The next day did the broil. The taste was incredible--especially with the topping mix! The texture was slightly dry--will do the IP and broil back to back next time and maybe lower the cooking time to 29 min. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

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Carrie

I don't see where it's says how many minutes per pound the chicken needs to cook. I have a 6-7 chicken. Help!

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Kathy

Hi, I was wondering if I could substitute beer for the chicken stock. I love "beer can chicken" and would like to try and get a similar flavor. Thanks! PS Got a IP for Christmas and every recipe I tried here has been very good! Looking forward to trying many more!

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Yes!! You can use beer, I would say that use a mix? Half beer and half chicken stock? The beer doesn't fully evaporate in the IP, like it does in the oven or slow cooker, so to avoid the flavor being overpowering, use half and half I would say.

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Pete Szerszen

Turned out great! I cut the butter a bit (to my taste) and it was still incredibly moist and flavorful. I had leftovers for a solid week too. You can't go wrong, virtually no prep time.

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Elaine

This chicken recipe is amazing. I did make an easy change to finishing off the bird. I placed the chicken in a baking dish with all the spice goodness. Set it in the oven at 425* for 20 minutes. It gave it time to make a Crispy delicious skin. 

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Happy that you enjoyed it!

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Christal Chatfield

Can you cook veggies in with the chicken at the same time in the instant pot?

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no, not enough space after you add a whole chicken and way too much time for the veggies, they will be super mushy.

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Tony M

I was amazed how juicy the breaths were. When I tried to move it to the baking sheet, the bird broke into three pieces. Lol. I'm thinking of using the leftover broth for chicken soup. Gonna try that tomorrow but conventionally on the stove. I'll let you know how it turned out.

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Laurel Marble

We are having dinner guests today and my hubby, who planned it, forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer. I thought - no problem! I can cook it frozen in my IP. I went to put the chicken in and noticed it had the bag of giblets in it. I tried everything to get them out, even cooking the chicken in the IP for 15 min. They are frozen in there. Not sure what to do.

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oh wow this never happened to me, I usually run it under warm water and remove them.

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Susan

What size IP should be used to cook a whole chicken? What size chicken would fit into a 6qt IP?

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I used a 6qt, and usually a 4-5lbs chicken fits in.

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Jana

My family of five went crazy over this! I only had smoked paprika on hand but it still was delicious!

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Grace Horowitz

I could not find the video. Where is it?

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Hello, the video is attached in the middle of the post. Please take a look, it is there. Thanks!

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Stephani

My frozen chicken won't fit in the IP with the trivet in there, can I vok it without the trivet? If so do I need to adjust anything, i.e. time, temperature?

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without the trivet some of the chicken parts will be submerged in water and overcook, I don't really recommend it.

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Nicole Tierheimer

Okay. I am an idiot. I thawed the chicken and then used the time for a 5 lb frozen chicken, not thawed. Dark meat great. White meat dry. Won’t do that again. The skin was great though. Frozen yogurt for dessert to help out with our sadness. Will use recipe again, but follow it next time!

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Sam

I made this omce before with a 5 lbd chicken and it was amazing! I want to do this again...but my chicken is 7lbs. Is there a merhod to adjusting the time? I don't want to over cook it. Thank you.

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about 42 minutes and 15 mins NPR.

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Eileen S

I'm going to try this tonight but with 1/2 a chicken, any tips for cooking a 1/2 chicken?

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Check the weight of the chicken to make sure you don’t pressure cook it for too long. Check my posts for tips on how long to cook based on the weight of the chicken.

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David Whiteker Martinez

I have seen so many different times to cook. 6 lb. Chicken. I did 38 and not done. Please help!

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Try 45 in that case and 15mins NPR.

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Kreg Atterberry

You list 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth as an ingredient and then you never say what to do with it. I assume I just pour it into the bottom of the pot.

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Under COOK, the first step says: Add a trivet with handles to the Instant Pot and add the chicken broth.

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Kat

Have made several times. Guests can't believe you can make this at home. Absolutely can and, do.

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Shelly

Made it tonight...it was delicious! Will definitely be making it again!

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Glad you loved it Shelly! Thanks for your feedback!

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Patricia Anderson-Ragland

Can you add potatoes in with the chicken

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Yes, you can.

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Vikki

Made this tonight... It was delicious! Thank you ☺️

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Bobbie

Delicious, but time consuming to cook. Double the time, it took over 2 hours start to finish. I cut the butter in half and it was fine. I followed the time to pressure cook for the weight of the chicken and the chicken fell apart when I cut it, seemed like it cooked too much. Not sure if it was worth it.

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JGA

We've tried InstaPot chicken before but have found the meat to be far more dry than when we slow roast or smoke our whole chickens. Not sure how to fix that problem.

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Kelli

Easy and excellent! This was not dry AT ALL! Super moist and flavorful ❤️

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Hi Kelli, glad you loved this recipe! We always make whole chicken in the IP, it is quick, easy and delicious!

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Ellen Tresidder

I just made this and the flavors were really great. My chicken fell apart when I tried to spread the marinade/rub over before broiling, but it was delish, just not very pretty. I’ll try making it again though!

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I know its not very pretty, but it tastes amazing!

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Melody B Voor

cooking time for seven pound whole chicken?????

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about 75 minutes for frozen and 45 for fresh, if you can fit it in your IP.

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Courtney Martens

My chicken was slightly under 5 pounds and I had in on high pressure for 65 minutes. It exploded. All the bones fell everywhere when I lifted it up and it freaked out my sister...but it was delicious!!! So good! I'll definitely use this recipe again and just adjust the time a bit

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Yes, sometimes you have to play with the time when cooking a whole chicken.

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Victoria

I have a fully frozen chicken. Can I put the stuffing mixture in the bottom with the broth?

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You can, but I don't really see the point of adding it in that case. Cook the chicken, after that stuff before broiling in the oven.

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Jessica

I just got the yedi instant pot and this is the first recipe I'm trying in it. We are having it tomorrow for dinner. I can't wait to try it because it looks AMAZING!! But I will update tomorrow after my family eats and leave an actuate review

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Wendy

Bought a two-pack of frozen 5 lb roasters. One is thawing for tomorrow, the other is in my IP with most if these ingredients following frozen guidelines. Going to let it natural release until we get finished with our project of new shelves in and rearranging the pantry! Thanks for an " I didn't have time to thaw" version!

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe :)

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DEB DELACALZADA

This recipe came out perfectly. I didnt use all the seasoned butter mix bit it was so delicious that I will freeze the rest and store for later! Thank you!

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Gena

I made this today and it was tasty and tender! I never write recipe reviews, but this is a good one! Thank you!

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Thank you for the feedback!

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Erica

I'm curious if anyone has tried this with injected chicken? I usually make up a seasoned melted butter and use a flavor injector to add it directly into the meat itself when I cook whole chickens. But would this make it get mushy or blow apart because of the pressure cooking?

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Monty

Delicious. Had been using a whole chicken recipe for my Instant Pot but this one is hands down superior

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Felicitas Limcuando

Can I cook it in a turbo?

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yes, sure

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[email protected]

Just got my Instapot and am looking for recipes. Site has great variety!!!

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Yes, I hope you can find many that you like!

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Emily Justice

Best chicken recipe ever!! I use this chicken recipe then bone and skin the chicken saving the meat. I return all the skin and bones back in the IP fill with water and add more onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for an hour. It makes the best chicken broth ever!! It has such a rich taste my family goes crazy for it!

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Kelly

Can you make this without a trivet? My IP didn’t come with one. I’m making chicken soup so don’t need it crispy

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In that case, yes.

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VT

Made it for Thanksgiving dinner since we are only 4 it was such a hit. Very moist and nice crisp to it. Love every bit of it. Now my family want me to make it every Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for this recipe. I'm an instant pot maniac but never made a whole chicken before. I made gravy with the broth.

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Thank you for your feedback!

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