I’ve got to admit, it wasn’t love at first use with my Instant Pot. Especially when it came to braises (something for which the Instant Pot is often praised). My short ribs and pot roast kept coming out stringy no matter how much I tinkered with the settings and the time. I was convinced the Instant Pot would become a gigantic beast of an ill-used kitchen gadget, taking up what felt like my entire kitchen counter. However, I found my opinion changing the day I began developing this recipe for Instant Pot chicken stew. It calls for an entire chicken so you’ll have leftovers to make stock; just throw the bones and remaining flesh into a resealable bag and toss it into the freezer for future stock-making.
The Instant Pot is perfect for stews and this chicken stew is no exception. The Instant Pot comes with a trivet but frankly, I’ve never had any luck creating a true “rotisserie style” chicken using wet heat. This recipe yields fall-off-the-bone meat, an ultra-creamy base (without any dairy!), and is finished with a simple pan fried crispy radish topping. Rich, comforting, and pleasantly peppery from the radishes; this is one Instant Pot recipe that I keep returning to.
Making Instant Pot chicken stew with crispy radishes
- Use a small chicken weighing between 3 and 5 pounds for best results and a shorter cooking time (this will also ensure that the chicken fits in your Instant Pot).
- Make sure you brown the chicken on all sides in a generous amount of olive oil before pressure cooking – it will add plenty of flavour to the chicken, the stew as a whole, and the vegetables (particularly the radishes!).
- Since I am rarely organized enough to take homemade chicken stock out of the freezer in time (and since I don’t own a microwave), I use Better Than Bouillon’s Roasted Chicken concentrate every time I make this recipe. If I have any white vermouth or dry white wine kicking around I’ll add a splash of that, too.
- The stew vegetables can be pureed or left as-is depending on your preference. If you’re planning on skipping the blending component I would cut them into smaller pieces before adding to the Instant Pot.
- Try to find healthy radishes with their greens still attached. Radish greens are delicious when cut into a thin chiffonade and added at the last minute.
- This recipe for Instant Pot chicken stew works best if all chopping prep is done beforehand. Turn on some music and get your mise en place on!
Instant Pot Chicken Stew with Crispy Radishes
4-6 servings, depending on the size of the chicken
1 whole chicken, skin left on, untrussed, and giblets removed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Roast chicken seasoning (optional)
1 bunch of radishes, washed (cut the radishes into a fine dice and cut 6 radish leaves into a fine chiffonade)
Fresh parsley, minced
3 cups chicken stock (or a combination of chicken stock and white vermouth or dry white wine)
3 carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 sticks of celery, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 shallots, peeled and halved
6 cloves of garlic, smashed but left whole
1 Tbsp. corn starch
Juice from 1 lemon
Sharp chef’s knife
Long-handled kitchen tongs
Silicon or wooden spoon
- Begin by generously seasoning both the inside of the chicken and the outside with a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper, and optional chicken rub or seasoning.
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté on medium heat and add another drizzle of olive oil.
- Using long-handled kitchen tongs, carefully place the seasoned chicken breast-side down in the Instant Pot and brown for 5 minutes. Repeat on all four sides of the chicken until the outside is crispy. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the diced radishes to the hot oil and continue cooking until they become crispy (about 5 minutes). During the last minute of cooking, add a sprinkle of kosher salt and the radish greens. Use a long-handled spoon or spatula to remove the crispy radishes from the hot oil and set aside.
- Finally, add the carrots, celery, shallots, and smashed garlic to the Instant Pot and cook for a few minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in the stock or stock and white vermouth or dry white wine mixture.
- Place the browned chicken back into the Instant Pot, nestling the bird in with the vegetables and stock. Set the Instant Pot to manual and pressure cook (using the slow release) until cooked. I use small chickens so they usually take about 19-20 minutes once the Instant Pot has come to pressure. This handy chart is great for determining Instant Pot cooking times.
- Once the Instant Pot is done cooking the chicken, carefully remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a clean plate or cutting board. You may find that the chicken falls away from the bone almost immediately, so make sure you get any small bones out of the vegetable and stock mixture.
- Remove about a 1/2 cup of stock from the Instant Pot before blending the rest of the stock and vegetables until smooth (or as smooth as you’d like) with an immersion blender.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved stock until it forms a slurry. Pour the slurry into the blended vegetables and whisk until combined and the mixture begins to thicken, adding the lemon juice to brighten up the entire dish.
- Plate the Instant Pot chicken stew by ladling the base mixture into a shallow bowl. Add the cooked chicken, a generous scattering of crispy radishes, a handful of minced parsley to serve.
What I’m listening to
Sol Seppy, AKA Sophie Michalitsianos, has only one album but it’s one that I’ve been listening to faithfully, hoping we’ll get an encore, ever since it debuted. Dreamy, whimsical, heavy, hopeful, shoegazey, a quietly stunning thing of intense beauty. A former touring member of Sparklehorse, Sol Seppy never fails to improve any mood or and space. An album that feels like it has a beginning, a middle, and a somewhat magical ending: This might just be what you need most as the January blues settle in.
Sol Seppy – Wonderland