From grilling to roasting, cooking a whole chicken typically takes at least an hour. It takes time to get the meat to safe temperatures (165 for the light and 175 for the dark). Combined with preparing the sides, suddenly it’s taking a whole lot longer than an hour to get dinner on the table.
But with an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker), you can have a whole chicken and a built-in vegetable side dish on the table with just 30 minutes of cooking (plus prep). The controlled moisture and pressure means the chicken takes less time to cook and you don’t have to worry about dry meat or overcooking. The chicken cooks atop an assortment of root vegetables that can later be mashed to serve as a side.
From start to finish, this entire meal will be on your table in just over an hour—that includes completing any prep work, browning the chicken, making the sauce, and mashing the root vegetables. In other recipes, the chicken alone would take that long.
With this complete meal, you can be eating that tender, fall-off-the bone chicken in half the time it would normally take you. What’s the catch you ask? Bye-bye crackly skin, but that rotisserie chicken you pick up from your local grocery store doesn’t have any either, right? However, it will be pull-apart tender and bursting with the fresh flavors of rosemary, lemon, and chives.
The poultry was incredibly juicy and the root vegetable mash was amazing! The leftover broth could be made into a gravy with a touch of butter and a cornstarch slurry if desired.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Root Vegetable Mash
- 1 (4-lb.) whole chicken, giblets discarded
- 1¼ tsp. table salt, divided
- ¾ tsp. pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb. rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- ¼ cup minced fresh chives
- Lemon wedges
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wingtips behind back. Using highest sauté function, heat oil in Instant Pot until just smoking. Place chicken breast side down in pot and cook until well browned on first side, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to plate. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Add rosemary to fat left in pot and cook, using residual heat, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, rutabaga, potatoes, onion, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Place chicken breast side up on top of vegetables and add any accumulated juices. Lock lid into place and close pressure-release valve. Select high pressure-cook function and cook for 24 minutes.
- Turn off Instant Pot and quick-release pressure. Carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while preparing vegetables.
- Strain broth and vegetables through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Return vegetables to now-empty pot and mash with potato masher until nearly smooth. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let broth settle for 5 minutes, then transfer serving bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve chicken and discard skin, if desired. Serve chicken with vegetables, passing broth and lemon wedges separately.
Recipe by Caren White for America’s Test Kitchen