This INSTANT POT WHOLE CHICKEN, seasoned with fresh herbs, creates a perfectly cooked, moist and tender bird that is perfect as the main star of the meal or shredded and used in any recipe calling for cooked chicken.
My family absolutely loves whole roasted chickens, but I tend to just grab the rotisserie chickens for the grocery store rather than make them myself. It’s easier, for sure, and I don’t have to worry about over or undercooking the chicken.
Now that we’ve mastered the Instant Pot whole chicken, I haven’t grabbed a rotisserie chicken in ages.
Seriously, this is so simple and the chicken is beyond moist and flavorful.
Whether you’re cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot to enjoy as a whole roasted bird or you’re planning to shred the meat to use in another recipe, this Instant Pot method is pretty perfect.
We have loads and loads of uses for leftover chicken!
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Instant Pot: We used a 6 quart Instant Pot for this recipe, which holds up to about a 5 pound chicken. You’ll want the 8 quart for larger chickens.
Trivet: The trivet keeps the chicken from sitting in the liquid as it cooks as well as makes it easier to remove the chicken from the liner.
Butcher’s Twine: For an even cook and to help your chicken from falling apart, trussing the chicken is essential. Not to worry – it’s very simple. Just tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wings under the legs.
How to Make:
Ingredients: This recipe calls for just a handful of simple ingredients. You’ll need a whole chicken, of course. The rub consists of butter, garlic, herbs, and salt. To cook the chicken in the Instant Pot, you’ll also need a bit of chicken broth.
Season: In a small bowl mix together the butter, garlic, herbs, and salt. The mixture will go under the skin and add a lot of extra flavor as the bird cooks.
Loosen the skin on the breast to create pockets under the skin of the breast and the legs. Add the herb and butter mixture to the chicken under the skin, about two teaspoons. The remainder will go on the outside of the skin.
Place an onion in the cavity of the chicken along with the sprigs of rosemary and thyme for even more flavor!
Truss: The Instant Pot makes a super moist and juicy chicken, but the downside is that getting it out of the pot can be tricky. If you don’t want your bird to fall apart as you remove it from the pot, the best thing to do is tie the legs together with some butcher’s twine and tuck the wings under the legs. It helps holds things together.
Prepare: Next pour one cup of chicken broth into the Instant Pot and place the trivet into the pot. Set the chicken on the trivet and spread any remaining butter/herb mix on the skin. The Instant Pot will make a really tender chicken that can easily pull apart for shredded chicken!
Cook: Put the lid on the pot and set it to seal. Set the pressure to high and cook for 6 minutes per pound or 4 minutes per half pound. When the timer completes allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before turning to vent.
Remove: Open the lid and, using oven mits, carefully grab the trivet and lift the trivet and chicken up and out of the pot. The chicken will be extremely tender and may fall apart a bit. This is normal, the Instant Pot makes this chicken very tender and juicy!
Roast: This step is optional, but the thicken crispy, roasted, golden brown skin is your oven broiler. Just put the chicken in a baking dish and broil for a couple of minutes, constantly checking to be sure it doesn’t burn. Cut the twine and your whole chicken is ready to serve!
- Add half a lemon to the cavity for some lemon flavor, or squeeze some juice over the skin.
- Instead of herbed chicken you can go for a BBQ flavor by using a BBQ dry rub.
- Try using different herbs like oregano or sage.
- Use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in place of fresh herbs.
Make It a Meal!
Pair this with…
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
- 2 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary plus 2-3 sprigs
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme plus 2-3 sprigs
- 2-3 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion halved
- 1 cup chicken broth
- In a small bowl, mix the butter, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, minced garlic and salt.
- Carefully loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken and create pockets under the skin of the breast and legs. Rub the butter mixture under skin to coat.
- Place the onion in the cavity of the chicken along with the sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
- With a piece of butcher’s twine, tie the ends of the legs together and then tuck the wings under the legs. See note.
- Pour 1 cup of chicken broth in the instant pot and place the trivet in the pot. Place the chicken on the trivet, and dot the top with the remaining butter mixture.
- Put the lid on the pot and set to seal. Set the pressure to high and cook for 6 minutes per pound adding 4 minutes per half pound.
- When the timer completes allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then turn to vent (or until the pin drops, whichever occurs first).
- Open the lid and carefully remove the bird from the pot with the handles of the trivet.
- If you want to brown the skin you can place the chicken in a baking dish and broil for a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as broilers work quickly.
- Snip off the twine, slice or shred the chicken, and serve.