This Instant Pot Lemony Whole Chicken has become so popular, it makes me so happy! Juicy, tender chicken that is so easy to pressure cook while you get on with other things.
There's always a lot of talk about how to cook a whole chicken.
A lot of brainstorming over whether the chicken should be breast down so that it's more moist.
So I wanted to give it a go.
Instant Pot Lemony Whole Chicken
- 1 Pressure Cooker I used an Instant Pot Duo 5.7 l / 6 quart
- 1 whole chicken you can fit up to a 2.5 kg bird in the Instant Pot, that was the weight of mine this time
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 1 large onions or two medium ones very thickly sliced (approx. 2 cm thick)
- 1 carrot sliced lengthways
- 5 garlic cloves not peeled but whacked with the hand
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon mixed herbs I make my own mix of equal parts of rosemary, marjoram, parsley and oregano
- 250 ml vegetable stock I make my own stock paste concentrate in the Instant Pot or the Thermomix (or both), find the link in the Notes. You can add the stock cold but I added it hot, it means that the pot will reach pressure faster so it can sometimes affect cooking time
- Salt a good pinch
- Black pepper a few twists of the pepper mill
- Zest the lemon and the lime. Reserve.
- Juice the lemon and the lime. Reserve.
- With a sharp knife, stab what you have left of the lemon and the lime, through the skin. Insert the lemon and lime inside the chicken cavity.
- Place the onion and the carrot in the pot to create a bed for the chicken.
- Add the garlic cloves, the teaspoon of turmeric, the tablespoon of mixed herbs, the 250 ml of stock (hot), the salt and the black pepper.
- Place the chicken on top, breast side down.
- Pour the reserved lemon zest and juice on the bird. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
- Pressure cook 30 minutes, high pressure, for a bigger bird. You can do 25 minutes for a smaller bird. Natural release at the end of pressure cooking.In a conventional stove-top pressure cooker bring the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for about 25-30 minutes (the psi is higher), turn off the heat and do a natural release.
Got an Air Fryer Lid? Use it to crisp it up
- After pressure cooking, reserve the juices for soups and risottos or to freeze in cubes to add flavour to stews. You don't have to do this but removing the liquid can help crisp up the skin faster. If in a hurry, don't mess about and skip to step 3
- Place the chicken on a trivet if you have one (preferably with long handles and sturdy), lower the chicken into the inner pot.
- Air fryer lid on, maximum temperature until the skin is crispy. Keep an eye on it as you don't want your chicken to dry out. Start with 5 minutes.
Can I brown my chicken as well as pressure cook it?
Yes, you can brown with some oil by pressing Sauté and setting it to a high heat if you have an older Instant Pot.
If you have an air fryer lid, I also provide instructions for it in the recipe.
How to serve
The very succulent meat was used for several meals. You can use it for Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables with Leftover Chicken, Chicken, Leek and Carrot Soup.
Also use in stir fries and even in sandwiches!
How to make chicken stock afterwards
You can pressure cook a lovely bone broth / chicken stock with the carcass once you've taken all the meat off or you could freeze it until you have more bones to add (and then pressure cook bone broth from frozen).
To do this: cover the bones with water, add salt, turmeric, bay leaf, celery, a teaspoon of salt, a dash of cider vinegar and pressure cook, high pressure, for 2 hours.
Bear in mind that the more bones you have, the more gelatinous it will be and you can keep them in the freezer until you have a good amount. As long as you don't use too much water, of course.
Chicken goes a long way in the Tapas household and I bet it does in yours too!
Also, the liquid that is left is especially good to freeze in cubes and use to flavour stews, casseroles, even all-in-one pasta dishes.
Another fabulous pressure cooker whole chicken recipe
Another great method for cooking Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot is the Zero Minute Chicken.
Want more recipes for your Instant Pot?
I have lots of easy and delicious recipes like this one, with familiar UK ingredients and measurements in my Recipe Index.
Ready for the recipe?
Zest the lemon and the lime. Reserve.
Juice the lemon and the lime. Reserve.
With a sharp knife, stab what you have left of the lemon and the lime, through the skin. Insert the lemon and lime inside the chicken cavity.
Place the onion and the carrot in the pot to create a bed for the chicken.
Add the garlic cloves, the teaspoon of turmeric, the tablespoon of mixed
herbs, the 250 ml of stock (hot), the salt and the black pepper.
Place the chicken on top, breast side down.
Pour the reserved lemon zest and juice on the bird. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Pressure Cook, high pressure, 30 minutes for a bigger bird, you can do 25 minutes for a smaller bird. Let it do a natural pressure release at the end.
Natural pressure release means letting the float valve pop back down of its own accord while you have your feet up.
If you're in a hurry, you can let the rest of the steam out after 15 minutes but not earlier as it can toughen up the meat.
In a conventional stove-top pressure cooker bring the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for about 25-30 minutes (the psi is higher), turn off the heat and do a natural release.
Make a sauce / gravy
There are a lot of lovely juices at the end.
I blended some of it with the vegetables for a lovely smooth thick sauce but also kept some of the juices for a thinner sauce.
Probably used half for each thing. Lovely moist chicken.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to let me know how you get on!43