This pesto chicken recipe was actually the very first recipe I ever cooked in my pressure cooker.
Picture it…Mobile, 2008. I was in my teeny tiny kitchen looking at my new gadget. My friend had just bought one and made me a terrific dinner. After that dinner, I had to go and get one the next day. It was a Cuisinart, I still have this EPC today, and it came with a fantastic recipe book. Cheesecakes, roasts, stews…it was all in there, but for some reason, the pesto chicken recipe called out to me.
That pesto chicken recipe was the first thing I pressured in my EPC and it remains on permanent rotation in my kitchen to this day.
It’s just so easy, but the taste yield is ridiculous! It actually reminds me, tastewise, of a roast. It’s like eating your favorite pot roast but it’s chicken.
I know there are Instant Pot obsessed people out there, and I’m glad for it, but the recipe book that comes with that machine sucks. Big ones. You guys are always looking for recipes for the IP and I encourage you to go to the Cuisinart website and look at their recipes. It won’t make you an IP traitor. 😉 I’ve tried lots of them and they are all delicious, especially this one! If you don’t find what you’re looking for over at Cuisinart’s house, check out IP Recipes Finder, they have thousands of recipes!
PESTO CHICKEN WITH CARROTS & POTATOES – PRESSURE COOKER
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large onion chopped, not finely chopped, maybe 3/4″ in size
1.5 pounds baby potatoes or fingerlings, cut in half if needed
1 pound carrots, chunked or thick sliced, about 1-1.5″, your preference
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt *be watchful of how much sodium is in your chicken broth and pesto, use best judgement here
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Put potatoes and carrots in a large bowl/bag/dish and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss it about to coat. Set aside.
Toss chicken thighs with olive oil to coat. Select the browning or sauté setting and when hot, add 4 thighs to the pot. Brown three to four minutes on each side. Remove to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the thighs. When you get to the last round of chicken thighs, toss the chopped onions in there and let it sauté with the thighs. When you remove the last of the chicken, leave the onions in there. Once all the chicken is browned and in the bowl, add pesto to the chicken and toss it about to coat.
Add chicken stock to the pot and give a little stir. Insert the trivet into the pot and add the pesto coated chicken on the trivet. Top with potatoes and carrots.
Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
When done, use quick pressure release. When pressure is released, remove lid carefully. I like to remove the veggies and chicken on to a serving dish. It makes it much easier to serve since the veggies are all on top of the chicken. Serve with rice, polenta, or even mashed potatoes.
NOTE** Before anyone freaks out about the quick release of the pressure and meat, please, relax. You can quick release meat. Trust me. There will be no negative outcomes to quick release. You will actually have a negative outcome if you let it come down naturally. You have carrots and potatoes in there that don’t want to hang out any longer than necessary. Don’t abuse your veggies. The meat is incredibly tender and moist.Pesto chicken with carrots & potatoes in the pressure cooker!Click To Tweet
If you don’t have an instant pot yet and are looking to buy one for yourself, there is a detailed comparison guide at YoungMeagher.com that will help you pick the right one for your needs.