I admit I was skeptical, but Instant Pot Roast Chicken and gravy actually tastes exactly like traditional oven roasted chicken. It’s moist, juicy and flavorful and creates a rich oniony gravy. For the final 10 minute oven portion, you can even add vegetables like broccoli, peppers or cauliflower to the pan for a complete roast chicken dinner in 60 minutes flat, start to finish. Not bad!
Compared to a traditional roasted chicken like our Easy Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy, you’re saving about 30-45 minutes or more but adding an extra pot to wash – the Instant Pot. You’ll have to choose your priorities. Of course, if you’re cooking a chicken to use for other purposes where browning is not important like chicken a la king or chicken salad – or if you don’t care how it looks coming straight from the Instant Pot – it’s an excellent quick option. And even if you want to make the full deal, there are a few shortcuts and handy ‘adds’ to maximize your effort and minimize your time in the kitchen. It is delicious – I think there would be no argument there.
- I prefer using kosher chicken as it is already brined, but it’s not necessary.
- The maximum size chicken that will fit in a 6 quart Instant Pot is 4 pounds.
- Cooking time in the Instant Pot is calculated at 6 minutes per pound so a 3.5 pound chicken will take 21 minutes. I subtract 1-2 minutes from the total to account for the extra 10 minutes in the oven (I don’t like dry overcooked chicken).
- Apparently you can cook a frozen chicken in the Instant Pot at 11 minutes per pound.
- Even though the actual cooking of the chicken in the Instant Pot only takes about 20 minutes, you have to consider the 10-15 minutes it take to build up pressure before cooking and the 10-15 minutes to do a [partial] natural release in the total time for the recipe. (I found this misleading and annoying when I was an Instant Pot newbie).
- Some recipes suggest broiling the chicken at the end to brown it. I prefer the 500F roasting method as the browning is more even.
- Big Tip: To complete the meal, I take advantage of the final oven roasting step by adding vegetables to the pan, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. I once added cauliflower steaks and they were delicious. Another time I used potatoes, precooked in the microwave, then cut into chunks. You can add extra roasting time for the veggies if needed (or if you like extra char) while you’re cutting up the chicken to serve.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use any seasonings you prefer to coat the chicken.
- Double the seasoning mixture and brush it on vegetables added to the pan for the oven roasting portion of the recipe.
- Use a store-bought poultry rub for the seasoning, added to the oil.
- For a quicker gravy made directly in the Instant Pot (no extra saucepan):
- Skim the grease from the broth if desired, remove the onions with a slotted spoon. Press the Instant Pot SAUTE button. Make a slurry of 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon water. When the broth is bubbling, add the slurry and stir gravy until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Make Ahead Instant Pot Roast Chicken
- The chicken can be cooked in the Instant Pot then left on counter, loosely covered with foil (or in the Instant Pot on OFF, cover ajar) for up to an hour. The gravy can be made ahead as well once the chicken is finished cooking in the Instant Pot. Roast the chicken in the oven and heat the gravy just before serving.
Instant Pot Roast Chicken and Gravy
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion, peeled, cut into pieces
- 1/4 lemon (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- OPTIONAL; any cut up vegetables that will roast at 500F in 10 minutes e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, (for a side dish).
Seasoning for chicken (or use pre-made seasoning)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each, garlic powder and onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (or paprika)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp grease created from chicken in instant pot (or oil)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cup broth from the instant pot
- seasonings to taste: thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- SEASON CHICKEN: Sprinkle salt and pepper inside chicken cavity and add a couple chunks onion and lemon if desired. Combine all seasoning ingredients and smear 2/3 of it on chicken, including under the breast skin (gently loosen skin from flesh, then smear).
- PREPARE FOR INSTANT POT COOKING: Put broth, onions and garlic clove into a 6-8 quart instant pot. Place trivet (that comes with pot) over the mixture. Place chicken on top, breast side up.
- INSTANT POT SETTINGS/COOKING: Place on instant pot lid and turn clockwise to lock. Turn valve to SEALING. Push PRESSURE or MANUAL button. Use + or - buttons to set time. Calculate time at 6 minutes per pound LESS 1 minute. So a 3.5 lb chicken will take (3.5 x 6) - 1 = 20 minutes. Pressure will take 10-15 minutes to build before the pressure clock starts. When finished (instant pot will beep), wait 15 minutes for a NATURAL RELEASE, then do a quick release if necessary for the pressure button to pop down.
- HEAT OVEN to 500F while chicken is cooking in instant pot. Prepare a pan, lined with foil and sprayed with oil. If desired, add veggies for roasting on half the pan, tossing them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- FINISH CHICKEN IN OVEN (WITH VEGGIES): Remove chicken from instant pot (I use two forks at either end - don't pierce meat). Place on prepared pan along side veggies if using. Brush on remaining seasoning. Roast for 10 minutes until skin browns. Instant thermometer should read 165F. Cut up chicken and serve with gravy.
- MAKE GRAVY: While chicken is roasting in oven, discard onions and garlic from instant pot. Pour broth into a separator (or skim grease from broth and reserve). Put 2 tablespoons grease in saucepan. Heat to medium. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth. Continue cooking for a few minutes until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding thyme, salt, pepper as desired. Add more broth if needed to desired consistency.
Here are a few other roast chicken recipes you might like: