Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipe

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Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice RecipeWhy emphasize the perfectness of this recipe?  Because pressure cooking these two ingredients together and getting them both right is impossible!

Pressure cooking rice is an exacting task – too much liquid or time and the grains burst at the seams or turn into an unappetizing runny, starchy, gummy, gluey slosh. Too little liquid and the rice carbonizes and bonds to the base of the pressure cooker to be chiseled off. Rice needs just 3 minutes at high pressure (with nautral release).

Instead, pressure cooking chicken is more of a gamble – there are great variations in the liquid that is released during cooking based on the meat’s age and preservation.  Most American supermarket chickens, for example, are already brined in (and sometimes injected with)  salt water to make them last longer and weigh more.  The liquid released between a supermaket chicken and a free-range, locally-raised freshly butchered one can vary by a cup of liquid or more. Yes, I measured it so you don’t have to.

If trying to wing it with liquid ratios doesn’t result in gummy rice, bone-in chicken’s 10 minute pressure cooking time will!  This seven minute difference is almost an additional half hour of conventional cooking time.

This method guarantees PERFECT results regardless of your meat’s origins and processing.

The solution to getting both of these ingredients perfectly cooked is to cook them sequentially, one after the other, and not together.  This method guarantees PERFECT results regardless of your meat’s origins and processing. First the chicken is boiled, then the cooking liquid is measured to the rice’s exacting needs and cooked in the chicken’s tasty broth.  Don’t worry – the chicken won’t get cold.  It’s wrapped-up tight and then beautifully caramelized under the broiler (or on the grill) while the rice is cooking.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Perfected

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 12 & 3 min. High(2) Normal & Natural

4.9 from 23 reviews
Pressure Cooked Chicken and Rice
 
Author: 
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Serving size: 1 piece of chicken 1 cup of rice with toppings
  • Calories: 244.3
  • TOTAL Fat: 10.2
  • TOTAL Carbs: 28.6
  • Sugar Carbs: 6.8
  • Sodium: 1375
  • Fiber Carbs: 3.3
  • Protein: 11.4
  • Cholesterol: 31.3
Recipe type: Pressure Cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Leave the chicken skin on for more flavor and crunch.
INGREDIENTS
For the Chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (250ml) water (or your pressure cooker's minimum required liquid amount)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (4 drumsticks & 4 thighs)
Spices:
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons salt (decrease if using salt-brined chicken)
For the rice:
  • about 1 cup water (see instructions)
  • 2 cups (500ml) Basmati rice, rinsed
For the garnish:
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1-2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 wedge white onion, thinly sliced
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In the pre-heated pressure cooker add oil and onion, saute until soft. Add the garlic and spices, and swoosh everything around for about 30 seconds. Then, add the water tomato paste and salt. Finally, add chicken pieces and coat in cooking liquid.
  2. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 14 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 12 minutes pressure cooking time.
  3. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
  4. Strain out chicken pieces and place in heat-proof serving platter, and cover with foil.
  5. Pour the cooking liquids from the pressure cooker into a heat-proof 4-cup measuring cup ( 1L measuring pitcher) to reach 3½ cups (875ml) . If the cooking liquid does not reach 3½ cup mark add water. If you have more cooking liquid than 3½ cups reserve it for another use.
  6. Pour the measured liquid back into the pressure cooker and add the rice. Mix.
  7. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 3 minutes pressure cooking time.
  8. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, when cooking time is up count 10 minutes of natural open time. Then, release the rest of the pressure using the valve.
  9. While the rice is cooking, slide the un-covered serving platter with chicken pieces skin-side up under broiler until the skin is brown and bubbly.
  10. Temporarily transfer chicken and cooking liquid, if any, into the foil that was used to cover it and tumble the freshly pressure cooked rice onto the platter. Now add the chicken pieces on top and sprinkle with pine nuts, raisins, fresh tomato and onion before serving. Pour any remaining cooking liquid on top.
    NOTE: When you pour out the meat cooking liquid in the measuring cup, you can optionally de-fat the liquid at this point. If you do, add only enough cooking liquid and water to reach 3 cups (not 3½ as directed).
Notes
This recipe provides 45% of the recommended daily values of Manganase, 28% of Vitamin A, 24% of Vitamin C and 13% of Vitamin C and 20% of Niacine per serving - based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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Buh-bye RAW chicken and GUMMY rice - this pressure cooker chicken and rice recipe gets them both right!pressure cooker chicken and rice

 

 

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157 Comments

  1. Why do you mention the cooking time for chicken is 10 minutes, but your recipe says to pressure cook it for 12?

    1. Great catch but it is NOT a mistake!

      Bone-in chicken pieces need 10 minutes pressure cooking time at high pressure with Natural release (which is about 10 more minutes). However, the chicken in the recipe is opened using the Normal release (which is about 2 minutes). Since food keeps cooking during the cooker’s opening method the extra minutes are to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

      Ciao,

      L

  2. I thought a chicken and rice dish was not even really possible in the PC. I tried a recipe from a cookbook that came out recently with lots of fan fare from a top-notch cooking magazine and book outfit. In it, the chicken and rice are PC’d for 15 minutes. Now I understand why that recipe was such a flop.

    To be honest, I lost interest in the PC after a couple of failures from that book but your photos are really inviting an your explanations make sense so I’m going to give this one a shot.

    1. I’m really sorry to hear about your bad experience but am glad that you are inspired it give it one more go.

      With a cooking method as technically complex as pressure cooking, it can’t hurt to consult an expert. A dozen test cooks with months to figure everything out from scratch cannot absorb the finer details that took me, and many other experienced pressure cooks, years of practice and failures to acquire.

      Directing someone to pressure cook white rice for 15 minutes is so grossly out of scale with commonly known and published pressure cooking times that I can understand why you were so unhappy with the results.

      So glad you made your way here, hopefully this recipe will be the beginning of a very long and delicious friendship with your pressure cooker!!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I also made a Pork Vindaloo recipe out of that cookbook and it burned. At that point, I was ready to throw my PC out the window because it was not saving me money it was just ruining my food.

        I was inspired to make this for dinner and it turned out swimmingly.

        Thanks to this success, I think I’ll try using my PC again.

  3. Hi. I am somewhat new to pressure cooker concepts and need a clarification. What is meant by:
    1. Natural release
    2. Normal release
    Since natural and normal by definition are more or less similar in meaning, what’s the differentiation by using these two word?

    What is ‘release’? The steam release thing on the lid of the cover I presume.

    Since there are a multitude of pressure cookers by size, style, vendor, etc., do these two terms have consistent value and meaning regardless of pressure cooker being used?

    Thanks.
    Jerry

    1. Even though they sound similar Normal and Natural release are two different ways to release pressure from the cooker – and they apply to all pressure cooker types.

      Normal release just means to use the cooker’s own mechanism to release pressure – be it a button, trigger or weight. While Natural Release means to turn off the heat, set the cooker aside and let the pressure of the cooker come down on its own. As mentioned in the comment above, there is a fair bit of cooking that is still happening without any extra energy at all during the Natural Release and it is most recommended for braised and steamed meats, legumes and grains.

      At least with my recipes, you don’t really need to remember all of this as I write what to do with the cooker right in the recipe instructions.

      Ciao,

      L

  4. Saw this this morning and made it for dinner. I did not notice the Perfect part but OMG it is.
    Timing is spot on. I used the chicken parts I had – 4 large thighs and 3 huge breasts. The only deviation was to use 2 tsp of garum masala instead of the spice mix but that is a very slight modification. I let the chicken brown well in the oven and no one ever knew that it had seen the inside of the PCkr.

    There is no end to the flavor combinations with this technique.

    Wonderful flavor and great as a buffet dish

    1. What a great variation! So glad to read that dinner was a success and that now you have a new method to play with.

      Ciao,

      L

  5. Thanks for the recipe! My attempt turned out well even though I use the metric system. It did get a bit bland. Next time I will crank up the spicing and add some chili and maybe some apples. I think the raisins would have been better if they had been cooked with the rice. The raisins I had are probably 3-4 years old and pretty dry and stiff.

    One question is tsp table or teaspoon?

    1. Yes, those raisins do look like they’ve had better days. If you have any left soak them in boiling water for about 15 minutes before using for your next recipe.

      Ciao,

      L

      P.S. Tsp is teaspoon and Tbsp is tablespoon – I usually write them out, will update the recipe now.

  6. Hi! Can I use brown rice instead…thanks in advance.

    1. Absolutely. Just use 1 3/4 cups of brown rice, instead of two of white, and pressure cook the rice for 18-20 minutes with Natural Release.

      You ‘ll want to “hold” the tightly wrapped chicken in the oven at the lowest heat setting (above 180F) while the brown rice is pressure cooking and then broil it when the rice is at the natural release stage.

      Ciao,

      L

  7. Can I use boneless skinless chicken breasts with this recipe instead of bone-in chicken pieces?

    1. Absolutely, pressure cook the breasts in the liquid for 3–4 minutes (instead of 12-13) and continue with the rest of the recipe as written.

      Ciao,

      L

  8. This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Can I use forzen chicken?

    I have random chicken bits in the freezer that would do well here.

    1. With any boiling-type pressure cooker recipe (where the meat is covered in liquid) frozen meat can be used. No additional changes need to be made for the recipe in terms of cooking times. Since frozen meat is colder the pressure cooker will take longer to reach pressure – up to twice as long as meat from the refrigerator – but everything else remains the same!

      Ciao,

      L

  9. This was absolutely delicious. I made it for my grandson when he came over after school and was starving. I used aborio rice because that was what I had on hand so I cooked it for 7 minutes and let it have a natural release. My grandson loved it! This is also the first time I put the chicken under the broiler (I didn’t see the point since we don’t eat the skin) but the “eye-appeal” made it taste better. The combo of fresh tomato and the tomato paste in with the chicken is a brilliant. There are so many ways to go with this, I can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Theresa, I love that you made this with arborio rice!

      I came up with the broiling trick a couple of years ago when I read that professional photographers do it to make the food look good for book and magazine photos.

      When I tried it with pressure cooked food, I found that the beauty was more than “skin-deep”. The broil adds a bit of crunch that is often missing from steamed, boiled and braised food and the scorch adds more flavor, too.

      What initially began as a beautifying step became part of the recipe and “hip” technique!

      Ciao,

      L


  10. Made this tonight and we loved it. I thought the spice might dominate the dish but it was subtle, but perfect. You want (or at least I do) want herbs and spices to enhance a dish but not dominate it and the amount called for in this recipe was perfect. I wasn’t sure if the ginger called for was fresh or powdered so I used fresh ginger. Given a choice, I like the brightness of fresh ginger. I also thought 3 teaspoons of salt might be too much but with 8 pieces of chicken and two cups of basmati rice the amount of salt was right on. We used 8 thighs as that’s our favorite part of the chicken.

    Ryback, if you have raisins that have seen better days, as I did, put the amount called for in some water and heat in the microwave for a minute or two and they will re-hydrate beautifully.

    We’ll definitely be making this again. It will be a spectacular dish for a dinner party. Since I just cooked it for the two of us tonight, we have 3 more meals!

    1. Ciao Sigrid, hmm… I don’t know what happened to your photo of the dish. I just added it to your comment – thanks so much for sharing your results with us and your feedback on clarifying the ingredients in the recipe!

  11. Hi Laura! Would you clarify the liquid amount to cook the rice please? As I read it, we are to use 3 cups of broth if the broth has been defatted or 3 1/2 cups is the broth has NOT been defatted. Is this correct? Thanks! I have it on good authority that this is truly an exceptional recipe.

    1. Yes, that is correct. If there is no fat – you need less water. If there is the fat from the chicken skin, ect. then the liquid is actually the same but there but about 1/2 cup of fat from the liquid is included. It does not throw off the rice to liquid ratio because the fat is largely not absorbed by the rice.

      Ciao,

      L

  12. Hello! This recipe sounds delicious, and I am hoping to try it out very soon. I am a bit worried about the sodium content in the dish, yet I don’t see where all the salt is coming from. What would I be able to substitute/reduce to lower the sodium without sacrificing too much flavor? Thanks in advance for the help.

    1. The recipe adds three teaspoons of salt to the boiling liquid which seasons the chicken and then boils two cups of rice – you can reduce the salt there if you like! However, having made this recipe myself several times I can assure you that adding less salt leave everything tasting a bit bland.

      Ciao,

      L

  13. Hi,your recipe looks great,i only have 4 parts of chicken will the time remain the same? Many thank,great website :-)

    1. If you leave everything the same, the rice will end-up tasting less “chicken-y”. I recommend halving everything, but using enough cooking liquid to cover the chicken!

      Ciao,

      L

  14. I made this last night and the sauce and rice were delicious!

    I am new to pressure cooking chicken and had a bit of trouble with getting the chicken to come out right. I cut up a whole chicken and used the breasts, legs, and wings in the PC with the bone in. I cooked at high pressure for 12 minutes and the legs were a little undercooked and the breast was overcooked. I think the legs were undercooked because the pressure dropped too low as I attempted to get the right steady heat – no problem there as I could just cook a bit longer if I see that happening again.

    I’m wondering about getting the breasts cooked correctly. Do I cook them first separately as you suggest above for boneless breasts? Does the cooking time depend on the size of the breasts? I cut mine in half (for a total of 4 breast pieces) because none of us eat an entire half breast. So perhaps in this case still 3 to 4 minutes for bone-in breasts that have been cut up?

    Thanks – still getting a feel for this technique. I love your website and am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. Instead of cutting-up the bone-in breast before cooking, cook it whole, then cut it before serving. Also, when lowering the pieces into the pressure cooker put the breast in last so it is not in contact with the base of the cooker (that’s the hottest part) You want tough thighs and wings there, instead.

      Welcome to the fast side!!!

      Ciao,

      L

  15. Hi, this looks great, the coriander you mentioned, is it ground coriander? or leaves? Thanks!

    1. Coriander powder. : )

  16. I came across this recipe last night and decided to make it for dinner. I had two large breasts in the freezer so I thawed those, cut into 1 inch squares and proceeded with the recipe as described. Wow! The flavors in this are incredible! This is a definitely keeper recipe that I will be making often. I love it. Thanks Laura.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Keith. Since this is a “boiling- type recipe you can use frozen meat! Next time, you can toss the frozen breasts in the cooker and go! No adjustments will need to be made – your cooker will compensate for the frozen meat by taking a little extra time to reach pressure

      Ciao,

      L

  17. I just made this recipe last night. The food was eventually delicious, but I ran into some issues.

    1. I cut up a whole chicken and then tried to add a foil bag of carrots on top like in the Lorna Sass recipe on this site. Her recipe with foil bagged carrots was about the same time as this recipe said to cook the chicken on high, so I thought it would work out.

    However, it didn’t, almost none of the chicken pieces were cooked through, and the breasts on top were still pink. I over baked them the rest of the way.

    Was my error here adding the carrots? Does adding more mass slow the cooking down?

    2. I used 2 cups of brown rice with the 3.5 cups of broth/water from chicken and cooked it for 22 minutes and the rice was not done. I cooked it for another 5 under high pressure and it was finally edible. My PC manual says to cook brown rice at high for 22 minutes with 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water for one cup of rice. So this should have been right on.

    This morning I saw I should have reduced the brown rice amount to 1.75 cups. But why do we need to reduce the amount? Does the fat in the chicken broth/water not evaporate like the same amount of water would?

    Finally, this is the 6 or 7th recipe I’ve made from this site with my PC. My son said last night that I have been making restaurant quality meals, and this from a kid who just told his grandmother on Sunday that her chili was too salty! There may be no greater compliment from him. Thank you!

    1. Pressure cooking should not be so complicated – but it was great that you tried to improvise! : )

      The reason the breasts were still pink is that they were covered with the foil packet – that prevented the steam from reaching and cooking them. Also, yes, the more food is in the pressure cooker the longer it will take to reach pressure and, remember, the food is cooking while the cooker is gaining and loosing pressure.

      The rice to liquid ratios are a little funny in this recipe when I wrote it – that’s because you have to account for the fat the chicken will release into the broth. I guessed that most people’s chickens will release at least half a cup of fat into the liquid and adjusted the ratio accordingly (but yours might have had more). Fat from the chicken will not be absorbed by the rice as easily as the liquid so if the rice does not have enough liquid for it to absorb it will seem under-done but it will still take up space in the liquid measuring cup! If you want to be PRECISE, what you need to do is put the cooking liquid in the measuring cup and wait a few minutes for the fat to rise above the cooking liquid- then measure the liquid for the rice under the “fat” line. Keep some of the fat though – it adds to the flavor!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Excellent. Thank you again for being available! I don’t know what I would without this site and your expertise! Grazie Mille!

      2. Just made this today, and it is very tasty! I have an old school Indian pressure cooker, so I’m never sure if the times will work out, but this did work. The only thing that tripped me up was that I thought brown basmati rice would only take a little bit longer than white basmati rice to cook – but it’s 18 minutes vs 4! It was uncooked after 10 minutes and I was puzzled, but then I looked up brown rice cooking times on the other part of your site, and saw the correct time. Which is weird because in the rice cooker, the brown rice only takes a few minutes longer. It turned out fine in the end, though.

        Thanks for this site – I’m just getting into pressure cooking, and you have a lot of really well written information here.

  18. I have cooked this quite a few times an love it. I thought it might translate well into a type of a biryani. I often cook 1.5kg of meat (pork/lamb or beef) in the pressure cooker for dinner and keep the left overs for sandwiches (after 15 years of ham sandwhiches its an absolute pleasure to eat our work lunches now). It means I have heaps of stock that I freeze but forget to use. I cooked the following after browning a boneless piece of lamb.

    t tablespoon oil
    1 onion
    2 cloves of garlic
    1.5cm of ginger
    8 whole cloves
    2 cinnamon sticks
    4 cardamon pods
    1 teaspoon tumeric
    salt to taste
    then add
    1 cup of water

    put the lamb back in and cook under hig pressure for 35 minutes. Natural release (approx 10 minutes)

    Remove lamb and let rest under foil whilst you make the rice (note if the lamb is a little undercooked you might chop the under cooked bits up and include it in the rice).

    Exactly the same as Laura suggests above using the liquid from the lamb to cook the rice.

    Chop up some lamb as the rice is about to finish cooking (during the natural release stage).

    When rice is ready toss some of the lamb through the rice as you are fluffing it up. You may want to tweak the spices to taste.

    There is suppose to be 1/4 of a cup of yogurt in the biryani but I was not sure where to add that. Will play with this a bit more shortly!!!

    It probably needs a bit vegetables to balance it out?

    1. Sounds great. I would add the yogurt in with the stock – it counts as a liquid – but would start with just a couple of tablespoons to see where that gets you.

      Why not top with fresh tomatoes and raw onion, too?

      Can’t wait to hear more of your experiments.

      Ciao,

      L

  19. Made this for dinner, and it was delicious. I used a whole chicken cut into part, but I kept the breast whole and on top as instructed on a previous comment. All the meat was delicious. I soaked my raisins in hot water while the meat was cooking then added them to the pressure cooker with the rice. I liked the additional flavor they added. I also used 1 3/4 cups of brown rice cooked for 20 minutes. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Thanks for sharing your variation!

  20. Wow made this for dinner tonight. as everyone sais the times are spot on. Actually I was at 15 pressure on an old Revere Pressure cooker. I think I could have gone lower or less time. The rice was so good. I roaster cauliflower and I had a wonderful meal. Thank you.

  21. Can this recipe (both rice and chicken) be doubled? If so would I double the amount of spice and double the pressure cooking times?

    1. Hi Sally, you can double everything except for the cooking time the cooker will take a tad longer to come to pressure because it will be more full.

      Thanks for sharing such a detailed and thoughtful answer, Sgirid!

      Ciao,

      L

  22. Sally1,
    No, you would not double the amount of pressure cooking time. It will take this quantity of food longer to COME to pressure, but will not require more cooking time once AT pressure. You will not need more water to cook the chicken initially thought adding another 1/2 cup won’t hurt. At the stage where the rice is added, read Laura’s instructions carefully about figuring out what liquid is needed and double the amount – assuming you’ve doubled the rice. As far as doubling the spices, it’s hard to say exactly what you’d prefer. Spices are such a personal preference. What may be way too much to someone may be not nearly enough to another. Not spices, but I’d double the onion, garlic and probably the tomato paste. The first time I tried the doubled recipe, I’d probably use Laura’s indicated quantities of ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, coriander, bay leaves and salt. Then see how you like the finished dish. If you think it’s a bit bland (though I don’t think it will be), add more of whatever you think it needs the next time. If you decide instead, the first time you make a doubled version of the recipe, to increase some of the spices,I would not, even then, increase the cumin, ginger or cardamom. Those are all pretty potent spices and it’s possible to add so much that they dominate the flavor of a recipe. If I added additional salt it would not be until I added the rice and even at that I would not double it. However the doubled amount of rice might need additional salt. Or you can just add additional salt at the table if necessary. I would double the ingredients used as a garnish though that wouldn’t be required.

    Sally1, if you’ve never made this recipe, why not make it as is (not doubled) the first time so you get an idea of what it should taste like. That will help you decide what, if anything, to add more of the next time. Having made the dish, I can assure you that it is outstanding. Great for yourself, the family or for company. It looks spectacular on a serving platter.

  23. Thanks Razzy7!

  24. I tried this a few nights ago and it was indeed Perfect Chicken and Rice. It had a middle eastern flavor that our family loves. I was so happy and pleased that the rice came out perfect. I have never made basmati rice that way before. It certainly won’t be the last. Be sure to try this recipe. It is a keeper.

    Thanks for such a great website. I love my pressure cooker and am always looking for new recipes.

  25. This recipe made PERFECT rice that was so flavourful and delicious, and the chicken was perfect – tender juicy and flavourful. THANK YOU! I will make this again and again!!! This is my first recipe attempt from this site, and I will be trying more recipes. This recipe reignited my interest in pressure cooking. Honestly, I have never tasted better chicken and rice – NEVER!

    1. Sorry – forgot to rate – 5 stars!

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