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 26 reviews
Pressure Cooked Chicken and Rice
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.
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)
  • 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
  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).
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.


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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  1. Another DELICIOUS dinner!! Thank you!! That makes 3 pressure cooker dinners for us this week!! I LOVE how fast dinner gets on the table and how delicious it is!!! I did use brown rice an had to cook that longer but it was worth the wait!! I also reduced the salt by half and that was plenty for us! Thanks again for another great meal!!

  2. I was a little skeptical about some of these ingredients going well together but I thought I’d give it a try since others seemed to like it and WOW! I’m glad I tried it with all the ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly except that I added the raisins in with the rice since I’m not the biggest fan if shriveled up tart raisins. It was delicious! A definite repeat!!

  3. This is a truly delicious dish!

    The rice tastes like a pilaf from an exotic middle eastern land. My family could not get enough of this. I cooked it on Thursday, we had leftovers Friday, and today, Saturday, I am making it again to serve to friends for dinner.

    Did not have raisins or pine nuts, used cranberries and toasted almonds instead.

  4. I’ve been cooking all of my rice; Japanese, Basmati and Arborio for 7 minutes. Before I try this recipe, can you explain about cooking the rice for only 3 minutes?

    I use an electric PC.

    Also, I frequently break up spaghetti and add it to Basmati rice to make a “Rice-a-Roni” style pilaf. I add nuts & raisins too.

    1. Irene, the risotto recipe calls for Normal Release (open right away) and this recipe calls for 10-minute Natural Release (wait 10 minutes after cooking has finished before opening) – this release is equivalent to roughly 5 minutes of cooking at pressure.

      Here are all of the details of the benefits of the various opening methods:



  5. Got it! Thanks for explaining.

  6. Just made this recipe with boneless thighs. Cooked for 5 minutes on high in my stove top PC. Turned out well. I usually do my rice in my Electric PC but tried it in the stove top for this recipe. Turned out well. Thanks Laura.

    1. Also, I used only 1 tsp of salt. I can’t imagine the 3tsps of salt in the recipe. Far too much sodium in my humble option.

  7. I saw where you recommended 3-4 minutes if using boneless chicken. Since the white rice takes the same time, can one cook both the boneless chicken and rice together? Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, but to be safe I would brown the boneless chicken first and cut it into small pieces – no raw super-thick giant chicken breasts.



      1. Very cool. Thanks. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Great site BTW…glad I found it.

  8. Great recipe/method! My family isn’t big fans of middle eastern flavors so I made it Italian style and wow, so delicious. Thank you!

  9. I made an account just so i could comment here and thank you for this recipe.
    I love the recipes that mention how much salt is required, because a lot of people just write “salt to taste” and for a beginner like me, i always mess it up and don’t like the dish when salt is too much or too lil. Absolutely loved the taste of the chicken and rice.
    I’m Pakistani and in our cuisine, there’s a dish called Pulao (Pilaf in English), this was very close to that.
    Thank you so much for this perfect recipe!

  10. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I have one question:
    When I de-fat the liquid, I had to first drain the solid such as onion, bay leaves, etc.. so I can de-fat using a fat depurator cup. Then I put the liquid back into the pot with the uncooked rice. Do I need to put the solid (onion, bay leaves, etc…) back into the pot to cook with the liquid and the rice?

    1. Yes, you should put the solids back in. : )



  11. 4beardolls I would add that it depends on what the solids are. If it’s the skin of the chicken, I wouldn’t add it back in. By this time you’ve gotten all the flavor from the chicken skin you’re going to get. Also if there’s any yucky looking stuff, don’t add that back.

    Cook’s Illustrated recommends this gravy separator: Trudeau Gravy Separator with Integrated Strainer for about $17 on Amazon. I own it and can recommend it, however I was taught another trick in a cooking class many years ago if you’re in a hurry and/or don’t have a gravy separator. Into the liquid, dump a large quantity of ice cubes all at once and stir them just a bit. Then immediately remove the ice cubes. Lots of the fat will solidify and stick to the ice cubes and be removed when you remove the ice. You don’t have to worry about your broth being diluted as you’ll remove the ice cubes almost as soon as you dump them into the liquid and there will be very little melting in that period of time.

  12. Thank you, Laura and razzy 7.
    I will selectively put the solids back. It makes sense as it will only add flavor to the rice.
    The Trudeau gravy separator looks really good. The ice cube trick is really interesting. Thanks again for the advice.

  13. Hello Laura, thanks very much for all the tips for this recipe. I’m eager to test it out but have no idea how to convert the instructions to perform well in my Instant Pot Smart. I am anticipating the additions to the IPS recipe app but in the meantime, would you please provide me with some guidelines? Thanks for your help.

    1. Missy, for any recipe on this website you can use the longer recommended cooking time for your Instant Pot – you can punch it in using manual mode.

      I’m very slowly going through and updating the text of recipes to make instructions for electric and smart cookers more clear – I have just updated this one.




  14. Awesome Laura,

    I hope you had a fabulous Easter and thanks very much for your helpful and prompt reply, I’m very excited to make my first attempt.
    Laura, I noticed while going through some of the other recipes that there is an icon at the bottom of some recipes which is supposed to allow me to add the recipe to my Instant Pot Smart recipe scripts automatically. After several attempts with various ironed recipes I was unsuccessful. Is this something you can give me information on?

    Thank you Laura,

    1. Hi Shelly, you need to first install the Smatcooker software on your iPad or iPhone, and then the “scripts” should save to the app when you click on them using the device with the installed app. For links to the app, and all the recipes with SMART scripts, click here:



  15. Hi Laura,

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious, thanks. A few probs though – there was only one cup of liquid after cooking the chicken, which wasn’t completely cooked. Added 11/2 cups of water. The rice at the bottom got slightly browned. Can’t imagine what went wrong, followed recipe to the letter. I just started using PC this week, learning a lot from your website, keep it up!

    1. Nelly, you definitely should have had more liquid than what you started with – the first step requires you to boil the chicken in a cup of water and then the meat contributes its own juices. You’ll want to make sure that you lowered the heat low enough to maintain pressure, or closed the valve in the cooker to “sealing” to stop any liquids from evaporating.

      Not knowing what kind of pressure cooker you have I can’t give you any more detailed advice than that.



  16. Well, I finally tried this dish and the chicken came out perfect. The rice was almost perfect. For our tastes, though it tasted fine flavoring the chicken, 3 teaspoons of salt was much too much for the rice. I’ll try it again using 2 teaspoons of salt and I’m hoping that will be enough.

    1. Irene, it could be that your chicken was brined in salt – most American supermarket chickens are. Definately check the package and adjust accordingly for next time. I’m also going to add a note in the recipe to this effect.



  17. I’ve made this recipe using 1teaspoon of salt and it was perfect. 3 tsp= 1Tablespoon which is far too much.

  18. What a terrific recipe. Have over 40 years of cooking and baking under my belt but in actual fact no pressure cooking experience at all. Of course I remember my Mothers pressure cooker, that made noise and liked to explode, beans on the ceiling is terribly funny when you are 7 years old. :) I recently got a pressure cooker and have been experimenting but most of the recipes I have found have had their problems. This site and this recipe have been the most helpful and the most exact I have come across. The times in this recipe were right on the mark, and the meal was hands down the best I have turned out in the new pressure cooker. So good in fact that I am planning to serve it for company in two weeks. Like other newbies I was loosing faith that I would ever get anything right but this recipe and the site as well have given me back the confidence that I need to succeed in learning to use it. I started with frozen whole chicken. Thawed it out enough to cut it and then followed the recipe , putting the thighs, wings and legs on the bottom and leaving the breasts whole and on top. I did brown the chicken in oil in the pot a bit just to give a jump start on flavor. Thank goodness for the rice cooking technique, I would have ruined that rice if I had cooked it for the 10 minutes that is suggested in some recipes and even the book that came with my pressure cooker. I did use plain old white rice as well, all I had on hand, but it made no difference that I could tell. The rice was perfect, the chicken was perfect, the flavor of both was just over the top, I do not have words for how good this was. Even picky hubby, with him there is something wrong with anything and everything, loved it. Like others I was a bit worried about the salt, but truly that salt seasons the whole dish and is not excessive to my taste.
    Thank you so much for the recipe and the site and big Thanks to all the other cooks out there who took the time to write their tips and tricks down for others to learn from.

  19. So good! Made this for lunch yesterday. When I was gathering my ingredients I found I only had brown Jasmine rice so I cooked the rice part about 21 minutes, the rice was done but just a little soupy. I had exactly 3 1/2 c cooking liquid left. I should have left the natural release go a little longer (Just got impatient, we were starving lol!) The favors were fantastic and the house smelled fantastic for hours. love it but next time I will use the white Jasmine. I live above 6000 ft so always have to adjust for altitude but that is okay! I tell all my friends and family about your site and the wonders of Pressure Cooking! thank you!

  20. Much like imprudentme, I made an account just so I could comment and thank you for the recipe. I am still thinking about the delicious dinner that was served in 30 minutes. I used all chicken drumsticks and the meat was fall-off-the-bone moist and flavorful. I had Jasmine long grain; the rice was perfect using the same instructions. Throughout dinner I was a broken record, muttering how delicious and “soooo good!” everything was between bites. This recipe is a definite keeper and I am looking forward to making it again. Thank you!

  21. Laura, help! Is it possible to double this recipe? Our 14 yo nephew has just moved in with us and I’m finding that it takes him <18 hours to completely dispatch one batch of this. I can't be making it once a day. Is there any way to make more at once?

    1. Yes, it is possible but it depends on the size of your pressure cooker – you don’t want to go over 1/2 full or 2/3 full. According to my chart if your pressure cooker is at least 6 qt/lt, you’re good.

      In the chicken phase you’ll want to add just enough water to cover the chicken – and then use double the broth or broth/water to make double the rice. There is no need to change pressure cooking times.

      It sounds like your nephew is really enjoying your cooking – be sure to alternate this recipe with equally satisfying veggie options – such as the chickpea curry & brown rice:

      Or Sweet Potato and North-African Inspired Black-eyed Peas:

      He’s going to love all of these exotic flavors!



      1. Perfect!! Thank you so much!

  22. Could you use jasmine rice instead?

    1. You can absolutely use Jasmine rice! However, you’ll need to change the liquid-to-rice ratio to 1:1 and pressure cook it for only 1 minute (plus 10-min Natural Release) in that phase of the recipe.



  23. Wow this recipe looks really good, I want to give it a go. I was just wondering- my (stove top) pressure cooker is only 5litre rather than the 6litre stated in the recipe.. how would I adjust the recipe/timing to safely cook it in my 5l? Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Lucy, I try to be precautionary with the recipes. Your pressure cooker can safely cook up to 3 1/2 cups of dry rice. So you’re all set. You can make this in your 5L.



  24. Followed this recipe exactly as directed for an electric pressure cooker. I have an Instant Pot. After 3 minutes on manual high, plus 14 minutes natural release (I didn’t quite get to it at 10 m in), I opened the lid and found almost all the liquid on top, and the barely cooked rice sitting underneath. What the heck happened?

    1. Jen, are you sure your cooker came up to pressure? Also did you use standard U.S. measuring cups or the little cup that came with your Instant Pot and the scale in the inner pot? Which button did you push on the Instant Pot to cook the rice?



      1. Laura – Yes, I’m positive it came up to pressure, button up. I used a standard U.S. measuring cup and used 3 cups of liquid as I did de-fat the liquid. For the rice I pushed the manual button and used the highest pressure level. It remained on natural release for 14 minutes. I resealed the lid, brought it back up to pressure (same way as before, using manual) and cooked an additional 3 minutes. It still wasn’t cooked. Is there something wrong with my pot? The pot seems to work with other recipes.

        1. Jen, your watery under-cooked rice is certainly a puzzler . What kind of rice did you use?



          1. Agree with Laura, this is a puzzler. Type of rice could have some effect, but I wouldn’t think it would result in what Jen experienced.

            I’m wondering Jen, is this a new Instant Pot? If not has it been functioning as it should previously when cooking a similar dish? Sounds like there could be a problem with your IP. I know from experience that this is a wonderful recipe though I used a stovetop PC rather than an IP.

            Don’t know if it will help, but you might try cooking some plain white rice as instructed in the IP user’s guide and see what your results are like then. If the rice ends up barely cooked with a lot of extra liquid, it might indicate a problem with the IP even though it’s previously been functioning as expected.

            Hope you can figure out what’s happening Jen as this recipe is a definite winner.

  25. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe. When I was making it, I wondered about that large quantity of spices, but in the end it all worked it’s magic :-). i will definitely add this to my “Favorite Recipes” book.

    You don’t say in the recipe, but I’m presuming that those are all ground spices? That’s what I used, except that I substituted a tablespoon of minced ginger for the teaspoon of ground ginger. I also tossed in some fresh minced cilantro with the rice, as it needed using up and seemed appropriate. In any case, it was absolutely delicious (my husband kept commenting on how good it was).

    I didn’t have any pine nuts on hand, so like others I used slivered almonds. I’m going to get some pine nuts the next time I’m at the supermarket and I’m looking forward to trying the recipe again with them instead of the almonds.

    Thanks again!

    1. I’m glad to read that it was enjoyed! This recipe is a regular at our house, too!



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