Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipe

Why 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 natural 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 supermarket 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 30 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. Yes, I think you could sub garam masala. In fact a number of the spices called for are in garam masala. However I don’t think I’d sub an equal amount as that could be more than 6 3/4 teaspoons of garam masala. I don’t think I’d use any more than 2-3 teaspoons.

    The recipe reads like this: “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.”

    Instead of adding that amount of garam masala, I’d start with 2 teaspoons and after following instructions in the paragraph above, taste the mixture and see what you think. Of course it will taste pretty strong at this point, but unless it tastes very weak to you, I’d go with the 2 t. of garam masala. Better to under spice than make the dish too strong with spice.

  2. My garam masala has black pepper, brown cardamom, green cardamom, clove, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, and saffron. I used 2 tsp of it, 1 tsp of dried ginger and a smidge more cinnamon because I’m a cinnamon junky. Everything came out quite delicious!! Thank you!!

  3. Morning

    Thanks a lot for the below email messages.

    I am from Oakley

  4. Hi there! I love using leftovers, throw everything in the pot recipes. I have leftover chicken and wanted to add fresh colorful peppers, green onion, fresh asparagus and add in diced tomatoes. I would like to add rice so do I cook it first then cook the rest? I have a brand new PIWER Pressure Cooker that I love as we are full time RV’rs. We have too much to see and do to spend a lot of time cooking. TU!

  5. I keep going back to this recipe after trying several other chicken recipes in my instapot! My boys 3&4, and husband all LOVE it!Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Really enjoyed this recipe as did the several folks I shared it with. Didn’t even have the garnish ingredients on hand but will be sure to plan for that next time – was just looking for a simple recipe to use up some chicken thighs. Glad I found this one – great technique for cooking both meat and rice, and loved how the rice absorbed all of the gently seasoned juice from the chicken. I did have all the spices and liked the combination of flavors. I used brown jasmine rice so it took longer. Reading other comments, I can probably find an exact cooking time for the rice on your site – I doubled the time and still had to recook it a little more. Thank you! :-)

  7. I’ve read your advice on “How to Double a Pressure Cooker Recipe.” If I want to try this recipe with half the amount of parts (4 pieces instead of 8), would you recommend decreasing the cooking time?

    Also, if we are chicken leg quarters, would you recommend increasing the cooking time because the thigh/drumstick are still together?

    Thank you

    1. Yes, I just made some in my IP and set the timer to 30min and allowed it the pressure to naturally release for 15min. The chicken quarters were literally falling off the bone. If you don’t like “fall off the bone” chicken, then try 25min.

      1. Nori, this recipe recommends pressure cooking the chicken for only 14 minutes and then opening with a normal release. As stated earlier, you do not need to increase cooking time when the quantity is doubled. : )



  8. This was so fragrant and a lovely presentation. The rice was perfectly cooked! I wanted a bit more spice and a smidge more tomato paste- I think I’ll add a bit of garam masala next time- but it may have been that my drums were organic/free range so the salt may have been a bit low ( only used 1t after reading reviews).

    I’m so excited by this website’s contents! Thank you!

  9. Hi Laura,

    I’m a bit confused. If I use boneless breasts, after I sauté them, do I still cook separately from the rice or can I cook them right along with the rice, since the timing is the same for both?

    1. Sandy, I like the way you’re thinking! Yes, it would totally work timing-wise. BUT, be aware that the breasts will release lots of cooking liquid, so calculate for that in your rice recipe. Add them to the cooking liquid measuring vessel (like I do with the veggies in the veggie lesson).



    2. SandyToes,
      If you tried this, I would love to hear the results. Mine did not work out as planned, and required much tinkering to salvage the meal. Will revert to prior success with bone in pieces.

  10. Laura this is the best chicken my husband and i have ever had. My husband is the meat eater and he was sceptical about the taste but as he was eating it he couldn’t stop raving about it. It is so crispy and juicy way better than baked as I find baked becomes too dry if you are trying to crisp up the skin. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It will be a keeper for sure. Thanks again.


  11. Hi Laura I forgot to mention the rice which absolutely delicious.
    I was going to use the IP rice function but was not sure about the amount of liquid I should use so I used the manual setting and cooked it for 3minutes as you recommended and let it rest for 10 minutes.
    I would like to use the rice function next time and would like to know if the liquid is the same as your recipe because what I have been reading states 1 to 1 ratio when using the rice function.

    Also if using the function do you still need to let it rest 10 minutes and then release the remaining steam.

    1. Mil that 1 to 1 ratio was born from a Facebook group and then adopted by Instant Pot. It was intriguing to have something so simple to me, too, so I looked further into it. Anything to make things easier, right? Well, it turns out the pressure cooking times are actually LONGER than what I recommend with my tested ratios and some commented getting burned rice. Since I’m recipe-risk-averse and short on time it is not a technique I recommend.

      However, if you look at my rice chart, I do lower the ratios for rice that has been rinsed or soaked (since that liquid counts too!)

      In the end, I dispense advice and tips that will work for absolutely everyone with any pressure cooker but if you find a technique that works for you successfully go for it! Just because I advise against it, unless it is something unsafe, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. ; )



  12. Hi Laura I just discovered your video on rice and it answered my questions. Thanks for the video.


  13. Laura,

    A quick question: time chart shows bone in chicken to cook for 10. This recipe calls for 14. Would you please share the reason for the difference? Are you trying to extract more flavorful liquid from the chicken for the rice? Is 10 minutes cooking time sufficient for food safety in other circumstances?


    1. Astrid, the difference has to do with the opening method. The cooking chart assumes you’re going to use the slower (Natural) release during which the chicken continues to cook but this recipe uses a faster (Normal) pressure release which requires a slightly longer cooking time to make-up for the extra time the cooker would have taken to lose pressure.

      Four minutes high pressure cooking time are equivalent to 8 minutes Natural Release time, add to that the two minutes most cookers take to do a “Normal” release and you get the equivalent to average 10-minute Natural Release – or at least the average I use to write recipes. ; )



  14. Loved this recipe! Such a great method for cooking drumsticks – they came out perfectly tender and juicy. The blend of spices was soo warm-tasting, too. This one is going in the recipe box.

    I did find that my basmati rice took a little longer to soften, so I will be leaving it under pressure a little longer next time.

    1. Make sure that when you measure the liquid, you measure up to the amount “under” the layer of chicken fat. Rice can’t absorb chicken fat so if that is counted as part of the cooking liquid it will seem like it needs more time when really it just needed liquid. ; )



      1. Thanks! Great tip – I’ll make sure I do that next time!

  15. Would everything be the same if I used 8 thighs instead of a mix? Looking to feed a crowd and I’m not sure a single drumstick would be enough, but one thigh would. Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can do this substitution without changing anything. : )



  16. I am new to IP and my Cuban SIL’s recipe calls for arborio or Valencia rice. And BEER for part of the liquid. (the secret mandatory ingredient) Do you know if this would change time and water quantities? Thank you. I have already made a few of your recipes/techniques and I have only had my IP for a week!

    1. Hi Tammy, glad to hear you’re getting good use from your Instant Pot! You can absolutely replace any or all the water with beer – the quantities and cooking times are not altered. Please come back to tell us how it tuned out – and consider sharing your SIL’s Valencia Rice in the Recipe Swap forum!!



  17. thanks again for a great recipe, my only set back is a used free range chicken. I live in spain. and this kind of chicken seems to be much tougher. so it needs much more time.
    cheers, itzel

  18. Tested this last night with frozen turkey thighs. Halved the spice as my other half isn’t adventurous. I also increased liquid to 3 cups, added a bullion cube and upped cooking time to 30 min for frozen poultry. Had leftover broth for lunch today. It’s a win! He loved it.

  19. I have an old Duromatic and this came out splendidly! I used 8 chicken thighs on the bone (4 lbs total) and had to add 5 minutes to the initial cooking time (17 min). Rice I added one minute to make it perfect. I stirred raisins into the rice because I love that taste, didn’t use pine nuts due to nut averse kids. It’s beautiful and really tasty–very little time to produce a wonderful meal.

  20. This recipe was amazing!! It brought me back to my childwood meals. Loved it!! Thank you!

  21. DELISH! Even my preschooler asked for a second helping. Thank you sharing the recipe!

  22. This is incredible!! I made it for dinner last night and will make it again.

  23. I’d really like to try this, but I only cook for myself, so this is way, way too much food for me.

    Can you simply half all the ingredients and it’ll still work? Would any of the timings change also?

  24. Hi Laura,

    This chicken recipe is one of my favourites. I especially love how flavourful the rice is when cooked in the cooking liquid from the chicken. However, for some unknown reason, the last couple of times I’ve made this the rice has turned out to be a teensy bit crunchy. Not sure why this is happening because I normally can cook 2 cups of this same rice I’m using to perfection in my cooker with 3 cups of water in 1 minute with 10 minutes of natural release. This recipe cooks it for longer so it doesn’t make sense to me why the rice is turning out this way. What am i doing wrong here? I’m using Red Rooster’s AAA Jasmine. Your advice?

    1. Merrilee, It sounds like there is not enough cooking liquid. Let me explain: it could be that the chicken is throwing off more fat and that is throwing off the liquid ratio of the rice. Next time, when you measure the chicken cooking liquid let it rest for about a minute so that the fat separates. You’ll want to measure the “2 cups” of liquid UNDER this little fat line. That’s because the rice can easily absorb liquid but not so easily absorb the fat.



  25. Hi! I scrolled through the comments, I hope I didn’t miss this. I adore this recipe, but for various reasons tried to make it with brown jasmine rice as opposed to white rice. I got a watery mess with 3 minutes high pressure- seems quite a bit better with 3 more- what alteration would you recommend with the recipe for brown rice?


    1. Alana, you need to alter the second part of the recipe to brown rice ratios and cooking times. That’s 1.25 cups of liquid per cup of rice and 20minute pressure cooking time. So you would measure 3 cups (instead of the recommended 3.5) and then do the second phase for 20 minutes. BTW – the cooking liquid is a little “extra” because we are accounting for the fat that is coming from the skin. If you skin the chicken, then do exactly 2.5 cups of cooking liquid.



      1. Thank you so much! I am really looking forward to trying this!

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