Can one chicken REALLY feed a family for three meals? Sure you can, If you are smart about it! With a little help from my favorite kitchen assistant, the Instant Pot, you can get three unique meals on the table for your hungry family.
It is no shock to people that I am quite frugal. With six kids, I have to be! We eat almost all of our meals at home, and I really try to minimize take-out or convenience foods. Drive-throughs happen sometimes, but with a little bit of planning ahead, I can usually avoid them!
Years ago, I ran into a blog post on rubber chicken and it has become a great tool in my arsenal. Now, as our family has grown, I’ve often had to stretch this to two chickens, or a turkey breast–and sometimes I even cheated and bought Rotisserie chickens at the grocery store.
This system of stretching a chicken out to several meals saves not only time but money!
Today I will share how I modify this recipe using my Instant Pot.
Are you new to the Instant Pot? Start at the very beginning with this Instant Pot 101 series!
Instant Pot Rubber Chicken: Day 1
Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot
- Start with a chicken. I buy the biggest one I can find. I have an 8 quart Instant Pot so I can fit a REALLY large one in the pot if I need to! A six quart pot should easily fit a 4-5 pound chicken.
- Make sure that if your chicken came with the giblets stuffed inside that you remove them from the cavity. (I set them aside for my day three recipe!). At this point you may be tempted to rinse your chicken off–after all, that is what Mom and Grandma always told you to do, right? Well, don’t. There is good evidence that rinsing poultry is a bad idea.
- Next, stuff your chicken with a half of an onion and half of a lemon.
- Season your chicken with your preferred spices–I use salt and pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and a few shakes of red pepper flakes. The skin is not going to brown up in the Instant Pot, so you can choose to add some oil to the bottom of your pot and sear the chicken for a few minutes before cooking, broil it in your oven for a few minutes after cooking, or toss the skin(that is what I do).
- Set the chicken, breast side up, on the trivet, add two cups of water to the Instant Pot, and throw in a few cloves of peeled garlic in for good luck!
- Close the lid, lock, set valve to seal and set your cook time– usually 6 minutes per pound of chicken under high pressure with a natural release. My chicken was 5 pounds so I cooked for 30 minutes.
- As you can see, by the end of the cook time, the meat was literally falling off the bone. I have found chicken to be much more tender and moist when cooked in the Instant Pot.
- Serve the chicken to your family with a nice baked potato, and some asparagus. They will love it.
Instant Pot Rubber Chicken: Day 2
Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli and Rice
- As Leanne suggests in the Rubber chicken post that I linked to above, you are going to treat that chicken like a science experiment and pick every last bit of chicken off the bones (but don’t throw the bones away!)
- Now, you are going to prepare this Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli and Rice BUT you are going to add the chicken in at the end with the broccoli since it is already cooked! (See, I’m saving you time already!)
Instant Pot Rubber Chicken: Day 3
Instant Pot Bone Broth
- This is my very favorite part of this recipe! As a home cook, I use a LOT of chicken broth. If I buy it at the grocery store I pay up to $3 a quart for a good chicken broth. It is not a huge expense, but it adds up–and not all packaged broths are created equal. This recipe makes a nice, rich broth that I can use all week for soups or other cooking liquid in recipes.
- Place your chicken bones int he bottom of your Instant Pot. Add a few carrots, a few ribs of celery, half of an onion and a few cloves of garlic. Add enough water to cover everything.
- Lock on the lid, set to seal, and cook at high pressure for 2 hours. Allow for a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
- Strain broth through a wire mesh sieve and pour into 1 quart jars. I was able to fill 5 jars–saving me about $15!
So there you have it–how to sue your Instant Pot to cook one chicken and feed your family for three (or more!) days!
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