If you’re serious about healthy eating, the Instant Pot is one kitchen item you absolutely must have. One of the biggest hurdles to healthy eating is the time it takes to prepare meals. The Instant Pot helps because it cuts cooking time in half. For example, I really love roasting a whole chicken once a week. Before the IP, I used to roast a chicken for 1 h 20 min in the oven on a roasting pan. This makes a mess in your oven and the roasting pan isn’t fun to clean either. Now I do it in my IP which means this tasty paleo roast chicken recipe is ready in about 30 minutes and it’s so much easier to clean up.
We make a meal of the chicken the first night, then on day two, the leftover meat becomes lunch when added to a salad. Meanwhile, I’ve made delicious chicken stock out of the bones, so I have stock the next day to make a soup or stew, or save for later. Chicken stock is so healthy for you; like other foods such as Kefir it’s great for your gut health, and it’s said chicken broth can cure the dead! I always like to have some around for cooking or drinking warm, especially if anyone gets sick. I used to simmer it for 12 hours on my stovetop and it was a project. Now with the Instant Pot, I let it cook for 4 hours overnight and it’s ready to be strained in the morning. So easy! Way less mess and it doesn’t make your house smell like stock cooking.
Paleo Roast Chicken Recipe
1 Whole organic chicken
2 stalks of celery
1 medium yellow onion
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons of butter
Method to cook the chicken
- Turn your Instant Pot on to “saute” and melt the butter. Put the chicken breast side down in the IP to brown the skin.
- Meanwhile roughly chop your celery, carrots, and onion.
- Move the chicken around every few minutes to ensure the breast and legs get browned all over. This should take 5-10 minutes.
- IP PRO TIP!!! Heat 500 ml of water in your tea kettle to boiling. You need to add water to the IP to get it to come to pressure, and it will come to pressure much faster if you add water that’s already boiling hot.
- Once the chicken is browned, use a fork to skewer the chicken from inside the cavity and carefully lift it up; place the wire trivet that came with the IP in the bottom of the pot. This keeps the chicken out of the water. Return the chicken to the pot on top of the wire trivet, breast side up this time.
- Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried is fine, or you can also use any seasoning mix you like (herbes de provence is quite nice).
- Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the pot on top of the chicken.
- Pour the boiling water from the tea kettle in the bottom. The water should be enough to cover the bottom of the pot but not touching the wire trivet.
- Seal the lid on the IP and make sure the dial is turned to pressuring. Using high pressure and the “manual” button, set the IP for 35 minutes. I usually allow the pressure to release naturally, but you can vent it if you’re in a hurry. You can prepare this in the morning and the IP will keep it warm for up to 12 hours so you’ll have dinner ready when you get home.
- Relax and be amazed that you’ll have a whole chicken prepared in under 45 minutes and you didn’t have to wash a roasting pan!
- Alternative seasoning suggestions: it’s quite nice to place lemon slices or apple slices inside the cavity of the chicken, if you have some in your fridge. You can experiment with different seasonings too. Using fajita seasoning for a Mexican flavor is another delicious alternative.
You can serve this with any side you like, but may I suggest throwing 3-4 small/medium sweet potatoes in the pot on top of the chicken. They’ll be ready when the chicken is done and it’s a full meal with no extra work. There you have it…a great tasting paleo roast chicken recipe done in under 45min!
Method for making the chicken stock
- Once the timer is done and the pressure is released, use a fork or two to carefully lift the chicken out of the pot and place it on a plate. You might want to let any liquid drain out of the cavity when you lift the chicken.
- Remove the trivet from the pot.
- Many chickens come trussed with a piece of baking string, so make sure you remove that at this point.
- Remove all the meat from the chicken bones. I like to eat the breast skin, but the rest of the skin goes back in the pot for your stock. Place any bones and skin you don’t plan to eat back into the pot.
- You can eat the carrots, celery, and onions that you cooked with your chicken but I usually don’t. I cook them with the chicken for flavor, and leave them in as part of the chicken stock (because I’m lazy – ahem – and it’s easier than having to chop more). If you decide to eat yours, then you will want to chop up a few more carrots, celery stalks, and an onion for your stock.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the pot (you can omit this if you used lemon when you cooked your chicken). The acid helps pull minerals out of the chicken bones to make your stock super nutritious.
- Add water just to cover the bones. Your pot should be about 1/3 – 1/2 full.
- Seal the lid again and turn the dial to pressuring. Use the manual button to set the pot to the maximum time – 240 minutes.
- I do this right before we sit down to eat dinner, so the stock then cooks at night and stays warm until the morning and I strain it when I wake up. In the morning, or after the timer runs out and the pressure releases, use a mesh strainer bowl to strain the broth into another large bowl or pot. You can either make soup from it right away, or pour it into mason jars and store it in the fridge. If you’re going to freeze it, either make sure you don’t tighten the lids, or use freezer safe plastic containers. Mason jars with sealed lids will explode as the freezing liquid expands.