Many of us consider ourselves instant pot lovers due to the simple and fast way of cooking foods such as pasta, noodles or rice those appliances allow.
An instant pot not only is a good choice to prepare single-ingredient dishes, but cooking a complete and nutritious lunch is an easy task as well. For example, one dish you can easily make on this device is chicken and rice instant pot. This delicious meal can provide you with many of the nutrients your body needs for getting enough energy to perform all daily activities.
Today you will learn how to make a complete nutritious dinner with the instant pot, which will be ready to serve in just a few minutes, and best of all, it will be delicious.
One of the Best-Known Meals in the World
Chicken and rice is a very traditional dish in Spain and some Latin American countries and it’s known respectively as Paella and Arroz con pollo. Even in many popular restaurants this dish will be found in every meal.
Also, each of them has its version of this meal. For example:
In Ecuador, it is made with achiote to give a yellow hue to the rice and it is customary to add raisins.
In Argentina, the chicken is served in pieces, accompanied by vegetables, and mixed in a tomato puree called “tuco“.
And in Peru, it is common to find this dish served in a sofrito of aji panca, which gives it an unmistakable red color.
Chicken Breast and Rice
- 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- 1 chopped medium onion.
- 2 diced carrots.
- 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 2 diced stalks celery.
- 3 minced cloves garlic.
- 1/2 diced red bell pepper.
- 2 tsp of Italian seasoning.
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper.
- 1 tsp of salt (or to taste).
- 2 cups of chicken stock.
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
- 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts.
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley.
- 1 cup of thawed frozen peas.
How to Prepare
- Pour the butter and the olive oil into the instant pot and select the sauté function. When the butter melts, add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until translucent.
- Add the carrots, garlic, and celery. Stir fry for two minutes or more, stirring well until the vegetables are softened and the garlic releases its fragrance.
- Add the red bell pepper, salt, chicken stock, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot.
- Pour the rice into the pot and stir well to mix with the vegetables. Add the chicken breast pieces on the top. Then place the lid on, lock it carefully and seal the steam vent. Select the pressure cooking mode at high pressure and let the rice cook for 18 minutes.
- At the end of cooking, let the steam escape naturally for 10 minutes, and then use the quick release function to remove the remaining steam.
- Place the chicken breast on a plate and chop or shred it.
- Add the peas and 1 tbsp of parsley into the pot. Stir.
- Add the diced chicken breast back to the pot. Add salt or more Italian seasoning until it gets the desired flavor.
- Serve the rice and chicken portions over a bowl using the wooden spoon and top with the remaining parsley for garnish. Enjoy!
- You can add your favorite sauces to this dish and it will make this meal a contrast of flavors. Some recommended sauces to add are: teriyaki, ketchup, or hot sauce.
- To remove the starch from the surface of the rice, it’s recommended to soak the uncooked rice in cold water by placing it in a bowl and changing the water two or three times until the rice grains can be seen through it.
- You can accompany this delicious lunch with toasted bread, biscuits, or your favorite salad.
- Replace or add in addition to the Italian seasoning, some fine herbs, or a poultry blend. This way you will get better flavors.
Using Brown Rice for Making a Healthier Meal
One change that can be made when preparing this dish to make it more natural is to switch from long-grain white rice to brown rice.
The amount of fiber in brown rice is essential for improving the digestion process that occurs in the small intestine and will make you feel fuller, as well as being more nutritious, especially because of its manganese and selenium content.
You can accompany brown rice with chicken thighs and cook them following the same procedure explained in the “How to prepare” section, changing the cooking time in the instant pot from 18 to 35 minutes.