Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe – the best and easy way to cook bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs in your pressure cooker. Bonus: you can also make a delicious gravy!
I am so excited to share my recipe and tips on how to cook chicken thighs in the Instant Pot pressure cooker! It’s my favorite way to cook chicken thighs in my IP. They are juicy, flavorful with golden brown buttery skin. Perfect served for main dish or meal prep chicken cooked ahead of time for other dishes.
INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS
These Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are so easy to make and budget friendly. You can use the thighs as a main dish or remove the meat off the bones and use in other recipes, as it is very flavorful because it’s the dark meat. Save the liquid from cooking for soups or make a gravy to serve over the chicken. Gravy is always a good idea, just like in my Instant Pot Turkey Breast recipe!
HOW TO SEASON INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS?
Since my goal is to always make the recipe easy without sacrificing the flavors, I am sharing my go-to easy poultry seasoning. I season the chicken thighs on the skin side first. All you need is: salt, black pepper, paprika and dried oregano. That’s it! Sprinkle and you are done. The skin side is the first one to be browned in the pot so place the thighs skin side down in a heated pot with oil and butter. Let it brown for 2 to 3 minutes. The addition of butter will give you the crispy, golden brown skin. The more browned the chicken is, the more flavor it and the gravy will have but watch it so it won’t burn.
Next, flip it on the other side and let it cook for just a minute. Press “cancel/off” button. Remove the chicken onto a plate and add water to the IP. Scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the IP insert. Place the trivet in the insert and arrange chicken thighs on the trivet. Now all you need to do is set the IP to cook for 12 minutes. Always check the internal temperature of the cooked meat. For chicken it’s at least 165 degrees F. I checked my chicken thighs and they all were around 200 degrees F.
TIPS FOR COOKING CHICKEN THIGHS IN THE INSTANT POT:
- Use chicken thighs that are roughly the same size for even cooking. I also like to trim any excess fat and skin from the thighs.
- Use combination of olive oil and butter for beautifully golden brown skin. That also means lots of flavor!
- Brown the skin side first. Let it brown until you see a good amount of brown bits on the bottom of the IP insert. Again, we are working on flavor here. It will also make for a very flavorful gravy!
- Twelve minutes was perfect for 4 good size chicken thighs. They came out absolutely perfect! If you want them more falling off the bone style, add 3 more minutes to cooking time.
- Letting the pressure release naturally is the best here, because it will prevent the chicken from drying out and make the thighs super juicy! I recommend the same in my Instant Pot Turkey Breast recipe.
- Let the chicken thighs rest for 10 minutes before serving. It will prevent the juices from escaping the meat.
- Making gravy is as easy as just thickening the liquid remaining in the IP insert after cooking the chicken thighs. You can use flour but I always recommend cornstarch because it makes the smoothest sauces and gravy.
HOW TO MAKE THE GRAVY?
When your Instant Pot is done, let it release the pressure naturally. It won’t take long and you can set the table in the meantime. Remove the chicken thighs and the trivet from the insert. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water and add to the liquid at the bottom of the insert. You can press “saute” button and let it cook until it thickens. The liquid might just be hot enough so you won’t need to do that.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN THIGHS?
My favorite side dish to serve with these chicken thighs, is a classic: mashed potatoes! We also love my Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts on the side. Perfect dinner for Sunday or even a special occasion. You can also make my Sweet Potato Casserole (it’s not only for the holidays!), German Potato Salad with Bacon, Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole or my Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes. There are so many options!
MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES:
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- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Trim excess skin and fat from chicken thighs.
- Season with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano on the skin side.
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot.
Press the "saute" function. Wait for 2 to 3 minutes and add oil and butter to the insert.
When the butter is melted and sizzling, add garlic and stir in. Add chicken thighs to IP skin side down.
- Brown for 2 to 3 minutes. The longer you let it brown and make brown bits on the bottom of the pot, the more flavor the chicken and gravy will have. Just make sure the chicken doesn't burn!
- Flip the chicken onto the other side and cook for 1 minutes.
- Press "cancel/off" button.
- Remove chicken onto a plate and set aside.
- Add water to Instant Pot and use wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the insert.
- Place trivet in the IP and arrange the chicken thighs on top.
- Close lid, set the valve to "sealing" position and press "manual" button. Set the timer to 12 minutes. The IP will beep and start coming to pressure. Since it is already hot, it won't take long.
- Once the IP is done cooking, press "cancel/off" button. Do not release the pressure but let it release naturally. If you are in a hurry, let it release naturally for at least 5 minutes.
- When done, carefully open the lid away from your face. Place chicken on a plate and let rest.
- Remove trivet from the IP.
- In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Make sure there are no clumps. Add to liquid at the bottom of the IP. Stir until thickened. You can press the "saute" function to simmer it for a few minutes to help thicken the gravy.Serve chicken with gravy. You can also keep the liquid without thickening it and use for soups.
The chicken thighs are delicious served right away with classic side dishes like mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables OR you can let them cool until easy to handle and pull the meat off the bones. Use in salads and main dishes.