Pressure Cooker Balsamic Chicken Thighs

March 22, 2017

I’ve been busy; sometimes life just has a way of imposing its will. Today we were supposed to be returning from a month long trip to Australia and New Zealand – because of some health issues we had to cancel a few days before the trip. Those issues have abated somewhat at this point, so when I cooked dinner tonight I took some pictures for a blog posting.

Last Fall, I was extolling the virtues of my Instant Pot IP-Duo 60 electric pressure cooker to my sister-in-law. It was totally unfair because she had been fasting for 24 hours. She got one for Christmas and has become a convert; we’ve had fun getting together the past few weekends to cook various dishes (such as these awesome refried beans). She found this recipe for Balsamic Chicken Thighs on the Instant Pot website and liked it. It’s fast and super easy – perfect for tonight. My copy of the recipe can be found here. The ingredients and process are almost identical. I made the following changes

  • Reordered the ingredient list to match the order of use.
  • Specified a time for sautéing the garlic
  • Added a step to naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes after cooking.

Normally I shy away from “dump and cook” recipes. I think thought it was necessary to brown meats and vegetables for cooking.

Balsamic Chicken Thighs ingredients
Balsamic Chicken Thighs ingredients

Start some rice in your rice cooker.

Most of the ingredients go into the marinade; I dumped things into a large (1 quart) measuring bowl/cup as I went along and gave it all a whisk. Some people mix directly in the marinade bag but I didn’t want to mess around trying to keep the bag erect and open.

Marinade for Balsamic Chicken Thighs
Marinade for Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Simply put the marinade and chicken in 1 gallon sealable plastic bag to marinade for  a few minutes while you take the next step.

Pour some olive oil in the electric pressure cooker and set it to Sauté while you quickly mince a few cloves of garlic. Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and sauté while stirring for about a minute. Then dump carefully place the chicken and marinade in the pressure cooker. Be careful not to let the plastic come in contact with the hot pressure cooker or you’ll have a stinky mess.

Pressure cook for 15 minutes on high and allow to naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes before doing a quick release of pressure. The Instant Pot has a “Poultry” button that is nothing more than high pressure for 15 minutes (as I read somewhere on the Instant Pot website).

While the chicken was cooking I made a salad of greens, grated carrots, cranberries, and a touch of shredded cheddar cheese.

Side salad for dinner: greens, carrots, cranberries and just a smidgen of grated cheese
Side salad for dinner: greens, carrots, cranberries and just a smidgen of grated cheese

I also had plenty of time to clean up the little bit of mess I made while the chicken cooked.

To serve, put a portion of rice on a plate, add a piece or two of the cooked  boneless/skinless chicken thighs. Top with a spoonful of the sauce and a bit of chopped cilantro if you feel so disposed. I usually don’t because Carla has the common receptor in her tongue that makes cilantro taste like soap. I took the extra step of pouring the sauce into a fat separator, letting is set for just a moment and pouring the defatted juice over the rice and chicken.

Dinner is served.

Dinner is served: Balsamic Chicken Thighs with rice and a salad
Dinner is served: Balsamic Chicken Thighs with rice and a salad

Rating ★★★ This dish is perfectly suited for dinner on a work night: easy and tasty. Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry . WARNING: If you have chicken in your pantry put it in the refrigerator immediately). 🙂

I had to add a bit of salt to the dish; next time I may add a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to get that salty taste and a bit more meaty umami flavor.

Oh, and a couple of final notes:

  • I used some real good balsamic vinegar – not just anything on the grocery shelf. We are lucky enough to have a shop nearby that sells EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oils) and various flavored balsamic vinegars. Since that vinegar is the primary flavor, it pays to use the good stuff.
  • Also, don’t buy the sherry you might find in the baking aisle of the grocery store – that is mostly salt and who-knows-what. I got a reasonable bottle of cream sherry in the dessert shelf of the wine  section of our store. What can I say? We live in the Willamette Valley and wine is kind of big deal (even though I’m not much of a drinker).


4 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Balsamic Chicken Thighs

    1. Thanks Frances! Sorry it took me so long to post your comment – it got lost in my inbox. I hope you like tonight’s post on Korean-style chicken thighs.

  1. Many thanks. I enjoyed your casual attitude towards making something that sounds delicious. I have used pressure cookers since the early 70’s and when mine recently died I was hesitant to purchase an electric one. The pressure part I understand it is the sautéing and other functions that have me nervous. this will not stop me however. thank you for being a part of my journey. Barbara

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