Thanks to my Instant Pot I’m pressure cooking everything lately, even whole chickens. I have to admit that nothing beats the taste of a slow-roasted chicken or the convenience of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. That being said, the Instant Pot cooks up a juicy and flavorful faux-tisserie chicken that cooks in the time it takes you to run to the store to buy one. How cool is that?
Like most newfangled kitchen gadgets, it’s fun to test their limits. Bacon in the microwave, cakes in the slow cooker, butter in the smoker, pizza on the grill…sure, let’s try it. Sometimes miracles happen (microwave mug cake= heaven!), other times an easier route isn’t always the tastiest route. I’m looking at you, Microwave Bacon. And sometimes we get so blindsided by the shiny, new gadget that we think it’s the end all, be all. My mother recently told me she cooked a turkey in the microwave back when microwaves were new. And now here I am in the midst of an Instant Pot craze, chucking everything under the sun into the pot and praying for a good outcome.
One day, I covered a giant chicken in Cajun seasoning and stuck it in the fridge to air-dry, a technique, by the way, that I highly recommend to ensure crispy skin. (Check out this cool list of cooking tips. #53] Then I forgot about it until it was an hour before dinner, not long enough to cook it in the oven. With hungry kids who couldn’t wait, I turned to my Instant Pot for help.
The first time around I seared the chicken in the pot – maneuvering a six pound chicken in the pot was quite a (messy!) feat. Searing helps with flavor and crispy skin, and it’s a necessary step for stews and gravies and such. But under pressure the chicken loses any crispness it once had, plus with a chicken that has very few flat surfaces, the searing step cooks the chicken skin unevenly and leaves some spots crispy and some spots flabby. So, the next time around and every since, I nixed the searing step and simply plopped the Cajun-rubbed meat into the pot.
And this was totally fine because once the chicken finishes in the pot, I slather it with barbecue sauce and broil it. This helps crisp the skin (it’s still uneven and will be until you invest in a rotisserie) and gives it a beautiful faux-tisserie taste and look.