Fried chicken without the frying but still with the chicken

Posted on March 1, 2017

Instant Pot fried chicken

Fried chicken is the best. Period. Full stop. Fried chicken reminds us of childhood. It fills our souls with happiness. It tastes like pure, unadulterated heaven. Fried chicken.

The only problem with fried chicken: it’s fried. That means it’s unhealthy. Bigly unhealthy. How do we get that comfort? How do we get that crunch? How do we get that flavor? How do we get all that but without the artery clogging consequences?

Fried chicken is hard to replicate because of frying’s black magic. The blazing hot oil seals the juices inside while forming a crispy shell. People offer baking as an alternative. We’ve had plenty of baked imitations of fried chicken. While an oven can deliver the crunchy exterior, too often it dries out the meat.

We cook a lot with an Instant Pot. It does great work making tender and juicy chicken. The skin, however, comes out limp. Recently, we wrote an article about pressure cooking chicken and finishing it in a broiler to crisp the skin. Hint: it works swimmingly. “Could we go further?” we asked. Crispy is one thing. Could we achieve that fried-like texture? Answer: you betcha!

Now, listen, this chicken ain’t fried. You know it. I know it. Heck, the chicken knows it. But, the sensory experience gets close, and it’s a heckuva lot easier on the old ticker, i.e., our heart.

Instant Pot fried chicken


  • Four chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of panko
  • One tablespoon of paprika
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • One teaspoon of pepper
  • One teaspoon of garlic powder
  • One teaspoon of onion powder
  • One teaspoon of pepper


Pour chicken stock into pressure cooker. Insert steam rack. Place chicken on steam rack. Cook on “High Pressure” for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare three bowls: one with flour; one with beaten egg; one with panko, paprika, salt and pepper mixed.

When pressure cooker finishes, remove chicken and pat dry. Roll chicken in flour, then dunk in egg, then coat with panko.

Use a roasting pan with a rack. Arrange thighs skin-side down on the rack. Spritz tops and sides with olive oil. (We use this Ideal Olive Oil Mister from The Fine Life.) Place pan in oven for a couple of minutes until tops turn golden brown. Remove pan. Flip thighs skin-side up. Spritz tops and sides with olive oil. Return to oven. Again, cook until tops become golden brown. Remember: the chicken is already cooked. This excerise is all about developing the crispy, crunchy crust.

Instant Pot fried chicken

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