Favorite Things: “Two Birds With One Stone” Chicken and Broth

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The InstantPot craze hit the home cook/blogger world a couple of years ago and shows no sign of stopping. I admit, I was skeptical–after all, I already had a slow cooker and I had a pressure canner already, so what was the big deal? And then I got one and started inventing reasons to use it.

These days, it’s getting less attention, but the one thing I love it for is this awesome approach to making chicken and broth at the same time. Not only is it the fastest way to cook a whole chicken for use in other recipes, you get two bonus quarts of broth out of it. This is a life-saver during the holiday season because it allows me to a) get a jump on weekday dinners and b) control what goes into the broth I use for recipes all season long.

This recipe yields very “chicken-y” meat without much added flavor and a neutral broth suitable for most recipes. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to personal taste. I do not recommend adding garlic, as it tends to impart an off flavor to the broth when cooked under pressure.


"Two Birds With One Stone" Chicken & Broth

This quick and easy recipe uses the InstantPot to provide a week's worth of shredded/diced chicken plus two quarts of homemade chicken broth. We're killing two birds with one stone, hence the title!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 3 to 4 lb whole chicken, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive, canola, or sunflower oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups filtered water


  • If desired, remove skin from the chicken. Leaving the skin on provides more collagen to the final broth, but will make it more oily and tends to make the broth cloudier. I do both, depending on what I'm going to use the broth for, but I default to skin-off.
  • Set your InstantPot to saute and wait until display reads "Hot." Heat oil for 30 seconds. Saute onions, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften and brown. Be careful not to burn as the InstantPot gets very hot very quickly!
  • Place whole chicken on top of sauteed veggies. Sprinkle salt over chicken (I use about 1 tablespoon, but if you wish your broth to be low-sodium, use less.) Add peppercorns, bay leaves, and water. Turn off InstantPot to clear saute function, then select Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. Close and seat lid, being sure to set the vent lever to closed.
  • When your IP is done cooking, carefully release pressure. Remove chicken from pot and remove all meat from the bones. (I've found it's faster and easier to shred the chicken directly off the bone.) Return the chicken bones to the pot. Set on Manual High Pressure for 45 minutes. This will continue to enrich and deepen the chicken flavor of the broth.
  • When broth is finished cooking, you may either release pressure manually or naturally. Place a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a large bowl. Remove chicken bones and throw away, then pour the broth through the sieve to remove vegetables and spices. Refrigerate broth for 8 hours or overnight, then skim hardened fat from the surface. Keep refrigerated and use within 3 days or transfer to freezer-safe containers and freeze for later use.


If using an InstantPot at altitude, increase time by 5% for every thousand feet above 1000ft. For example, at 3000 ft, cook for 22 minutes. At 6000 ft (my altitude), I cook my chicken for 25 minutes.

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