Cooking an Instant Pot whole chicken is one of my favorite kitchen magic tricks. In under an hour, you end up with a very juicy, well-cooked bird, no brining or marinating required. Even better, there are tender vegetables, plump figs, and a delicious sauce in the pot, too! Read on to see how this insta pot whole chicken makes weeknights easy.
The Pressure’s On: Dried Figs
Dried figs are an amazing addition to any pressure cooker recipe. They soak up some of the cooking liquid, becoming plump and soft without falling apart. Here, potatoes and carrots cook along with Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, so you have an instant side dish to serve with the chicken.
What If I Don’t Have an Instant Pot- Can I Make This in the Oven
Definitely! While an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker will speed things up, you don’t have to scroll away from this page if you don’t have them. Instead, turn on the oven to 375ºF and get cooking. Read on in the recipe card notes below for instructions to use your oven.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Tips
There are now Instant Pots that come with an air fryer lid, as well as an air fryer lid that will work on older models. This means you don’t have to do any awkward chicken flipping moves to sear the bird, and the skin still gets nice and crispy. Just pop the air fryer lid on top of the pot for 10 minutes once the chicken is done cooking under pressure, and it crisps right up. If you don’t have an air fryer lid, not to worry — you can just remove the inner pot from your Instant Pot, then run it under the broiler for a few minutes, instead.
One (Instant) Pot Wonder
Since the chicken, figs, potatoes, carrots, and sauce all come together in the Instant Pot, there’s no need to prepare anything else for your meal. If you like, you can toss together a green salad while the Instant Pot is doing its thing. If not, just relax for the 35 minutes or so that the pot is coming up to pressure, and then cooking your meal.
Lean on Leftovers for Lunch
If you have any leftovers, they’ll be good for another 3 or 4 days in the fridge. As such, this is a great recipe to make for either a show stopping dinner, or as a pretty luxe meal prep option for some lunches during the week.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Figs & Veggies
- instant pot
- 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion , sliced
- 6 garlic cloves , peeled
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs , halved
- 4 large carrots , roll-cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound petite gold potatoes , left whole
Instant Pot Method
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under, so they sit flat against the chicken, tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine, then season the chicken all over with the salt, pepper, and paprika. Place the chicken breast side up on the wire metal trivet that comes with your Instant Pot.
- Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant pot and heat the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic cloves and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the thyme, lemon juice, and chicken broth, and use a wooden spoon to nudge any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the halved figs, then add in the potatoes and carrots in an even layer.
- Cancel the cooking program to turn off the Instant Pot. Carefully lower the chicken on its trivet into the Instant Pot, sothat it rests on top of the cooking liquid and vegetables. Secure the lid in the Sealing position, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
- When the cooking program ends, perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting.
- At this point, if you have an air fryer lid for your Instant Pot, you may use it to brown the top of the chicken. Replace the pressure cooking lid with the air fryer lid, cancel the cooking program, then select the “Broil” setting for 10 minutes. If you do not have an air fryer lid, you may either finish the chicken under an oven broiler for a few minutes, or serve it as is, without browning the skin.
- Open the pot and, wearing heat-resistant mitts, grab the arms of the trivet and lift the trivet with the chicken out of the pot. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and figs to the serving dish, arranging them around the chicken. Ladle some of the cooking liquid over the vegetables and serve right away.
(Alternate Method — Use Your Oven)
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a small saucepan on the stove, or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, heat the chicken broth to boiling. Remove the broth from the heat, add the figs, and soak for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under, so they sit flat against the chicken, then tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Season the chicken all over with the salt, pepper, and paprika and drizzle it with the olive oil, then place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan.
- Arrange the onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and thyme in the pan around the chicken. Pour in the soaked figs and chicken broth, and the lemon juice.
- Roast the chicken and vegetables for about 1 ½ hours, or until a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, without touching the bone, reads 165ºF.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and figs to the serving dish, arranging them around the chicken. Ladle some of the cooking liquid over the vegetables and serve right away.