Instant Pot Chicken with Rice and Peas

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Pressure cookers are kitchen workhorses: the chicken breasts in this Caribbean-inspired dish cook while the cooker builds up pressure, then they get blasted with pressurized heat for only 1 minute (yes, just 1 minute!) and finish cooking while the cooker cools down and releases pressure.



  1. Set an Instant Pot or other multi-cooker to sauté on the highest setting. Meanwhile, chop the bell pepper, slice the garlic and halve the chile pepper. When the pot is hot, add the vegetable oil, then add the bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Turn off the sauté setting and stir in the rice (see Cook's Note), 1/2 teaspoon each jerk seasoning and salt and 1/2 chile pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water until well combined.
  2. Set the rack insert over the rice. Season the chicken all over with salt and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons jerk seasoning; place on the rack. Put on the lid, making sure the steam valve is in the sealing position and set the cooker to high pressure for 1 minute (see Cook's Note).
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the pigeon peas. Roughly chop the cilantro and slice the scallion. Grate the zest of 1/2 lime, then cut the lime into wedges. Finely chop the remaining 1/2 chile pepper.
  4. When the time is up on the Instant Pot, let it sit for 5 minutes, then carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to release the pressure. Remove the chicken and the rack. Stir the peas, scallion and lime zest into the rice with a fork. Discard the chile half and stir in the chopped chile and cilantro.
  5. Divide the rice and chicken among plates; top with more cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges.

Cook’s Note

Make sure the bottom of your pot is clean after sautéing the vegetables before adding the rice. Some models of Instant Pot or other brands are more sensitive to burn warnings when cooking rice. If necessary, add a bit of liquid and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot before adding rice. One minute on High Pressure is the correct time. But that doesn't mean the chicken only cooks for 1 minute. Before the pot reaches high pressure and begins to count down the 1 minute stated, it's steaming and cooking inside the pot for anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Once the pressure is released, it rests inside the pot for 5 minutes more, during which time it continues to cook and also relax. The chicken breasts should be just cooked through and juicy, not shreddable. The timing in this recipe is built for 8 ounce chicken breasts, thawed fully if frozen. If you have larger chicken breasts, halve them horizontally to ensure they are cooked through in time.