When you’re on a Whole30, you eat a lot of meat. Veggies too, TONS of veggies, which I love, but also definitely a lot of meat, because there’s no rice or bread to stretch the meal! Shredded chicken recipes like this one are a mainstay.
I challenged my husband to learn to use the Instant Pot and collected a bunch of recipes for him, and as I mentioned when I shared the Instant Pot version of Paleo cauli-rice, I kept finding a lot of sub-par recipes out there! On days when he was taking over the cooking while I worked, I’d email them to my husband but end up either rewriting the instructions in the email or going to the kitchen to tell him what he should really do.
So I kinda need to share them with you guys after all that work, especially before the post we’re working up to: Easy Instant Pot Recipes Even a Man Can Make.
Today’s recipe is a simple and flexible Asian chicken that could totally be served over rice if you’re not grain-free. We just added steamed broccoli, a big salad, and a tray of roasted veggies to bulk up the meal. My kids enjoyed it and even took leftovers for lunch a few days. (The roasted veggie recipe is mine but it’s only in Plan to Eat – because I use that program a ton to keep my veggies organized when we do a Whole30!)
My dear friend Wardee at Traditional Cooking School can do just about anything with her Instant Pot – cakes, bread, main dishes, veggies, even “stacking” multiple kinds of food at once! She runs the most incredible online cooking classes with a total of 11 different topics and usually 2 dozen classes per topic.
Check out the pressure cooking modules HERE – I guarantee you’ll be impressed. And if you tackle the other classes, like sourdough, cultured dairy, or einkorn baking (they’re all included in the same membership), you might see a teacher you recognize, cough, cough.
Shopping Notes and Frugal Tips
You can use either chicken breasts or thighs for this one – we had a random assortment of both in our fridge the day we made it, but neither was enough for a big batch to feed our family, so we just mixed them and that worked great too. I’d make it with thighs regularly simply because thighs are less expensive so I tend to save chicken breast splurges for things like chicken nuggets or a stir fry when you want the white meat to shine. For all my slow cooker or Instant Pot shredded chicken recipes, I go with thighs.
Keep in mind that the kind of curry you use will kind of take over this dish. Most powdered curries are turmeric based and yellow in color. My husband has fallen in love with red curry at Thai restaurants this past year and we could never figure out why I couldn’t find “red curry powder” when I shopped spices! Apparently for Thai food it’s a curry paste, so I need to figure out how to source or make that myself, because although he likes the yellow curries I’ve found, he’s quite smitten with red. To keep your spices frugal, you can check out a local Asian market; I hear that’s a great place to get smaller amounts for inexpensive amounts. I am lucky enough to have a health food store that sells spices in small packages for typically 99c-$1.99 each, so I can try out flavors without investing a ton of cash. I also have ordered through Mountain Rose Herbs online and their prices are amazing, but you do need to know how much you can use! I got maybe 4 or 8 ounces of dried cilantro and was a little shocked when the bag came and was as big as my head!
Herbs are light. Order small! (And also – does anyone need any cilantro? I have 2 decades worth of it for ranch dressing mix in my basement now…)
The turmeric in this recipe already has a ton of health benefits, which I explored when we shared this amazing Turmeric Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Coconut, which we’ve eaten twice during the Whole30 and it’s so warming and lovely.
We’ve also been boosting the nutrition of a lot of soups and Instant Pot meals by adding Vital Proteins collagen or gelatin – you can pretty much put 2 scoops of either one into any recipe you’re making and it just disappears (visually and flavor-wise). The gelatin will “gel” up after things cool, which is no problem for soups (it liquefies again when heated) but might be weird if you want to eat something cold, like we do with shredded chicken dishes, so collagen is better for this one! You can use the coupon code VPKS10 for 10% off your order!
The Recipe: Curried Lemon Coconut Chicken (Pressure Cooker Version)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- ¼ c. lemon juice
- 1 Tbs. curry powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. salt
- about 4 lbs. chicken - breasts, thighs, or a combo (whatever you have)
- optional: ½-1 tsp. lemon zest
- Mix the coconut milk, lemon juice and spices together in a bowl or glass measuring cup. (Don't worry about incorporating that large chunk of coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk; just mix the liquidy part together.)
- Pour a little bit on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken.
- Pour in the rest, including the coconut cream chunk if you've got one, on top of the chicken.
- Lock in the lid and close the valve.
- Turn the IP to "poultry" which should be 15 minutes at high pressure.
- If working with frozen chicken breasts, add 10 minutes to the cook time and you should be fine (although I haven't tested this yet).
- It will take about 20 minutes to get to pressure.
- After the 15 minute cook time, use the quick release by opening the valve.
- Test chicken for doneness by cutting open and observing the center (if you see any pink, turn the IP back on for another 5-10 minutes on manual high pressure - it will heat up much quicker because everything is already so hot).
- Use 2 forks to shred the chicken up in the pot (or remove to a plate if you're having trouble getting it all in the pot).
- Optional: Add ½-1 tsp. lemon zest after cooking.
- Serve with steamed or roasted veggies or over rice.
* If you'd like the sauce thicker, stir in a Tbs. or two of arrowroot starch after cooking.
My husband’s been doing such a great job with this (I don’t know why I didn’t think of a post like the one I’m writing sooner…the delegation-of-dinner aspect has been worth it even if no one ever reads the post!).
The sheepish look on his face makes me laugh.
I hope you love this simple recipe!
No Instant Pot yet? Remember that you can totally make this in a slow cooker too, AND you gotta watch Amazon for a deal on the IP. It’s a game changer.
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More Instant Pot Treasures
- 10 Basic Instant Pot Techniques (some may surprised you!)
- Apple Cranberry Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot
- Simple Cauli Rice in the Instant Pot (no food processor needed!)
- Instant Pot Italian Lentil One-Pot Dinner
- …and more to come this week and next!
Disclosure: Plan to Eat and Vital Proteins are receiving their complimentary mention as KS sponsors for March.