Instant Pot chicken stock is so much easier and faster than the stovetop version! The finished stock is wonderful on its own or in any number of paleo soups, sauces, and braises.
I’ve been talking about my weekly routine of roasting a whole chicken ever since the first wisp of cool air blew into Chattanooga in the fall, and I’m still going strong. Since buying myself an Instant Pot on Black Friday, though, the process of making the chicken bones into stock has gotten so much faster and more flexible. I used to have to set aside a whole morning or evening at home to make stock since it needs to simmer on the stove for such a long time, but I can make Instant Pot chicken stock, start to finish, in less than two hours. (In case you haven’t had the pleasure of using one yet, and Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that cooks food extremely fast, and can replace both your rice cooker and your slow cooker. It’s so much fun!)
Instant pot chicken stock is more delicious, too–pressure cooking condenses all the wonderful flavors and aromatics perfectly. (And by the way, this is bone broth! The only reason I didn’t name the recipe Instant Pot Bone Broth is that I don’t really like the way the phrase “bone broth” sounds. But bone broth is really just amped-up stock with a large ratio of bones to other ingredients, and this definitely fits the bill. It also gels up wonderfully in the fridge, so there’s plenty of collagen in it!)
Here’s the before and after of all the bones, aromatics, and seasonings in the Instant Pot. I used carrot, celery, shallot, leek, parsley, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. If you’re missing one or two of the vegetables, you can definitely still make a nice stock. You can also use a small onion if you don’t have shallots and leeks, but I love the extra-savory richness that they give to chicken stock! I’ve played around with also adding one or two smashed cloves of garlic, but have decided I prefer my stock without. This is in part because I like to have a steaming mug of it first thing in the morning when it’s chilly out, and I’m just not ready for garlic at breakfast time. Of course, if you want some in there, go ahead and add it! You can also play around with adding a little bit of rosemary and thyme along with or instead of the parsley.
In my opinion, a bowl of this Instant Pot chicken stock is the true epitome of comfort food.
And of course, this chicken stock is also wonderful in soups, sauces, braises, and stews. Here are 6 ideas for what to do with it:
- Use it instead of water whenever you make rice (I’m especially partial to this yellow rice).
- Make braised chicken with leeks and scallions.
- Make parsnip and pumpkin soup.
- Use it to make the sauce for chicken and cantaloupe stir-fry (on page 78 of Paleo Planet)
- Add it to cooked potatoes, cauliflower, or rutabaga (along with some ghee, salt, and pepper) and puree for a Whole30-friendly mash.
- Make this butternut squash and potato soup with all the toppings!
- Continue with the Instant Pot theme and try this Easy Weeknight Instant Pot Stew from Sustainable Dish.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe!
- 2 to 2½ pounds of bones from free-range, pastured chickens*
- 1 carrot, peeled if not organic, chopped into thirds
- 1 rib of celery, chopped into thirds
- 1 small shallot (preferably organic), unpeeled and halved
- Green trimmings from 1 leek, if you have them
- 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried is fine)
- 1 sprig of fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Put the chicken bones in the Instant Pot. Rinse the vegetables and herbs and put them on top of the chicken bones, then add the salt and pepper. Pour in cool water to reach the 10-cup line.
- Set the Instant Pot valve to “Sealed”. Put on and lock the lid. Press the “Manual” button and then use the up arrow to increase the time to 60 minutes. The program will begin ten seconds after you finish pushing the buttons.
- Once the cooking time is over, press "Keep Warm/Cancel". Move the valve to "Venting" to release pressure quickly or allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the lid and let the stock cool for a few minutes, and then strain into heatproof containers. Enjoy right away, refrigerate for up to 3-4 days, or freeze for later.**
To make a smaller batch with just one chicken carcass, simply halve all the other ingredients and fill the Instant Pot with water to an inch above the top of the bones and vegetables. You can reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes if you’d like.
**If you freeze this in silicone molds, you can pop them out once frozen and store them in a ziptop bag. That way it's easy to grab just a little bit at a time and you avoid having to defrost more than you're ready to use.
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