Instant Pot Orange Chicken

One of the best things that has ever happened for my kitchen was receiving an Instant Pot as a gift from my awesome mom. If you have never heard of this magical little gadget, then listen up; it will change your life. Well, your cooking life. It will do nothing to help pay the bills or find your next great love. But, it will save you some serious time so that you can spend more time working on those things yourself… so… maybe yeah. It will change your life.

I have been asked several times what my favorite thing is that I make in my Instant Pot, and my answer is not this dish, as delicious as it may be. What is mind-blowing to me is that you can perfectly “bake” potatoes and winter squash in as little as 17 minutes. That is about 1/4 of the time it takes to bake them in the oven. Just throw those suckers in the instant pot using the steaming rack with a bit of water in the bottom of the pot, and boom. Within 20 minutes you’re ready to use them in whatever your recipe calls for. I do this a LOT when I am making soups. It never ceases to amaze me.

As for this recipe, cooking time was only 15 minutes and the results were flavorful and juicy (why do I hate that word?!). I always fear that cooking at this speed will dry out whatever meat I am using, but it never does. Oh, the wonders of pressure cooking!

As this was a quick throw-together recipe, I did not take the proper time to take pictures of the step-by-step process, but you will get the gist.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray (or just oil for pot)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or alternative (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • pinch or more of red pepper flakes
  • 1 package organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 small-medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 head of broccoli, stalk removed.
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch (for thickening), or tapioca starch, or flour substitute that works for you.
  • 2 Tbsp water

Directions

  • Prepare the pot by spraying or rubbing with olive oil.
  • Combine soy sauce or alternative, orange juice, garlic, ginger, pepper, and pepper flakes in a measuring cup and stir to incorporate.
  • Place carrots and onions in bottom of bottom of pot, then top with chicken thighs. Pour sauce mixture over the top.
  • Secure the lid in place and make sure that the damper is in the “sealing” position. If yours has the “poultry” option, press that (or manually set for 15 minutes).
  • While the instant pot is doing its thing, steam your broccoli. I use one of those spaceship looking steamer baskets that you put in the bottom of a pot with a little water. Takes about 5-7 minutes.
  • Also use this time to create a slurry with the starch/flour and water by thoroughly blending together in a little ramekin.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps at you, carefully release the damper to release the pressure/steam. I usually do this with a swift karate chop motion. It is probably smarter to use a long spoon or something. Use your best judgement here.
  • Remove the chicken and vegetables and arrange them on a dish along with the steamed broccoli.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off and then back on, and select the sauté option.
  • Add the maple syrup and slurry and carefully whisk together as it comes to a boil and thickens. I say carefully, because the steam that will be emanating from the boiling sauce is brutal.
  • Once the sauce is thick enough, pour over your nicely arranged chicken and veggies, then enjoy! This is great on its own, or served with noodles or rice of your choice. Also, you might want to remember to turn your Instant Pot off before you start eating.

 

* As I am corn intolerant, I have to be corn free. Really, corn-lite is the better term for how I am able to eat as I am not actually allergic to corn. The difference being that I will not need an epi-pen for an anaphylactic reaction. My reactions are auto-immune, and you can read more about the different symptoms on this post. Not everyone who is corn intolerant will be able to tolerate all of the ingredients listed here. You may not even be able to tolerate organic chicken. I barely can. In fact, after eating this dish, I felt like I had something I was not supposed to, which left me with a terrible stomach ache. I’m assuming it was probably the chicken. Regardless, it was delicious, and I urge you to use your best judgement if you have food sensitivities and use what you know works for you.

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