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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Onion Gravy

A whole chicken is cooked in the Instant Pot, along with a rich onion gravy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Coco Morante


  • 5 lb Chicken
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil with high smoke point
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced
  • ½ cup dry red or white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the wings, so they sit flat against the chicken, tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string, then season the chicken all over with the salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Place the pressure cooker sling on a dish with the handles unclasped and set aside.
  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil for about 2 minutes, until shimmering. Swirl the oil around to make sure it coats the bottom of the pot. Using tongs, lower the chicken, back-side down, into the pot and sear for about 5 minutes, until browned. (Some of the chicken skin may stick to the pot bottom, and that’s fine. This happens to me about half the time, which is why I sear it on the back side first. The sticking helps to form a protective layer on the pot so the skin on the breast side stays intact. And hey, even if the skin on the breast side tears, I like to carve the chicken before serving so it’ll look great either way!) Flip the chicken onto its breast side and sear for about 5 minutes more, until browned. Use the tongs to transfer the chicken to the pressure cooker sling on the dish and set aside.
  • Add the onion to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes, until it softened.
  • Add the wine and thyme to the pot and use a wooden spoon to nudge loose any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the chicken broth and tomato paste. Clasp the handles of the pressure cooker sling together and use it to lower the chicken into the pot.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Poultry,Pressure Cook, or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  • When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Open the pot and, wearing heat-resistant mitts, grab the handles of the sling and lift the chicken out of the pot. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest.
  • Wearing the mitts, lift out the inner pot and pour the cooking liquid into a fat separator or a bowl. Pour the liquid from the fat separator back into the inner pot, or, if using a bowl, skim off the fat with a ladle or spoon, then pour the liquid back into the inner pot. Discard the fat. Add the flour to the inner pot and, using an immersion blender, blend until no flour lumps remain. You may need to tilt the pot so the blender head is fully submerged in the liquid.
  • Return the inner pot to the housing, then stir the caramelized onions into the cooking liquid. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Sauté setting. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, until thickened. Immediately press the Cancel button to turn off the pot. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
  • Carve the chicken, arrange on a platter, and spoon the gravy over the top. Serve immediately.


If making this recipe in a 6-quart Instant Pot, reduce the broth to 1 cup and reduce the flour to 1 ½ tablespoons. Increase the cooking time for the onions to 10 minutes and the wine to 3 minutes. You’ll also want to use less spices and salt -- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, ¾ teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of paprika.