Instant Pot Chicken Stock (small batch).
Would you be surprised if I told you that Santa brought me an Instant Pot for Christmas? Did you know they make a mini Instant Pot? It’s called the Instant Pot Duo Mini, and I feel like it was made just for me!
The Instant Pot Duo Mini holds just 3 quarts, and is specifically for smaller households looking to serve 3-4 people. Basically, I heard the phrase ‘small batch’ and jumped all over it.
I spent an entire day reading the instruction manual, joining Instant Pot Facebook groups, and reading other bloggers’ guides on how to use this amazing machine. I truly loved Heidi’s guide the best.
Heidi suggested to pick one function to master, and then go from there. I started with pressure cooking, because the real reason I wanted an Instant Pot is to make beans.
I love love love beans—more than the average person. Before I had a baby, I would soak one or two varieties of beans each week, and slowly simmer them on the stove top. Looking back, I can’t believe I had so much free time! But, it’s true what they say about being a Mom–you have less time to accomplish the same amount of stuff, so you’re forced to be efficient with your time.
Not wanting to give up homemade beans for canned ones, I knew the Instant Pot was my solution. The first two things I made in my Instant Pot were: a pot of chickpeas and a pot of black beans. My chickpeas were perfection at 15 minutes on HIGH after a 6-hour soak. However, I overcooked the black beans using the same method, so next time will be better.
Anyway, another reason I was excited for the Instant Pot is to make stocks and broths of all kinds! I’m a big believer in bone broth, both for our immunity and gut health benefits (seriously, the protein levels amaze me–I’m a borderline vegetarian, you probably remember).
So, I had this vision of being able to make a small batch of chicken stock in the Instant Pot Mini while I was cleaning up the kitchen. Into the Instant Pot would go odds and ends from the fridge, and out would come perfectly flavorful stock to use the next night.
I did just that. I tossed in 2 chicken thighs from a big pack of local chicken that I was portioning out into FoodSaver bags destined for the freezer. I added one carrot, two stalks of celery, one small onion (washed very well but not peeled–onion skin contributes color to the stock), a bay leaf, and two peppercorns. I heeded the instruction manual warning and only added enough water to come up to the max fill line. I popped the lid on, and set it to 30 minutes at HIGH pressure.
I scrubbed pans, I wiped counters, I loaded the dishwasher. And then BAM! Thirty minutes later, I had homemade Instant Pot chicken stock. One full quart of chicken stock! It smelled like it had simmered on the stove all afternoon. It was so freaking good that I drank a mug by the fire. (Does it freak you out that I drink bone broth like coffee? I’ve done it for years!)
One little note: after years of making homemade broths and stocks, I have learned to never add salt until the end. So, I made my stock, released the pressure, strained it, and then stirred in the salt. (My salt is pink because I’m a Himalayan pink salt cult member. Sorry). I used 1 teaspoon of salt for one quart of this instant pot chicken stock.
Ok, friends, I just wanted to introduce you to my new little machine. You’ll be seeing more small batch Instant Pot recipes for two from me soon, especially recipes that use this Instant Pot chicken stock as the base, because I think good stock is the foundation of good cooking. In the meantime, leave any requests in the comment section!
I’m making a new category of recipes for the Instant Pot, but will still file them under my Dinners for Two section so they don’t get lost in all the sugar around here, ok?
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 small onion, washed well and chopped in half
- 1 large carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Layer all ingredients (except salt) in the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker).*
- Add water to the max fill line.
- Place the lid on the instant pot, and lock it in place. Close the steam release valve (set it to seal), and then press 'manual.' Make sure it is on 'high' for high pressure.
- Use the arrows to set it for 30 minutes. After a few seconds, it will start pressurizing. (The countdown of 30 minutes doesn't begin until it reaches pressure, which can take 10-15 minutes).
- After the 30 minute cook time is up, you can manually release the pressure or let it naturally release (be careful!).
- Open the lid, and strain the mixture into a bowl with a pour spout, and discard the solids. Stir the salt into the broth until dissolved.
- Pour the broth into a 1-quart mason jar container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. (Or, pack it in freezer-safe bags, and lay flat in the freezer for longer storage).
*Please read the instructions that accompany your pressure cooker before attempting any pressure cooker recipe!