This is how to cook a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken! From rock hard frozen to tender and juicy in 1 hour you’ll always be able to get dinner done. Get out your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi and get ready for goodness.
Ever had one of those moments where it’s midday and you realized you never defrosted the whole chicken you wanted to make for dinner??!! I have, a lot, that is where this pressure cooker frozen whole chicken recipe comes in really handy! Another tip + recipe added to our long list of easy Instant Pot recipes here on The Typical Mom blog.
I can’t believe how well this pressure cooker frozen whole chicken turned out!
Like I always say, use what you have. If you don’t have chicken stock, use broth. Or just use water. An onion isn’t really a necessity either but I think it adds to the flavor of the chicken. Use your Ninja Foodi if that’s the pot you have.
Also when your chicken is fall apart done and you remove it DON’T throw away the delicious broth at the bottom. You can use it to make pressure cooker gravy to pour on top of your chicken if you want.
This is not a sponsored post so the brands you see are not a necessity but I will say I buy organic and/or cage free chickens when they are reasonably priced and available in the stores, here’s why:
- Cage free chickens have less fat on them overall
- Which means you can get a smaller chicken with the same amount of meat as a much larger non organic chicken, and size matters when it comes to fitting a whole chicken inside your pot.
- The meat is more tender
- Of course it depends on a lot of factors but I’ve purchased a lot of whole chickens of various varieties and will say that cage free are the best
That’s my two cents sort a speak, take it or leave it really but thought I’d share my findings.
This chicken I bought fresh, then stuck it in the freezer until it was rock hard, and cooked it about a week after purchasing it. I bought it specifically for this post. I wanted to see how well an Instant Pot frozen whole chicken would turn out.
What about the giblet bag?
- Some whole chickens do not have a giblet bag inside, so no worries (this one had no bag)
- Others contain a bag that is paper which wouldn’t do you harm if cooked inside accidentally
- If your whole chicken has a plastic giblet bag inside and it is cooked you should discard everything as it is not healthy to eat anything that has come into contact with cooked/heated plastic
- How to store your whole chicken
- When purchasing a fresh whole chicken
- Remove wrapper
- Discard giblet bag
- Use a food saver bag to remove the air and freeze your whole chicken, or put it into a gallon freezer bag for storage
- This method allows you to purchase many whole chickens when they’re on sale and freeze them all, making them immediately ready to cook using this method whenever you want
- When purchasing a frozen whole chicken
- Remove the wrapper
- Put into a water bath just long enough to remove the giblet bag inside, if there is one
- Follow directions for cooking a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken
- When purchasing a fresh whole chicken
I will tell you, I was surprised at how tender and flavorful it was….and like I said, the drippings made for some great gravy to serve on the side.
The next time we made this I followed the same recipe but after putting it under the broiler (below photo) I shredded the meat and we made chicken soft tacos. There was so much meat on this little 4.2 lb. chicken we had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Like I said, there is a huge difference, hardly any fat at all which I prefer.
We aren’t huge chicken skin lovers, HOWEVER when it is flavorful and crispy thin like this I am up for a bite. After you cook your pressure cooker frozen whole chicken……
An easy way to get crispy chicken skin is:
- Cook the chicken thoroughly in your 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot
- Use your CrispLid to crisp at 400 degrees for 5 – 15 minutes or until perfectly cooked outside, cooking time depends on how crispy you want it
- or put it in a pan, 8×8 usually works well
- Sprinkle spices you enjoy on top of it, on legs and wings too. We usually use:
- Garlic Salt
- Garlic powder
- Oregano sometimes
- Turn your oven broiler on – some countertop toaster ovens have a broiler setting too
- Put chicken in for 3-4 minutes, watch carefully, until chicken skin is crispy enough for your preference
If you’re just going to shred it for tacos though you may not bother with these steps as you may just discard the skin anyway.
Here’s what you’ll need to make our pressure cooker frozen whole chicken recipe in an Instant Pot or Crock Pot Express machine
- Whole chicken – frozen, if it is thawed you can use our Instant Pot whole chicken recipe instead
- Chicken broth – or stock, or water
- Trivet – I like this one with handles on the sides (use the inner basket if using a Ninja Foodi machine)
- Instant Pot – okay so I have a few but this one is my favorite
- Seasoned salt – I love Lawry’s for everything
- Garlic salt
- Pressure cooker frozen chicken wings
- Spicy honey Instant Pot chicken
- Instant Pot teriyaki chicken
- More whole chicken Instant Pot recipes are here
If cooking a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken in a Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer:
- Put 1.5 c water into the inner pot
- Place frozen chicken inside the inner basket inside your Ninja Foodi pot, lower into pot
- Put pressure cooker lid on (lid that isn’t attached)
- Close steam valve – set to seal
- Push power on button (lower right)
- Push pressure button
- Adjust temp. to high
- Set time to 60 minutes (for a 4.5 lbs. chicken)
- Press start
- Do a quick release when done
- Lift lid, remove pressure cooker lid, replace with air fryer lid (one that is attached)
- Push air crisp button
- Set time to 8 minutes
- Set temperature to 400 degrees
- Lift lid and check, if you want it crispier set for a few more minutes
Pressure cooking a frozen whole chicken really is a game changer. Instead of the normal 20 minutes per pound of baking in the oven, you can now get an even more tender bird in about 40 minutes depending on how large your pieces are.
- If you’re just cooking Instant Pot chicken breasts or wings your meal will be ready in under 30 minutes. That used to be unheard of before these fancy devices came about.
SO, can you put a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot? YES!! I show you in the video how it’s done. Way easier than you might imagine I’d guess. Try it friends!!
Instructions for Instant Pot and Crock Pot Express below:
Pressure Cooker Frozen Whole Chicken
- Pour chicken broth or water into your pressure cooker followed by your sliced onions.
- Place your trivet on top of that (if it rests on the onions that is okay).
- Unwrap your frozen chicken and place it on top of your trivet.
- Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release steam for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove chicken (it will want to fall apart), and put it into an 8x8 dish.
- Sprinkle the top with seasoning salt, and/or whatever you usually add on top of your whole chicken when you bake it.
- Turn your broiler on and put your chicken in for 3-4 minutes or until skin crisps up as much as you'd like.
- Serve!! (we love shredding it from there and making soft chicken tacos)
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