Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Life-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken

Make this 4-ingredient Game-Changing Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken) in 3 Easy Steps! Tender & juicy chicken glazed with deliciously caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight family meal.

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5 from 43 votes

For many many months, fellow potheads have been asking for our secrets to cooking whole chicken in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Thanks for your patience! 🙂

We’re overwhelmed with your love for our Juiciest & Most Tender Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast Experiment.

So, for the past months, Jacky & I have grounded ourselves in our Test Kitchen, researching, testing multiple techniques & cooking times with dozens of chickens. ?

Determined to find the best way to cook a perfectly tender & juicy whole chicken in the Instant Pot! hehe~

But wait, is it even possible?

Since different parts of the chicken need different cooking times, how can we evenly cook a whole chicken in Instant Pot?

After testing and tasting dozens of whole chickens…

Finally!!! We’re soo thrilled to introduce this whole new Game-Changing Technique into the Instant Pot World!! Ohhh yes!! 😀

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Game-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken

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We’ve decided to keep it simple. All you need is 4 ingredients & 3 Easy Steps to make this Game-Changing Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken!

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Instant Pot?

  1. Pressure Cook Whole Chicken
  2. Pat Dry & Apply BBQ Sauce
  3. Finish Under Broiler

 


 

Game-Changing Technique: Instant Pot Poaching Method

Like our previous experiments, we started off by testing different cooking times with whole chickens in Instant Pot. Sadly, we were not fully satisfied with any of the results. 🙁

Within the pressure cooker’s closed environment, the trapped high-pressure steam rapidly transfers heat to the chicken’s surface that’s not submerged in liquid. So, it’s easy to overcook the outer parts while the inner parts are still raw.

After being disappointed with multiple methods, we had an epiphany.

Why not go back to our roots and try an Ancient Chinese Cooking Technique – Poaching?

This gentle cooking technique has always been a winner in the Chinese culinary world for cooking delicate food.

And by applying the deep poaching method with our Instant Pot, the chickens yielded the best results!

We were amazed – even the chicken breast was moist, juicy, and tender!!! 😀

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): tender, juicy, moist chicken breast cooked in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Check out the beautifully moist & tender chicken breast! 😀

What is Poaching?

If you’ve enjoyed Poached Eggs before, then you’ve savored the heavenly deliciousness of Poaching. 🙂

The Deep Poaching Method involves cooking food submerged in liquid at a relatively low temperature.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): ensure water covers at least 90% of the whole chicken in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

This method allows the proteins to denature without pulling out too much moisture out of the food. That’s why poached food comes out so moist and tender!

Poaching is most commonly used for cooking delicate or fragile food that might easily fall apart or dry out using other cooking methods, such as eggs, fish, or poultry.

 


 

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken 

1. Ensure Water Covers At Least 90% of the Chicken.

8 cups (2L) of Water is not a typo!

In this recipe, we’re using the deep poaching method in the Instant Pot to cook the whole chicken. So it’s critical to ensure your whole chicken is fully submerges in the salted water.

2. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 0 Minute

Also not a typo! 🙂 How can this be?!

We’re setting the pressure cooking time to 0 (zero) minute because we’re using the heat generated during the “coming up to pressure” stage AND the “depressurizing” stage (i.e. during natural release) to cook the chicken.

Just remember to have your food thermometer ready to make sure the chicken’s internal thickest part reaches at least 161°F (72°C).

 


 

Ingredients for Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken) Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 – 4 pounds
  • 8 cups (2L) cold water
  • ¼ cup (60g) your favorite Barbecue Sauce
  • 5 teaspoons (35g) fine sea salt

*Pro Tip: 8 cups (2L) of cold water is not a typo as we’re using the Instant Pot Poaching Method.

 


 

Tools for Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

 


 

How to Cook Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

1

Pressure Cook Whole Chicken


5 teaspoons (35g) fine sea salt
8 cups (2L) cold water


Add 5 teaspoons (35g) fine sea salt and 8 cups (2L) of cold water in Instant Pot.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): add fine sea salt and 8 cups (2L) of cold water in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

With tongs, carefully lower the whole chicken into the water with chicken breast side up.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): lower whole chicken in Instant Pot and submerge it into the water with chicken breast side up

*Pro Tip 1: Make sure the water covers at least 90% of the chicken (as shown in below photo).

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): ensure water covers at least 90% of the whole chicken in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Close lid and pressure cook at:

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 0 minute, then Natural Release (20 – 22 minutes).
    • For 2.8lbs (1260g) Whole Chicken: 18 minutes Natural Release
    • For 3.2 lbs (1450g) Whole Chicken: 20 minutes Natural Release
    • For 3.6 lbs (1633g) Whole Chicken: 22 minutes Natural Release

*Pro Tip 2: We’re setting the pressure cooking time to 0 (zero) minute. Yes!! It’s not a typo! The whole chicken will be cooked during the “coming up to pressure” stage AND the “depressurizing” stage (i.e. during natural release).

Open the lid carefully.

With tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): remove pressure cooked whole chicken from Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker with kitchen tongs
Yay!! Check out the beautifully cooked chicken still in-tact.

*Pro Tip 3: Be very careful as there will be hot liquid in the chicken carcass.

 

 

2

Pat Dry Whole Chicken


Pressure Cooked Instant Pot Whole Chicken, from above


Drain the hot chicken stock liquid in the chicken carcass.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): drain hot Instant Pot Chicken Soup liquid in chicken carcass

*Pro Tip 1: You can use this salted chicken stock to blanch vegetables, make chicken soup, or other dishes to serve with your whole BBQ chicken.

Place the whole chicken on a wire rack in a baking tray.

Measure the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken.

*Pro Tip 2: Make sure the temperature reaches at least 161°F (72°C). If the internal temp doesn’t reach this food safe minimum, place it back into the hot liquid for a longer time (5 – 10 minutes) & close the lid.

Pat dry the whole chicken really well with paper towels.

*Note: If your oven is not big enough, you can place the whole chicken on a baking tray without the wire rack.

 

 

3

Apply Sauce and Finish in Oven


¼ cup (60g) your favorite Barbecue Sauce


Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the Instant Pot whole chicken.

*Pro Tip: Feel free to adjust & brush more BBQ sauce to your liking, especially if you have a bigger chicken.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): place Instant Pot Whole Chicken on baking tray, pat dry, and brush with bbq sauce

Place the whole chicken under oven’s broiler for 5 – 15 minutes until caramelized and the skin is lightly crisped.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Game-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken
Man! This was a gorgeously delicious BBQ Chicken!! It was tough to photo-shoot as our mouths were watering.

 


4

Serve Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

Remove the BBQ whole chicken from oven and serve with your favorite side dishes!

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Game-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken

Enjoy your Game-Changing Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken!! 😀

 


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Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Life-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken

Make this 4-ingredient Game-Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy, moist chicken glazed with deliciously caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal.
5 from 43 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 3 - 4 pounds
  • 8 cups (2L) cold water
  • ¼ cup (60g) your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 5 teaspoons (35g) fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Pressure Cook Whole Chicken: Add 5 teaspoons (35g) fine sea salt and 8 cups (2L) of cold water in Instant Pot. With tongs, carefully lower the whole chicken into the water with chicken breast side up. Make sure the water covers at least 90% of the chicken.Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 0 minute (yes! zero minute is not a typo 🙂 see above for explanations), then Natural Release (20 - 22 minutes). Open the lid carefully.
    For 2.8lbs (1260g) Whole Chicken: 18 minutes Natural Release
    For 3.2 lbs (1450g) Whole Chicken: 20 minutes Natural Release
    For 3.6 lbs (1633g) Whole Chicken: 22 minutes Natural Release
    With tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot. Be very careful as there will be hot liquid in the chicken carcass.
  • Pat Dry Whole Chicken: Drain the hot chicken stock liquid in the chicken carcass. Place the whole chicken on a wire rack in a baking tray. Measure the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken. Make sure the temperature reaches at least 161°F (72°C). Pat dry the whole chicken really well with paper towels.
    *Note 1: If the internal temp doesn't reach this food safe minimum, place it back into the hot liquid for a longer time (5 - 10 minutes) & close the lid.
    *Note 2: If your oven is not big enough, you can place the whole chicken on a baking tray without the wire rack.
  • Apply Sauce and Finish in Oven: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the Instant Pot whole chicken. Place the whole chicken under oven’s broiler for 5 – 15 minutes until caramelized and the skin is lightly crisped.
  • Serve Instant Pot Whole Chicken: Remove the BBQ whole chicken from oven and serve with your favorite side dishes!
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Recipe Notes:

*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you! ?

Nutrition:

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 233mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3.6% | Vitamin C: 2.1% | Calcium: 2.6% | Iron: 5.9%
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Party Food, Quick Meals, Super Easy
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

 


Other Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

Make Easy Homemade Instant Pot Pho Ga Recipe (Pressure Cooker Pho Ga): this fragrant Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup warms the heart and nourishes the soul.

Instant Pot BBQ Whole Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken): Make this 4-ingredient Game -Changing Instant Pot Whole Chicken in 3 Easy Steps! Tender, juicy chicken glazed with caramelized BBQ sauce. Super easy weeknight meal. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker #pressurecookerrecipes #chicken #chickenrecipes #wholechicken
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Hi! I have a 6.75 pound chicken. Is 50 minutes a good NR time? Also, once it gets to pressure, do you hit cancel when the warm setting goes in or do you leave it in warm while it releases naturally? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      50 minutes sounds good. You don’t have to turn off the keep warm function.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  2. Trust the timing on this one. We are not particularly fond of the white meat so this is perfect. We put the dark meat on to broil while I shredded the white meat and put it back in the pot as a chicken soup started. Now I have a base to add barley, pasta, vegetables etc. If you like the white meat for chicken salad, then you will still have a great stock for later.

  3. I cannot believe how incredibly juicy my chicken turned out. It really cannot get any easier than this so I doubt I will be making whole chickens differently in the future! I am looking forward to using that chicken broth to try in another recipe too, your blog is the gift that keeps on giving!

  4. I have a 5 lb chicken in my freezer that I was planning to use in my 8qt Instant Pot. Would you still recommend the 0 minutes cook time? How about NPR time? Still 8 cups of water?

    1. Hi Kate,

      Late Reply (We were on a trip to Asia)! Thank you for your question 🙂

      Some of our members have said 0 minutes and 45 minutes will do.

      Yes, same amount of water.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  5. I agree that spatchcock(or butterfly) is the perfect way to go with this recipe. If you remove the backbone yourself, and have not purchased a pre-spacthcocked chicken, throw the backbone in the pot too, to heighten the flavor of the leftover broth, or save it for roasting bones to make stock later.
    The somewhat flattened butterfly chicken works SOO0 well under the broiler for more even browning.
    Love this IP recipe and this pressure cooking technique.
    Amy & Jacky are the IP bomb!!

    1. Hi Amy,

      Thank you for your question 🙂
      Some of our readers have reported that frozen chicken will not work that well.
      Some say 0 minutes and 45 minutes will work for a 5lb frozen chicken.

      Give it a try 🙂

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  6. Yes! Finally! A whole-chicken Instant Pot recipe that actually works. Only did the “poaching” bit and the chicken has come out perfectly with a moist, juicy breast. Other recipes have stated 6 minutes per pound at high pressure to cook a chicken (not poached). Well, I tried those and have two very dry chickens that would do well to be used in the making of pressed wood.
    Very pleased with this recipe! Perfect! Thank you.

  7. This is the best way ever to do a whole chicken – doing one again today. You will be rewarded with the best chicken stock ever to use for something else. In my poaching water I roughly chop a couple stalks of celery, a whole onion (brown skin and all) an unpeeled carrot and 6 or so cloves of garlic plus salt to your taste. I throw in about a dozen peppercorns which I will strain out of my stock with the other vegetables. Store the stock in the fridge and skim the fat off when cold. Unbelievable how the breast stays so moist!

  8. I did this previously and it was an amazing recipe so thank you. Tonight I have a 5.45 pound chicken so do I follow the same instructions and take it up to zero and then let it naturally release for 60 minutes? I wasn’t sure how long the natural release took to dissipate. Love your website

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Late Reply! Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Some of readers have great success with 40 – 45 minutes natural release for a 6 pound chicken

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  9. Used a free range chicken, which is typically difficult to make any other way but soup. I made a (sugar-free, Greek) sauce of ev olive oil, oregano, fresh crushed garlic, s+p, mustard and some Worcester sauce. Came out really well. Crispy skin, juicy meat, tender!, cooked through. I left it a bit overcooked in pot, but 22-23mins NPR would have been perfect. And floater pin was down, so no mess or splatter from liquid. Will save bones for stock tomorrow, and the leftover cooking water (skimmed of fat) also as cooking stock. Fee-range chickens are too tasty to waste anything! Great recipe, I am impressed at how easy and well the dish turned out. My picky husband liked it also, and he did not like my previous whole-chicken-in-pot trial.

    1. Hi Reba,

      Late Reply! (We were on a trip to Asia) Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Happy to hear your husband enjoyed it too!

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  10. Excellent recipe. I’ve made it over and over without fail. Thank so much! I’d it possible to poach 2 chickens at the same time using this technique? I have a large group of dinner guests coming tonight and I bought 2 chickens to make sure I have enough to feed all and would prefer to double recipe do that I do not have to do this recipe twice. I have the large 8qt instant pot.

    Thanks in advance for your reply. Your recipes are winners every single time!!

    1. Hi Janneke,

      Late Reply! (We were on a trip to Asia) Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      We haven’t tried cooking two chickens at once, but this technique will work. The natural release time will be shorter as the get up to pressure time will be longer for two chickens.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Mantatoo,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. I will say both methods will work. Please check with the manual instructions.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  11. Have to say this is a fave, have made it many time. Always moist and tender. Would like to share my tip. I butterfly the chicken removing the back bone. Put everything in the pot. Cook as directed. Then place it on a baking sheet, flattened, skin side upbbq sauce over all!

  12. Thank you for sharing this! I’m excited to try it out. I bought two chickens from Costco and they’re about 4.5 lbs. do I need to do anything differently when cooking to make sure that they’re fully cooked?

  13. Guys! I made this last weekend, and it was excellent. No changes to the recipe at all.
    I’m thinking next time I’ll spatchcock the chicken and finish it on the grill, or try the same recipe with cornish game hens.

  14. i’ve tried this recipe and have loved the poached chicken. The First time I covered it with BBQ sauce and put it under the broiler for few minutes to glaze, and it turned out exactly as the recipe said. it was delicious!
    The next time, I just poached the chicken, and had juicy white chicken meat for other recipes.through the week.
    The meat was tender & juicy and I served it with ginger scallion sauce and white rice. Delicious!

    Mavis in Ontario, Canada

    1. Hi Dennis,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I will say roughly 45 – 50 minutes natural release time.

      Please take care & have a wonderful Christmas holiday!
      Jacky

  15. Hi Amy and Jacky!

    Thank you for the easy to follow recipe. I just made this and the chicken was wonderfully moist! The only thing was that when the time was up, the chicken was pretty much falling apart. Would I just have to reduce the time then? I had a 3.5 lb chicken and kept it in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Holly,

      So happy to hear from you again 🙂 thank you for your kind words!

      Yes, you will want to reduce the natural release time a little.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  16. I’ve made this again last night and it’s always a treat. Recently on the IP Community FB site, someone cooked a whole chicken with veggies. I decided I wanted to try it with this recipe. Then I got to wondering if maybe you’ve never mentioned doing it because of the way it’s cooked. Poaching at 0 mins as opposed to cooking for 6 mins. per lb. maybe doesn’t cook the veggies the same way? Curious if you’ve tried it.

    1. Hi Sue!

      Hope you have been doing well 🙂

      The extra veggies will prolong the get up to pressure time and will overcook the chicken with the suggested natural release time chart.

      You will probably want to reduce the natural release time by a few minutes.

      Please take care & have an amazing week
      Jacky

  17. Hi Amy & Jacky! This is hands down my favourite IP recipe. The chicken was moist, delicious and so easy to make. I followed the recipe exactly the first time. Second time, used two spatchcock chicken + 7 cups cold water + 6tbs sea salt for about 36 mins. Turned out beautifully. Have to keep a close eye the BBQ sauce doesn’t burn!

  18. Hi Amy and Jacky. Words cannot express how grateful I am for your website and for all the hard work you put in to all your recipes. As you know I have tried many of your recipes and each one has been superb. This chicken recipe turned unbelievably moist and so tasty. My husband is not a big fan of chicken breasts but he couldn’t get over how moist the breast was.
    Again, thank you for all the testing you both do so we, your pressure cooker followers, just have to follow your instructions and come out with the perfect meal.
    You both are incredibly great at what you do. Take care.
    Mil

  19. Hi. I have the older version of the IP with only one pressure setting (medium?)
    How would I modify the timings in the recipe (as stated for high pressure) for my IP?
    TIA

  20. I have made this 5 or 6 times (and also your other whole chicken recipe) and while I love both of them, I can’t get the skin crisp! It always burns quickly so I remove it. Tonight I put the chicken on the lowest possible rack and it started burning in about 3 minutes. My broiler is 550. Any tips? I love it regardless, but would really love some crispy skin!

    1. Hi Randi,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      If that is the in case, I would recommend a lower temperature. 450F for 6 – 10 minutes should do.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. My suggestion is, after you pat the chicken dry, put under the broiler, on the lowest rack, without the bbq sauce first. If you want crispy skin, you can get it somewhat crispy without the sauce. The sugars in the sauce are probably what is burning.Try broiling for a 2-3 minutes like that, or more if needed for a nice medium toast on the skin. After you get the desired color, remove the tray, brush on the bbq sauce, return to the oven and then turn the broiler OFF. The residual heat with cook the bbq sauce on top of the without burning it. Just watch it during that last step.

  21. Thank you for this recipe. The chicken turned out moist and tender. I uses a mustard bbq sauce, I think I will use a plum sauce on the next go round. I did add some thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf along with the salt to the water. I then turned in the poaching liquid in to chicken soup using the left over chicken, adding some carrots and pasta and cooking under pressure for 5 min.

  22. Hi! I finished the pressure cooker part. Can I leave the chicken in the water/pressure cooker overnight and finish it off in the oven for dinner the filling day?

    Thanks for your help!
    Alice

    1. Hi Alice,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      It would be better to remove the chicken from the water as it will continue cooking (Dries it out) in the hot water.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  23. Can the salt be reduced a lot, this is more sodium that I need all day? Also could you split chicken down back before cooking so you could lay out flat to broil with BBQ sauce?

    1. Hi Kay,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Yes, you can reduce the amount of salt, but the saltiness will be greatly diluted with the 8 cups of water so the chicken will not be salty.

      The sodium level in the nutrition fact is including the 8 cups of broth so it is very high. As long as the 8 cups of broth is not consumed, the daily sodium intake will be lower.

      Spatchcocking the chicken by flattening it is probably the best way 🙂

      take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

      Take care & have a great week!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Brittany,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It depends on how hot is the grill. It will not take too long as the sugar & oil in the BBQ sauce will accelerate it.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  24. Have you received any feedback from trying this with a frozen whole chicken? I didn’t plan ahead :-/

    1. Hi Rebekah,

      Thank you for your question.

      Frozen whole chicken doesn’t work too well with this recipe. You will probably want to leave the chicken for about 40 – 45 minutes natural release time.

      Take care!
      Jacky

  25. Hi-this method sounds very interesting. I don’t like BBQ sauce but want to impart flavor in the chicken. Do you suggest adding say a dry rub on the chicken just before broiling? Or do you have suggestions for a different way. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      That will work fine. You can also add some spice to the water to impart some flavor to the chicken too.

      Take care
      Jacky

  26. We are doing the BBQ whole chicken now. The smallest chicken we found was 4.9 lb. that required extra 5 cups of water for a total of 13 cups to cover 90%. We have an 8qt IP so the chicken fits. It would not fit a 6qt pot. Not sure how this affects the cooking time but we’ll try to go by inner temperature of the bird. Also we assume we are to turn off the Keep Warm. We’ll have to see since I doubt you will see this question in the next 40 min or so.

    1. Hi Paul,

      I hope the BBQ whole chicken went well.
      The keep warm function can be turn off or on as it will not kick in well after the pressure has released.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  27. I have an additional question, in addition to the query in my review of May 3rd, about salt for the brine. Previously I asked if the brine could be saved and re-used to cook another chicken, and if so would I need to add more salt? Today’s question is again about salt, but for a kosher/halal bird. I am not certain, but I think that these birds have salt used in the processing for religious reasons, so I wonder if this will have an impact on the amount of salt I should use in the cooking water? I am going to go ahead and cook the bird just now, but will add a little less salt in case, but would really appreciate a response for the next time I cook a whole chicken in the instant pot.

    Thank you,
    Kathy

  28. OMG, folks. You outdid yourselves on this one. My chicken was almost exactly 3.2 lbs, so my NPR was exactly 20 minutes. The temperature of the chicken was almost exactly 161 F. In roasted chicken, I often fine that the white meat is dryer than the dark. In this case, both were equally moist and tender and tasty. I finshed it under the broiler in the oven, which not only gave it a nice colour, but additional flavour as well. Now that it is coming on outdoor BBQ season, next time, I may finish it on the grill. This is definitely going on my keeper list and i will be recommending it others.

  29. Thank you for this recipe! I wanted poached chicken for salad, so I didn’t broil it after cooking. One of the legs detached when I was removing the chicken from the pot, and the temperature was higher than indicated, but the meat was wonderfully moist, and perfect for my recipe. The chicken was premium, air chilled and “free from”…so I wonder if that made a difference, because normally I find these chickens moister than regular when they are cooked. Next time, I may cook for a minute less, but it was so great that even a tad overcooked, the meat was delicious.
    After removing the bones, I added them, and some onion, celery and carrot to the salted liquid to make bone broth. I wonder if that broth can be used to cook another chicken, or would the salt amount be thrown off, and I would need to add more? If you think I would need to add more salt, would you kindly advise how much?
    Again, your recipes are perfect…thanks. Next I must write a review for the stew recipe, which was also fabulous.

  30. I’ve made several whole chickens, all different ways and this by far beats them all. I thought being submerged in water would take a long time to come to pressure, but it didn’t. From the time I closed the lid until the 22 min. NPR was done, was exactly an hour. The chicken was so moist and the bbq sauce (same one I always use) tasted like candy. Can’t decide if this is my fav or if your teriyaki chicken thighs still is. lol Thanks for sharing!

  31. The timing in the recipe doesn’t work very well with pastured chickens, which tend to have a different “build”–narrower, breast sticks up more, and I think generally a little less meaty. I used the recipe with one of the (few) Mary’s Chickens that are actually pasture raised (and pricey–$5.99/lb.) In order to cover something like 90% of the chicken I had to add a lot more water–at least 2 cups. I’m guessing that’s the main problem–it probably takes a lot more heat to bring that much additional water up to pressure. It was a 3.68 lb. chicken (including innards), and it took 37 minutes to come up to pressure. Your instructions said 22 minutes natural release time for a 3.6 lb bird, I stopped at 20 minutes. Very disappointed to find that the temperature of the meat was over 200 degrees all over, mostly between about 205 and 210. If you feel like doing some experimenting, it might be helpful to people to know what changes to make (a) when they have to add more water and (b) for leaner pastured chickens.

    1. I should add that the chicken was remarkably moist after reaching such a high temperature. I wouldn’t call it succulent, but a roast chicken that reached 200 degrees would be inedibly dry, and this wasn’t. The poaching method is definitely promising.

    2. Hi Kathleen,

      Sorry to hear what happened. Thank you so much for your feedback and suggestions.

      The main problem was the 2 extra cups of liquid.

      Did the pastured chicken you used has long legs like free range chicken? If so, I usually cut the chicken feet off so it will fit the Instant Pot better.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  32. Hi. I’m going to try this recipe. I have instant pot duo and I don’t know what buttons to push .do I just push manual and scroll to 0? Please tell me. My chicken is 5 lbs.

  33. We have made this ultra-simple, yet incredibly tasty, chicken three times now and we are consistently amazed at how well it turns out. At first bite each time we look at each other and say “It’s just chicken, water and then sauce!” Make sure you tip the chicken in every conceivable direction when it comes out of the Instant Pot to make sure every nook and cranny of the bird is drained of water before it goes in the oven. This most recent cooking I laced a piece of twine through the carcass and knotted it to form a handle that makes it significantly easier to both remove it from the I.P. and to drain the liquid.

  34. Have been soooo looking and waiting for this recipe approach. Tired of store bought oversalted bbq or roast chickens. Will try this immediately.

    Thank you thank you.

    1. Hi Ellen,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The poaching method for chicken breast will work better on stovetop.

      For the Instant pot, placing the chicken breast on a trivet still work better.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  35. Hi Amy & Jacky. I love your blog and have been reading it since I got my instant pot over a year ago! I made this the other night and loved it – plus I used the cooking broth (I cut the salt back a bit and threw in some aromatics) to make soup, then used the carcass to make another one! So fabulously frugal! (And of course, I linked up to you.)

    When I pulled the chicken out from under the broiler, I grabbed my torch and ran it around the areas that weren’t crispy and browned…it worked beautifully.

    Thanks for all your experiments on the IP recipes. I know when I make one of your recipes I won’t be settling or compromising in any way on taste, flavor or appearance.

    Mollie

    1. Hi Mollie,

      You are very kind for linking to us! Thank you so much for sharing your cooking experience and kind words with us 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  36. Hi, I’m excited to try this recipe. Would adding herbs and spices to the poaching liquid help make for a more flavorful chicken, or does it need to be purely salted water?

  37. Hello Amy & Jacky, Thank you for sharing absolutely different type of cooking. I plan to make it at the Sunday dinner. To save a time I’m would like to make the poached chicken few hours earlier and broil it in the oven just before the serving time. Is it possible and safe do it in that way? Thank you.

    1. Ho OlgLac,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      I would place the chicken in the fridge after 1 hour and 45 minutes and broil it right before serving.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  38. I absolutely cannot wait to try this. When you say put it back into the water if it hasn’t come to the correct internal temp…are you meaning to just put it back into the water and close lid and simply watch the extra time, or are we bringing it back up to pressure again??
    thanks bunches!!
    Debbie.

    1. I forgot to add…. are we putting the chicken breast DOWN or UP in the pot? It looks like its up in the picture, but in one of the comments I thought I saw breast DOWN. thanks again.

      debbie.

    2. Hi Debbie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Just putting it back into the water and close the lid will be fine.

      Breast side up!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Renie,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      We have delayed the cookbook idea due to family’s health problem. There will be one down the road!

      Take care & have a great week
      Jacky

  39. Wow, this is major; I’m talking life changing! Thanks for the amazing recipe. I owe you big. How can is say thanks? Donations, hashtags, purchasing stuff off your page?

    This also makes me think that simply poaching chicken breast would work as well. If I poached, say 4 chicken breast at a total of around 650 grams how would you suggest I adjust the cook time?

    Thanks again, I appreciate your great work.

    1. Hi Charles,

      thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      No need for anything as your comment already gave us a big smile!

      I would say roughly 15 minutes release time.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  40. I made this the other night for supper and it turned out perfect! Great instructions and timing!
    I didn’t use bbq sauce before broiling, I used melted butter with sage and Italian ground herbs,
    Thank you from Manitoba, Canada!

  41. I am excited to try this as I have been looking for a recipe that will not dry out the breast meat. Question though how will this be or taste different than say when I boil chicken as I have done in the past for chicken needed in a casserole?

    1. Hi Pinky,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The chicken will be more moist and flavorful (less flavor is extracted to the water due to the lower temperature) when compared to boiled chicken.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  42. I am cooking in my 8 qt Cosari. Have a 6# chicken minimum cooking time is 1 min. I set for 1min and checked at 20 natural release and the pin had already dropped… Is that normal? I would have assumed with that much liquid it would have taken much longer to drop. Should it be left in the liquid even though it is fully released pressure? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Lydia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      20 minutes Natural release sounds about right. I would leave it in the liquid for another 15 minutes or so.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  43. My chicken was 6.6 lbs and I cooked it in my 8 QT. I set it for the 0 min. Knowing the much larger chicken would take longer I left the pot alone to NPR for 45 min. The meat was at 150, so I put the lid on again to poach longer. I was going to check it at 15 min more but got busy and checked on it 30 min later. Perfect 165. I took out the chicken & put it in my toaster oven for a few minutes with a garlic spice blend sprinkled on top. Such a moist & tender bird. This method is awesome and I am going to try it next on a turkey breast. Being patient and allowing time for the bird to poach to temperature is the key. And the flavorful broth left in the pot. YUM!!

  44. Made this yesterday for supper. So good! I have an 8qt pot and used a 4 lb chicken. I didn’t change the amount of water or salt. It took about 25 minutes to come up to pressure and then I did a 22 minutes NPR. Perfectly done! Everyone loved it and I will definitely make again ?

  45. OMG…for such a simple set of ingredients this is nothing short of incredible. My only “problem” was getting the chicken out of the pot. I slipped one side of the tongs into the cavity, pinched down and lifted and tipped the chicken to drain the water from the cavity. Unfortunately, rather that tipping it away from me I tipped it towards me….and the very hot water ran down the tongs into my hand. Some of us have to learn the hard way.

    Amy + Jacky for the win!

    Now I need another Instant Pot so I can have mashed potatoes done at the same time the chicken is ready and then Cheesecake #17 for dessert!

    1. Hi Charity,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      We haven’t tested this with turkey breast. It should work, but the timing may need some adjustment.

      Have a great week
      Jacky

  46. Awesome recipe and I can’t wait to try it! Does pot size change anything? Times are the same regardless of whether you’re using a 6qt or 8qt?

    1. Hi Kimberley,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      You will probably need a little more water with 8 qt, but the cooking time will be the same!

      Have a great weekend!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Angie,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      We haven’t tried a 7lb bird, but you can try 0 minute + 48 minutes Natural Release.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  47. WE made this tonight and it was super moist. However we do not eat the skin…could you remove the skin before the bbq sauce and then put the sauce directly on the chicken meat? And then place in the oven to broil. Just looking to get that bbq sauce flavor in the chicken.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The BBQ sauce can be applied to the chicken meat. The outer skin will dry out a bit.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  48. have you tried this with the chicken spatchcocked? Seems that it would be easier to handle under the broiler. Would it prepping it in this way change the time for pressure cooking?

    1. Hi Linda,

      We haven’t tried it spatchcocked yet as we are in the middle of moving.

      Will try it once things settle down 🙂

      I believe the pressure cooking time will be the same.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  49. Oops I did not see your chicken size and I came home with a 6+ pounder specifically to try this. After 34 mins NPR the internal temp was only 147 so I actually repeated the whole process. Unfortunately the chicken came out in 2 sections but I broiled it anyway and even though it was in 2 parts it was Delish!

    1. Hi Matt,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Both ways will work, but breast dries out easily so we have it breast side down to keep it nice and moist.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      I haven’t tried the Tesseman’s BBQ sauce, but looking at the ingredients, it should be fine!

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  50. I am using a 6.01 lb. chicken. according to the directions given for the weights listed on the recipe, I have calculated that my chicken will take 32 minutes – natural release…I am hoping this is correct…any thoughts? Thank you!! looking forward to this deliciousness!

    1. Hi Martha,

      thank you for your kind words & question 🙂

      We couldn’t find a 6lb to try, but the natural release time should be already there.

      Please let us know how it goes!!

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  51. This is amazing! Thank you! My chicken was tender, juicy, completely and nicely done. After pulling the meat off, I put the carcass in the liquid, pressure cooked, and had a lovely stock. Love your recipes!

  52. Thank you for your website and recipes!
    I am about to try this recipe but realized I may need to change the time because I am at altitude which takes longer…any ideas? Longer natural release or maybe more cooking time instead?

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      I would recommend trying 1 minutes at high pressure and 34 minutes Natural release.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  53. Can you put the chicken in a very hot oven and bake it at the end instead of broiling it? I live in a motorhome which has a convection microwave (no broiler) so I can get it up to 450 degrees and bake it if that would work. Thanks

  54. I tried this today and I can not believe the moist texture of the chicken breast. It is a wonderful method for cooking a whole chicken. Thanks for doing all the experimentation to come up with it. I’d like to figure out a way to season the chicken like a Costco rotisserie chicken.

  55. Can I use this recipe to make the Chinese poached whole chicken (白切雞)? Would I just skip the steps with the oven or do I I have to change the cook time in the instant pot? Thanks!

  56. Good day, I want to try this recipe, but I had a question. My oven has a high broil and a low broil, which setting do you recommend for this recipe? Thanks in advance.

  57. It’s in the pot now! I love bbq chicken and hoping this turns out. I do have a heavier bird (5.3 lbs), so I put it for 1 minute and will do like a 30 minute NPR. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hi Rema,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      One of our readers just tried a 5.x lbs bird. She used 0 minute and 30 minutes and it was fall-apart tender.

      She said next time she will try 0 minute and 26 minutes Natural release.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

    2. It was 153. So I canceled and put it back to 0 mintues and venting. Once I saw steam coming out, I canceled the cooking process. Checked internal temp and it was 165. Perfect! And even though we ate the main dish after our sides and salad, it was the most tender chicken I’ve personally made! Win! Will repeat with a smaller chicken next time!

    1. Hi Jane,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Since the surface area will be larger, the chicken may overcook a bit. I think it will still be quite good.

      Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!

      Happy New Year to you and your family.
      Jacky

  58. This. Was. Delicious. I added 3 tsp. of McCormick Savory Herb Roasting Rub to the water abs salt. The broth was amazing and the chicken was perfect. I had a 5 lb. chicken and NR for 24 minutes, with 6 minutes under the broiler. I’m currently using the broth and bones to make Chicken Bone Broth. I was scared to cook the chicken with zero cook time, but it’s magic. Thanks for the recipe!

  59. My pressure cooker doesn’t go below 1 minute for pressure cooking. How can I adjust the natural release to make up for this? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Lauren,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can just press stop or cancel once the pressure has reached and the timer starts to countdown.

      Have a great weekend
      Jacky

  60. To Tam…Jan 10
    You said your timer only goes to 2 minutes. When the pressure builds and the timer goes off the 2 minute count down will begin. When the timer reaches 1 minute turn the pressure cooker off and wait for the slow release. Hope this helps.

  61. Adding ANNE ANN dumplings or home made dumplings….After removing the chicken what ingredients could I add to the remaining chicken broth to cook dumplings? any suggestions? for how long?

    1. Hi Chuck,
      It’s great to hear from you 🙂

      You can bring the chicken broth back to a full boil on saute more function to cook the dumplings.

      It will take 12 – 14 minutes in full boiling water.

      Happy New Year to you and your family once again!
      Jacky

  62. This looks delicious. Approximately how long does this take to come to pressure? It’s nice to know for meal time planning. Thank you.

    1. I made this last night with a 6.69lb bird. I used my 8qt with 10qt water so that the bird was 90% covered. I did 0 minutes under pressure and 55 min NPR (I walked away and was distracted). It took about 25 minutes to come to pressure. One wing fell off when I removed the bird and internal temperature was 170 degrees. Next time for a bird this size I will NPR around 50 minutes. It was delicious. Thank you Amy + Jacky for sharing this amazing method.

    2. Thank you so much for your kind words Judy 🙂

      This is super helpful. Thank you for sharing your result with the 6+ lb bird!

      Have a great weekend ahead!
      Jacky

  63. I would like to add something. After removing the chicken from the liquid, I would add celery, carrots, onion and seasoning to the liquid in the IP. Pressure cook for a few minutes, cool, and freeze for later use in other recipes. I don’t waste any useable liquid left after cooking something in my IP!

  64. Hi Amy & Jacky ~ I have a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker. How do I convert the Instant Pot settings and time to a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. Dolores

    1. Hi Dolores,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can cook it at High Pressure for 0 minutes as well in the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker!

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

    1. I was thinking I’d save it and then use it as the liquid for bone broth along with the bones after dinner.

  65. I can’t wait to try this method! I haven’t been tempted to try a whole chicken until now. Just one question, when broiling is it back side up, breast side up or did you rotate it? Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      We did rotate it. The breast side (white meat) will dry up if expose to the broiler for too long.

      Have a wonderful week!!
      Jacky

  66. It turned out great Jacky… falling apart a bit (probably because I pressure cooked it for 2 minutes)… perfect for shredded chicken for sandwiches, which is what I wanted it for!

  67. I’m trying this right now, even though I’m skeptical! But every one of your recipes I’ve tried so far is always amazing… I’ll let you know how it goes!

  68. Just made this tonight and it was a success!! Great work! Chicken didn’t over cook and still intact. I usually cook whole chicken on a trivet 4.5-5 minutes per pound on high pressure. The usual 6 minute rule is a bit too overcooked for our taste. NOW, this poach chicken method will be great for juicer result but I would marinate the chicken overnight with salt to ensure the flavor is there.
    Another great recipe!! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Judy,

      thank you for your feedback and kind words 🙂

      Great idea! Brining it in salt water overnight will make the chicken even more moist and juicy as well.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

    1. Hi Jan

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Poaching is usually fully submerged and at a lower temperature.
      Braising is partially submerged and at a higher temperature.

      Have a wonderful weekend
      Jacky

  69. Have you tried adding any flavoring to the water? If I’m going to bbq something, I would rather use my smoker. Would this work with broth and herbs?

  70. Can’t wait to try this chicken. It sounds so good.Do you use your instantpot for slow cooking? I have found it does not get hot enough. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Roberta,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You will want to use the Slow Cook More function to slow cook!

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  71. I tried frozen chicken and it did not work great. inside was still frozen for some reason even though it reached pressure and was in natural release for 25 min. I was surprised though that it reached pressure. I did it again and this time it was little overcooked. So I would recommend sticking with fresh chicken unles Amy and Jackie experiment and figure out best combo for frozen

    1. Hi Saea,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Cut up chicken will not be suitable with this method as this will overcook the pieces.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  72. This looks so good and I am definitely trying it soon. I did try a “rotisserie” chicken in the Instant Pot, following a recipe, and was very disappointed, it was sort of steamed and not very flavorful. I am giving it 5 stars even though I haven’t tried it, because I am that certain it is going to be amazing. As an aside, your IP chili is my favorite way to cook chili now, I just made it again for dinner last night. Love your recipes!

    1. Hi Ika,

      Good to hear from you again 🙂

      We haven’t tried it. Frozen chicken should work as the get up to pressure time will just be longer.

      Please use a meat thermometer to make sure it is okay after the natural release.

      Have an amazing week!
      Jacky

  73. Hi,

    I’m so excited to try this recipe tonight!! So can I use the following cooking time as reference for larger chicken?
    High pressure for 0 min, then natural release :
    4 lbs – 24 minutes
    4.4 lbs – 26 minutes
    4.8 lbs – 28 minutes
    5.2 lbs – 30 minutes
    Thank you so much for all the hard work!

    1. Hi Judy,

      So happy to hear from you again! Thank you for your question 🙂

      That should work fine. The only way to be sure is to use a meat thermometer.

      We are still searching for the largest chicken to try!

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  74. Do I have to adjust the amount of water and salt if I am using an 8 quart Instant Pot?
    In general, do I have to make adjustments to your recipes when I use the 8 quart pot?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sue,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      In general most recipes don’t need any adjustment in the 8 quart.

      For this recipe, I would use a little more water and salt just so the chicken is submerged in the water as much as possible.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  75. Is it ok to add anything else to the poaching liquid, if we want to infuse more flavor? Or can seasonings be rubbed under the skin?

  76. Did you use a 6 quart IP? Do you think it would be possible to put the chicken on the trivet to make it easier to take it out?

    1. Hi Linda,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Yes, we used the 6 quart IP to develop this.

      I would recommend against using the trivet as it will raise the chicken up above the water. The chicken should be submerged in the water as much as possible.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  77. Hi Amy and Jacky

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Just curious, will you be willing to tweet this a little and teach us how to make Hainan whole chicken?

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for your question 🙂
      We have 2 other whole chicken recipes coming up. One of them will be quite similar to Hainanese chicken.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  78. Do you think the Instant Pot part of this method would work for a whole soy sauce chicken? (see yau kai) I tried cooking it using standard methods and it all fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pot.

    BTW I love your recipes!

  79. Sounds like a great way to make Chinese Drunken Chicken. Can you create a recipe for that? Love all the recipes I have tried on your site. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Joanne,

      You don’t have to add the salt if you are on a salt free diet.

      Happy new year to you and your family. We wish you all a super healthy 2018!
      Jacky

  80. Wonderful! Bak chi gai – my favorite! I’ll only have to do the 1st step! Thank you for testing the recipe and perfecting for us!

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