Teriyaki chicken always makes me nostalgic for my time growing up in the Seattle suburbs. We could grab a quick, satisfying, and very delicious meal of chicken teriyaki, steamed vegetables, and rice for just a few bucks. I don’t make chicken teriyaki often enough for my own family, blaming the time it takes to really do each of the components well.
Recently, I figured out a way to make everything — the chicken, the rice, and the vegetables — in less than 30 minutes, thanks to the Instant Pot. This pot-in-pot recipe is everything I crave from my childhood: fragrant chicken with lots of gingery bits, tender-crisp vegetables, and delicate rice, all pulled together with a sweet and earthy teriyaki sauce.
What Is Pot-in-Pot Instant Pot Teriyaki?
Pot-in-pot pressure cooking is a method that takes advantage of every inch of your Instant Pot by stacking a pot or pan (sometimes two!) on top of other foods inside the insert. This technique allows you to cook multiple components of a meal at the same time. Here, you’ll place a trivet over the chicken, then place a pan of white rice overtop. The vegetables are added to the hot teriyaki sauce at the end while the chicken and rice rest to prevent overcooking.
You’ll need a few extra pieces of equipment to pull this off, namely a pressure-cooking safe “trivet” and baking pan. I use this bakeware sling as my trivet and set it directly on the cooking chicken, but the metal trivet that comes with your Instant Pot works well. A 6-inch round cake pan is ideal for cooking the rice in most 8-quart models, but you can also buy stackable steamer baskets designed specifically for Instant Pot pot-in-pot cooking, too.
Love this technique? Try our pot-in-pot Instant Pot meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
- 2 cups
long-grain white rice
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 2 cloves
- 1 tablespoon
peeled, grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup
low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 cup
packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup
- 2 pounds
boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
- 8 ounces
sugar snap peas
- 2 tablespoons
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)
Place 2 cups long-grain white rice in a fine-mesh strainer and run under cold water, stirring occasionally, until the water runs clear, about 2 minutes. Place the rinsed rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups water in a 2-quart ovensafe bowl, 6-inch (2-inch deep) round cake pan, or steamer pot or pan that will fit inside your Instant Pot; set aside.
Grate 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon peeled ginger, and place in the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, and 1/4 cup rice vinegar, and whisk to combine. Add 2 pounds chicken thighs and spoon a bit of sauce over each thigh to coat.
Set a trivet over the chicken. Place the pan of rice, which will cook uncovered, onto the trivet. Lock the lid in place and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, remove any tough strings from 8 ounces sugar snap peas and peel and thinly slice 2 large carrots into rounds.
After the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Open the pressure cooker and carefully remove the pan of rice. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board.
Stir the snap peas and carrots into the sauce in the Instant Pot, turn it onto the Sauté function, and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl.
Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce is thickened and the vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Serve over the rice with the vegetables and sauce.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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