Braised Ginger Chicken

serves 4

Active time: 20 minutes – Start to finish: 1hr 10min

This recipe is from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Fast and Slow. I was looking for a lighter dish to make, so leafing through the chicken section. What caught my attention, beside the fact that it has ginger in it and I LOVE ginger, was that the braise in this recipe was inspired by a recipe from The Slanted Door – an AMAZING restaurant in San Francisco.

note: don’t forget to remove the skin from the chicken thighs. If you leave it on, the cooking liquid will be too greasy. I forgot initially, but then canceled the cooking, removed the skin and then restarted the Instant Pot. Why they don’t say to buy the thighs without skin is beyond me. I googled and didn’t find anything other than it’s cheaper.


  • 1 TBL grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 5 medium garlic closes, finely chopped
  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ cup sake
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed and discarded, trimmed
  • 1 TBL cornstarch
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts reserved separately
  • 1 fresno or serrano chili, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • serve with jasmine rice, along with coarsely cracked white or black pepper. I also threw together some baby bok choy sautéed with ginger in roasted peanut sauce as a veggie side.


    • On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté
    • Add the oil and heat until shimmering
    • Add the garlic and ginger, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds
    • Add the fish sauce and sake, then bring to a gentle simmer
    • Nestle the chicken in an even layer slightly overlapping the pieces, if needed.
  • Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move and move the pressure valve to Sealing (mine does this automatically)
  • Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to HIGH.
  • Set the cooking time for 10 minutes not a typo!
  • When pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to reduce naturally, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting (mine has a release valve)
  • Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot
    • Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving dish and tent with foil
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup of the cooking liquid until combined
    • Stir the mixture into the pot along with the scallion whites and half of the scallion greends
    • Select Normal/Medium Sauté
    • Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 1 minute
    • Stir in the chilies and vinegar
    • Press Cancel to turn off the pot
    • Using potholders, carefully remove the insert from the housing and pour the sauce over the chicken
    • Sprinkle with the remaining scallion greens
Recommended products
Here’s a link for ordering Milk Street Fast and Slow on Amazon. I gave the book a complete read through the day it arrived. Christopher does a fantastic job at explaining all the tricks to using an Instant Pot that I have yet to read anywhere else.
I purchased the Instant Pot Duo Plus from Amazon in early December 2020. With all the cooking I’m doing now, I was looking for ways to create yummy meals that didn’t require as much supervision so that I could chill more in the evenings.
I had trouble finding fish sauce at the local grocery stores in Washington DC, where I was when I first made this recipe; though I did find it at Whole Foods. Here a link for Red Boat Fish Sauce on Amazon.
I use roasted peanut oil for the bok choy. The brand of roasted peanut oil that I had been using forever, stopped production during COVID. I discovered this brand on Amazon; it has a five star rating from over 900 consumers.
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