Chicken En Cocotte with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Olives and Oregano

serves 4

Active time: 40 minutes – Start to finish: 1hr 15min

This Instant Pot recipe for Chicken En Cocotte is from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Fast and Slow. As this was the first time I have cooked a whole chicken in the Instant Pot so I was very curious how it would turn out. Overall the chicken was incredibly moist, which makes sense if you think about it. It was pressure cooked on a steam rack inside the Instant Pot with all the liquid and veggies below the rack. The steam inside that was created from the spices, veggies and fresh orange juice permeated the chicken. The sauce was tantalizing; the mix of orange, oregano and smoked paprika was quite delicious. This recipe is definitely a keeper!


  • -pound whole chicken, patted dry, wings tucked
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest, plus 1 cup orange juice the juice from 1 orange did not give me a cup, so either buy a few oranges or some freshly squeezed OJ
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano

note: Do not use a chicken larger than 3½ pounds or it will be too large to allow heat to circulate and will cook unevenly. You really do need to have a meat thermometer for checking the chicken doneness. Also they suggest that you serve with warm crusty bread, which I did not but totally agree since the sauce is delicious and you need something to soak it up with.


    • Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper
    • Place the chicken breast side up on the steam rack with handles; set aside
    • On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté
    • Add the oil and heat until shimmering
    • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes
    • Add the paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds
    • Stir in the tomatoes, olives, orange juice and dried oregano, then bring to a simmer
    • Press Cancel, then lower the rack with the chicken into the pot
  • Lock the lid in place 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 16 minutes
  • When pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 20 minutes, then release the remaining steam by move the pressure valve to Venting (mine has auto-release)
  • Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot
  • The center of the thickest part of the breast should register about 160°F and the thickest part of the thighs about 175°F the chicken I used was 3.59lbs and was done perfectly at this point
  • If they do not, no biggie, you just need to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes….
    • lock the lid back in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing.
    • Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to HIGH
    • Set the cooking time for 3 to 4 minutes
    • When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting (mine has auto-release)
    • Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot
    • Recheck the internal temperature; if the chicken is still not done, repeat the process to pressure cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Using a kitchen towel or two pairs of tongs, carefully grab the handles of the rack, lift out the chicken and set the rack on a cutting board
  • Let rest while you make the sauce
    • Using a large spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid
    • Select More/High Sauté and bring to a simmer
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst, about 5 minutes
    • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 TBL water, then stir into the tomato-olive mixture
    • Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute
    • Press Cancel to turn off the pot
    • Using potholders, carefully remove the insert from the housing
    • Stir in the orange zest and the fresh oregano
    • Taste and season with salt and pepper I didn’t think it needed it, so let folks season themselves
    • Transfer the chicken from the rack directly to the cutting board
    • Remove the legs from the chicken by cutting through the hip joints
    • Remove and discard the skin from the legs, then separate the thighs from the drumsticks
    • Remove the breast meat from the bone, remove and discard the skin, then cut each crosswise into thin slices
    • Arrange the chicken on a platter
    • Pour the sauce over the chicken
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.
Coincidentally, my Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo meat thermometer arrived from Amazon literally the day before I tried this recipe. I spent a few hours weeks ago researching which one to get and based my decision off a NYT article that compare a few of them.

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