Chicken En Cocotte with White Wine, Grainy Mustard and Tarragon

serves 4

Active time: 35 minutes – Start to finish: 1hr 15min

This Instant Pot recipe for Chicken En Cocotte is from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Fast and Slow. The callout for white wine, mustard and tarragon in the name is what grabbed me. I love this combination and frequently make Ina Garten’s Mustard-Marinated Flank Steak which also pulls together white wine, garlic, dijon mustard and tarragon. The combo is a real comfort flavor and classically French.

As with the Instant Pot recipe for Chicken En Cocotte with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Olives and Oregano, I recommend serving this with warm crusty bread to soak up the sauce.


  • -pound whole chicken, patted dry, wings tucked
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 TBL salted butter, cut into 1-TBL pieces, divided 1 TBL used for sautéing, the other 3 TBL at the end for finishing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 thyme springs or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 TBL lemon juice
  • 3 TBL whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh tarragon

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. Roasted or herbed potatoes and roasted asparagus would make for excellent sides.


    • 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 1 TBL butter and let melt
    • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes
    • Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds
    • Stir in the wine and thyme and 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
    • If you used thyme sprigs, remove and discard them
    • 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 and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 cup with solids, about 5 minutes
    • Press Cancel to turn off the pot
    • Using potholders, carefully remove the insert from the housing
    • Whisk in the remaining 4 TBL of butter, the lemon juice and mustard, then taste and season with salt and pepper
    • 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
    • Transfer the sauce to a bowl, stir in the tarragon and serve with the chicken I poured the sauce over the chicken mostly to get the chicken warmed up again, but a nicer presentation would be to have the chicken laid out on a platter and on the platter have the bowl with the sauce so that folks can add their own
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 am really loving my Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo meat thermometer. Before purchasing, I did a fair amount of research and based my decision off of this NYT article that compare a few of them.

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