How to Cook Bone-In Chicken Breast in the Electric Pressure Cooker

One of the biggest benefits to serving bone-in chicken breast is the flavor. Thicker cuts of poultry are often more juicy and tender than other options, an undeniable benefit at the dinner table.

Vertical image of cooked and spiced poultry pieces on top of pasta in front of an appliance, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

But there are downsides as well.

The time that is required to make them? Well, it can feel like forever…

And that’s where the electric pressure cooker comes in. But first, come back in time with me for a second.

When I was in college, I worked at a local restaurant as a hostess. It was at this restaurant that I first discovered just how tasty bone-in poultry breast can be.

As the child of a single mother, boneless chicken breast was the way of my world. It was an easy option that my mom could finish quickly, and she had a few tricks up her sleeve for keeping it moist.

However, no matter how much moisture you manage to retain in that oh-so-convenient cut of meat, it just doesn’t compare to what you can get with bone-in poultry.

I sat down with one of the other hostesses after our shift was over one evening, to have a meal at the restaurant. She told me I had to order the chicken because it was amazing, and I obliged.

Vertical image of two pieces of cooked and spiced poultry on top of spaghetti in a cream sauce.

All I can say is that it did not disappoint at all. The poultry was juicy and bursting with flavor in a way that I truly hadn’t experienced before.

Ever since then, it’s been my goal to make chicken that good every time I get a chance at home.

Bone-in is the way to go. There’s a big difference between these results and what you’ll usually get with the skinless breast options.

If you haven’t ever cooked it before, well, I’m glad you’re here! Hopefully I’ve convinced you that it’s time to give it a try.

Trust me when I say experimenting with the whole breast option is going to change your life. Especially when you make it in the Instant Pot, because that baby cuts the preparation time down so much, it’s a downright miracle.

Ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at what’s ahead in this article:

Do I Have to Use Chicken Broth?

Broth is my favorite liquid to use when making poultry this way, primarily because you can reduce the liquid in the pressure cooker insert when you’re done, to make a pan sauce.

Vertical image of of pieces of cooked and seasoned poultry on a plate of spaghetti in front of a large kitchen appliance.

Is this your only option? Nope!

If you don’t have broth or stock handy, you can use water, beer, or even white wine for this recipe.

How Do I Get Crispy Skin with the Electric Pressure Cooker?

When you use your Instant Pot or another type of similar appliance, as I am sure many of you already know, you won’t get a finished product that has a crispy texture on the outside.

The way that this appliance works, it makes for extremely juicy meat, but it doesn’t really offer a way to create what you seek in terms of that perfectly crispy skin.

Vertical image of a plate with a cooked and seasoned piece of meat next to spaghetti on a colored napkin next to silverware.

Therefore, if this is what you’re aiming for, you will need to enlist the help of your broiler.

I like to preheat mine in the last few minutes of pressure cooking, when I am letting the pressure naturally release from the appliance and the cooking process is nearly finished. Then you can sizzle up the skin in the oven, to get that perfectly browned look.

What Are My Flavoring Options?

The seasonings that you can see in the photos that I used in this recipe are super straightforward, and it’s easy to make this blend at home with only four ingredients. Or, if you want to spice things up (literally, haha!) you can create a blend of your favorite spices.

Vertical image of a fork removing a piece of meat from a bigger piece of cooked and seasoned meat on a plate with spaghetti.

Whether you want to add heat with a few shakes of cayenne pepper, or you want to try out a favorite seasoning mix of your choosing (I love using garam masala when I want a little Indian flair, for example), you can be creative with this preparation. The poultry is essentially a blank slate, and this recipe is very flexible.

If you are using a seasoning mix in place of the spices you see listed in the ingredients list below, be sure to use no more than about 1 3/4 teaspoons total.

How to Cook Bone-In Chicken Breast in the Electric Pressure Cooker

This simple method is easy to do at home, and it’s much faster than most recipes you’ll find that are baked or roasted in the oven.

Without any basting required, and no need to check for doneness throughout the process, you’re free to do something else while the poultry is happily cooking away in your appliance – and dinner will be on the table before you know it!

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients and Apply Spice Rub

Horizontal image of two raw poultry pieces seasoned with salt, pepper, and spices on a plate.

First, measure out the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon fresh leaves)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or other liquid)
  • 2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (fresh or frozen, about 2 pounds)

In a small bowl, stir together the pepper, salt, garlic powder, and dried oregano, or your choice of herbs and spices.

Rub the seasoning mixture evenly all over the meat.

Step 2 – Cook

Horizontal image of two large pieces of raw and seasoned poultry on a rack in an appliance.

Pour the liquid in the bottom of your appliance. Place a trivet in the bottom of the insert and top with the poultry breasts, arranged skin side up.

Close the lid and set to Manual. Cook on high for 10 minutes for fresh, or 25 minutes for frozen poultry.

Horizontal image of two pieces of cooked poultry with seasonings on a rack in an appliance.

Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining steam.

Step 3 – Crisp and Brown in the Oven

Horizontal image of two pieces of meat with browned skin on a foil-lined pan.

This step is optional. If you want browned, crispy skin, turn your broiler on high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the finished poultry on the baking sheet, skin side up. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is crispy.

Horizontal image of a plate with a piece of cooked and seasoned meat with a fork holding up on small piece next to spaghetti on a colored towel.

Be sure to keep an eye on things while they are browning, so the skin doesn’t burn.

Is Bone-In, Skin-On the Same Thing as a Split Breast?

The short answer is: yes.

Generally, when people say “split breast” they mean bone-in, skin-on breast. At your local butcher or grocery store, you will most likely see them labeled as split breasts, or perhaps chicken breast with rib meat.

Horizontal image of two cooked piece of poultry with seasonings on top of spaghetti on a black plate in front of an appliance.

To make sure you are selecting the correct type for this recipe, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. The skin will be intact on the meat, and each breast piece will look heart-shaped.

For more ways to cook poultry in the electric pressure cooker, we have more how-to guides from Foodal to read next:

What’s your favorite side dish to serve with this type of meaty main? Tell us in the comments below, and once you try this recipe for yourself, be sure to come back to rate it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

1 thought on “How to Cook Bone-In Chicken Breast in the Electric Pressure Cooker”

  1. The recipe made from farm chicken is very good. We made it at home and found it in the best recipe. The recipe maker explained it very well. We like it very much. Thanks Meghan Yager


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