Instant Chicken Stew

This quick and easy pressure cooker chicken stew only takes minutes to make (a few minutes more on the stovetop), but will keep you full and satisfied for hours.

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Chicken stew in a pressure cooker with a ladle sticking out of it.

Easy Chicken Stew

When you take your first spoonful of this instant chicken stew, it’s hard to imagine that it only cooks under pressure for 8 minutes. Telling my guests that as they enjoy this great warm-up meal is one of my secret pleasures. No-one can believe it! This stew tastes like it’s been simmering for hours on the stovetop, but the pressure cooker is the secret. Pressure cooking really infuses food with flavor and makes foods so tender that the chicken will practically shred itself when the time comes. You’ll see.

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Ingredients on a counter - raw chicken, frozen peas, lemon, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, white wine, stock, and some herbs and spices.

Easy to Find Ingredients

This instant chicken stew is also a basic chicken stew. There are no unusual or hard to find ingredients included. It is what it is! You’ll need your basic vegetables – onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and peas – some chicken, a few spices, wine and good chicken stock. I say good chicken stock and I mean it! The chicken stock is going to carry a lot of the flavor for this stew, so either use your own homemade broth or buy a good brand of stock. 

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Vegetables cooking in a pressure cooker with a plate of browned chicken next to it.

Vegetables for Chicken Stew

If you want to add other vegetables to this stew, aside from the basic vegetables I mentioned above, please do! You might like to replace the onion with leek or swap out some or all of the potatoes for parsnips or turnips. You could also decide to add cabbage or Brussels sprouts if you like them. A stew is a blank palette – you can add whatever vegetables you like.

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A white plate with cooked chicken being shredded by two forks.

To Shred or To Chop?

As I mentioned above, once the chicken comes out of the cooker, you’ll be amazed at how tender it is. The dark meat especially will just about shred itself when you shoot it a stern glance. I think shredding the chicken adds to the rustic character of the stew, but if you’d prefer to cut the chicken into cubes, please do. Just remember that people don’t tend to eat stews with knives, so make the chicken pieces small enough to fit on a spoon to be eaten politely.

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A small glass bowl of butter and flour next to another photo of the same butter and flour mixed together.

How to Thicken Stew

In a pressure cooker, you always thicken a stew after the fact. While the chicken is cooking, you need liquid to boil to create the steam that is needed to build pressure inside the pot. So, to thicken the stew after it has finished cooking, we use something called a beurre manié. Though it has a fancy French name, it’s really just room temperature butter and flour mixed together to form a paste. This gets whisked into the sauce at the end and when the stew boils again, the flour will thicken the liquid. Because there are pieces of vegetables in the stew, it’s easiest to ladle a little liquid into your bowl with the beurre manié first to loosen it and then add it to your stew. That helps eliminate any lumps of beurre manié.

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A ladle serving Instant Chicken Stew into a brown bowl.

What to Serve with Chicken Stew

A stew like this is truly a one pot meal. It’s loaded with vegetables and has a good dose of protein, so it really doesn’t need anything else. I do like to serve it with some crusty baguette to sop up the sauce at the end and a green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette is a perfect side, but all you really need is a spoon.

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Instant chicken stew in a brown ceramic bowl with a green napkin and spoon next to it and some sliced baguette near by.

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Instant Chicken Stew

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 8 m
  • Pressure Release Time: 10 m
  • Total Time: 33 m
  • Servings:
    4
    to 6 people

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces 2 breasts and 4 to 6 thighs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion chopped into large chunks
  • 4 ribs celery chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled, cut in 1½-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 cup white wine
  • cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 to 3) cubed 1-inch
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) using the BROWN or SAUTÉ setting. Add a little olive oil to the cooker.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper, brown it on all sides and then set it aside.
  3. Add the butter to the cooker and sauté the onions, celery, carrots and dried herbs for a few minutes. Deglaze the cooker with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the cooker. Stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice, potatoes, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Return the chicken to the pot, submerging it the liquid and vegetables. Lock the lid in place.
  4. Pressure-cook on HIGH for 8 minutes.
  5. While the stew is cooking combine the softened butter and flour in a bowl to form a paste (called a beurre manié).
  6. When the time is up, let the pressure drop naturally for 10 minutes. Then, release the residual pressure from the cooker using the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces or shred the chicken with two forks.
  7. Return the cooker to the BROWN or SAUTÉ setting. Using a ladle, remove some of the liquid from the stew and whisk it into the beurre manié. Then, pour the beurre manié liquid back into the cooker and bring it all to a simmer. This will thicken the stew.
  8. Add the peas and return the shredded or chopped chicken to the cooker and stir well. Stir in the fresh parsley, spoon into bowls and serve with crusty warm bread.

Stovetop Chicken Stew

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 35 m
  • Total Time: 50 m
  • Servings:
    4
    to 6 people

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces 2 breasts and 4 to 6 thighs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion chopped into large chunks
  • 4 ribs celery chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled, cut in 1½-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 to 3) cubed 1-inch
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a cast iron Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper, brown them on all sides and then set the chicken aside.

  2. Add the butter to the pot and sauté the onions, celery, carrots and dried herbs for a few minutes. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom. Stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice, potatoes, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Return the chicken to the pot, submerging it the liquid and vegetables. Bring the mixture to a simmer, partially cover with the lid askew and simmer gently for 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. While the stew is cooking combine the softened butter and flour in a bowl to form a paste (called a beurre manié).
  4. After 25 to 30 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces or shred the chicken with two forks.

  5. Using a ladle, remove some of the liquid from the stew and whisk it into the beurre manié. Then, pour the beurre manié liquid back into the pot and return the liquid to a simmer until the stew thickens slightly.

  6. Add the peas and return the shredded or chopped chicken to the pot and stir well. Stir in the fresh parsley, spoon into bowls and serve with crusty warm bread.

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Comments (19)Post a Reply

  1. Question — could this be made in a slow cooker and if so, how many hours would it need to cook? I assume you would still thicken it at the end you would just need to turn the slow cooker to high?

    1. Hi Colleen. You can use the same method in the recipe but instead of pressure cooking, slow cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. During the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, remove the chicken and shred or cut into bite sized pieces and return to the slow cooker for the remaining cooking time. If you slow cooker has a browning function, you can thicken the gravy as directed in the recipe. If not you will have to transfer the gravy to a saucepan and thicken on the stovetop.

    1. Thanks Gerry! You can use corn starch instead of flour but corn starch must be dissolved in cold liquid first. If you want to use corn starch mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold stock or water. Add to the stew and bring to a boil to thicken.

    1. Hi Ann. You can use the same method in the recipe but instead of pressure cooking, slow cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. During the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, remove the chicken and shred or cut into bite sized pieces and return to the slow cooker for the remaining cooking time. If you slow cooker has a browning function, you can thicken the gravy as directed in the recipe. If not you will have to transfer the gravy to a saucepan and thicken on the stovetop.
      ML

  2. 5 stars
    yummy. I was pleasantly surprised how good this was, I’m new to using the instant pot so was a little unsure of myself – Your instructions were excellent and it really turned out well. The “beurre manie” was perfect to thicken the gravy. I confess to using rotisserie chicken – this was the only thing I cheated on.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this last night and everyone loved it. I combined chicken thighs with chicken breasts and it was delicious! And so easy!

    1. Hi Carol. You could use gluten-free flour or use cornstarch mixed with water instead of butter and flour at the end to thicken the stew.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this today. So easy and quick. I used chicken tenders, because that’s what I had. I didn’t have potatoes, so when it was done I stirred in a can of whole small potatoes. Next time I’ll try topping with dumplings. Just delicious. I make a lot of your recipes and refer to your page for ideas. Everything is always so good! I have a few of your books and enjoy you on Facebook. Miss you on QVC.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this recipe just now and it’s delicious! I downsized the recipe about 1/3 and added fresh raw turnip cubes ( that I needed to use) Oh, and for the the flour, I used Wondra (which I usually do for thickening lump free) . I too love all your recipes & follow you on IG. Thank you and wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Delicious! Another fabulous recipe – thank you!
    I didn’t have any crusty bread on hand so I made your fluffy dinner rolls to accompany the stew. Also, wonderful!

  7. 5 stars
    I made the instant chicken stew this evening. It was delicious! Have plenty left over for dinner tomorrow night. Can’t wait! Thanks Meredith!

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