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An Instant Pot transforms this Tandoori Chicken into a fall-off-the-bone delicious delight!

Fabulous Tandoori Chicken in an Instant Pot

New Year’s Cooking Resolution: Try Something New.
An Instant Pot transforms this Tandoori Chicken into a fall-off-the-bone delicious delight!
Recipe given for oven method too.

Eight pieces of Tandoori Chicken cooked in an Instant Pot
Tandoori Chicken

An Instant Pot transforms this Tandoori Chicken into a fall-off-the-bone delicious delight!


4 large whole chicken legs, will cut into 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs (3 pounds total)

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled, grated fine

2 teaspoons fresh garlic, peeled, grated fine

2 teaspoons Kashmiri Chili Powder*(see note)

1 teaspoon tumeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons greek yogurt

1 tablespoon tomato paste, can substitute chipotle in adobo puree

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 recipe Quick Pesto”Chutney”



Please use the freshest chicken – I bought mine in Chinatown, NYC.


Place all chicken legs in the sink, pull off the skin, starting at the thigh and pulling off towards the drumstick.
Rinse and dry. Place on a cutting board, cut each in half separating the thigh from the drum. You will have 8 large pieces total.
Make 3 slits in each piece with a sharp knife, about 1/2 inch deep.


Make marinade:
In a bowl add the first 10 ingredients (ginger through sea salt.) Whisk well. Add chicken pieces, stir to coat well.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.


Instant Pot Cooking:
Add 1 cup of filtered water to the pot. Add the trivet to the pot, brush with oil.
Using tongs, add the chicken pieces with the marinade which clings to each piece.


Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing.
Close the Pot with the pressure valve to seal.
Turn the Instant Pot on by pressing “Pressure Cook” (Manual-Hi) and set timer to 20 minutes.
The pot will take 10 – 15 minutes to heat up… then it will start to count down and will read 20 minutes,
then count down until it’s done.


Now the choice is to let off the steam with “Quick Release or “Natural Release.”
I’ve used the natural release method (see below for instructions.) This lets the chicken cool down in its own juices.
When the cook time time is up, allow the unit to reduce pressure on its own without opening the steam release vent (Natural Release) for at least 12 minutes.


Let cool slightly, remove chicken from the juice – save 1/2 cup of the juice (broth.)
Serve the chicken with plenty of lemon slices and wedges and add some chopped parsley or cilantro.
Serve with my: Quick Pesto “Chutney.”


Place the cooked chicken on a tin foil wrapped baking pan. Drizzle with reserved juice/broth from the pot.
Preheat broiler – broil 4 inches from your heat source until slightly blackened on the top.
Do not broil for too long – you do not want the tender, fall off-the-bone chicken to dry out.


Removing the Chicken:

Natural Release:
This method usually takes and extra 12 -20 minutes (depending on the amount of food in the pressure cooker.)
When the cycle finished, wait 12  minutes before moving the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.
Always make sure the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.
Natural Release significantly reduces the chance of food splattering out from the Pressure Release Valve.
Because of this slow drop in pressure and heat, when using natural release, food continues cooking even though active cooking is complete.


Quick Release:
This method will allow you to remove from the chicken from the Instant Pot quickly.
After the cooking cycle finished, carefully move the venting knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker.
Usually takes a few minutes to release all the pressure. Wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.
Careful – a loud burst of steam is released from the valve. The steam shooting out maybe intimidating at first. Using a wooden spoon or wear oven mitt/silicone glove to move the Venting Knob may help. You will get used to it.
Quick Pressure Release is great for quickly stopping the cooking process to prevent overcooking.


Oven Method:
Marinate as above. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Oil mesh baking rack and set on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch the juices.)
Place the chicken with marinade clinging to it on the rack.
Brush with the 2 T. olive oil (can use melted butter or ghee too.)
Roast for 25- 30 minutes until cooked through and the juices run clear.
During roasting, take out halfway through and baste with the juices on the bottom of the pan.


*With a vibrant red hue and very eatable mild heat, the Kashmiri chili is a staple chili for Indian cooking.
the color of Kashmiri just pops off the plate – bringing to life curries, tandoori chicken.
This is considered a mild chili.
Can substitute about 3 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne – or another mild chile powder.
Find online or Indian grocery shops.


Slow cookers typically run over a longer duration of time at lower temperatures, while instant pots are sealed devices and typically cook at higher temperatures.

In case you are in the dark on this, it’s an electric pressure cooker with a stainless steel pot.See BLOG for much more information!

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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