I am often asked how to put pressure on frozen chicken breasts. Chicken breasts are so versatile; they're a great base for a lot of delicious dishes, and when you've got a pressure cooker, frozen chicken is not a problem!
Click here to pinpoint how to cook frozen chicken breasts
I'm sure many of you are like me and when dinner time comes, I find myself wondering what to cook for dinner. That's why I almost always have a large bag of frozen chicken breasts Costco in the freezer.
The cooked chicken from frozen is excellent in recipes that require cooked chicken, add protein to salads or simply freeze in portions ready for use.
In my cookbook, The recipe book of the electric pressure cooker, I give a lot of advice on the pressure of meat to be frozen. I prefer not to cook large pieces of meat, such as roasts, from frozen. The frozen meat does not brown well, does not cook evenly and does not absorb the marinades.
However, this does not mean you have to discard the cooking and order take-out if you forgot to defrost the chicken in advance! The chicken is easy to cook from frozen and you will get great results. Here are my methods for getting tender and moist chicken cooked from frozen chicken breasts.
Defrost the chicken in the pressure cooker
This is my favorite way to quickly take chicken breasts from frozen to ready recipe – I use this method at least once a week!
If your recipe requires diced chicken, thawed, but you have not defrosted the chicken breasts in advance, it's an easy solution! Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker and place a trivet on the bottom. Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary. Lock the lid in place. Select High pressure and 1 minute of cooking.
At the end of the cooking time, switch off the pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. Remove the chicken from the pot, cut it into small pieces and continue with the recipe as indicated.
With this method, the chicken will cook a little outside, but the inside will be defrosted, easy to cut and ready for use in the favorite recipes for the pressure cooker. You can also use this method to defrost chicken breasts and then cover your breasts with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill them on the barbecue.
Use this technique with your favorite diced chicken recipes:
How to pressure Cook frozen chicken breasts
If you're not going to dice the chicken to use in a recipe or finish the chicken on the grill, then you'll have to decide if you want sliceable chicken or soft and browsable chicken. Sliced breasts require a shorter cooking time than shredded breasts.
Determine the cooking time using the thickness or weight
One of the most important parts of frozen cooking is determining the right cooking time. This cooking time varies depending on the size and thickness of the breast, as well as if you plan to cut or cut the finished chicken. When you cook from frozen, do your best to select chicken breasts that are similar in size and thickness.
To determine a cooking time based on the thickness, for the sliceable chicken, I had a good success with 5 or 6 minutes of cooking time per inch in the thickest part of the breast. (Remember, if multiple breasts are frozen together, those breasts will cook like a very thick piece of meat.) Be sure to separate the chicken breasts before trying to cook from the frozen.)
To determine a cooking time based on weight, use a food scale to determine how many ounces each breast is. For the sliceable chicken, I'm a big fan of the Rich Lum method, which recommends adding 1 minute of cooking time for each ounce of chicken. If you're cooking more breasts, use the average weight.
For shredded chicken breasts, a good rule of thumb is to add 3 to 4 minutes to the cooking time above for shredded chicken breasts.
Choose to cook on a trivet or directly in the dish
Some people prefer to cook their chicken on a trivet so that it steams. Others prefer to cook their chicken in a liquid to flavor the chicken while cooking. My preference is to use a trivet or a steam basket when the desired end result is cooked chicken gently. Use which method works best for you!
To cook on a trivet, place 1 cup of water or a cooking liquid on the bottom of the pressure cooker, then place a trivet on the bottom. Carefully lay the chicken breasts on a trivet. If you're cooking more breasts, you can stack them crosswise one over the other or use a second trivet to separate your meat further, again choose the best one for you.
To cook in the pot, put 1 cup of cooking liquid (water, broth, juice) on the bottom of the pressure cooker. Put the chicken breasts in the pot directly into the liquid, overlapping as little as possible.
Choose your version
While many people recommend the use of a natural pressure release for meat, with the chicken I prefer to let the pressure free itself naturally for only 5 minutes, then finish with a quick release of the pressure. The chicken bakes so fast that I have found it can easily become overcooked with a longer pressure release. However, I believe there is no right or wrong way to pressure. If you prefer a natural release of pressure with your chicken, that's fine, just reduce the cooking time at high pressure for a few minutes until you find the right spot.
Check the temperature
I highly recommend that you take the habit of checking the temperature of cooked food. This is especially important when cooking from frozen, since frozen meat has a tendency not to cook evenly. Frozen chicken breasts should reach an internal temperature of 165 ° F in the thicker part of the meat. If the meat has not reached the desired temperature, lock the lid and cook at high pressure for a few more minutes.
Instant pot / pressure cooker Frozen chicken breasts
- 4 frozen chicken breasts (7 ounces each, about 1½ inches thick), separated
- 1 cup of chicken stock, water or fruit juice
- Optional condiments (eg Salt, pepper, chilli, garlic powder, onion powder)
Carefully place the frozen chicken breasts on the bottom of the pressure cooker, overlapping them as little as possible. Add 1 cup of desired cooking liquid to the pressure cooker and all desired sauces. Lock the lid in place. Select High pressure and 7 minutes of cooking. (Add 2 or 3 minutes if you want browsable chicken.)
When the cooking time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick release of the pressure. Use an immediate reading thermometer to check that each chicken breast is at least 165 ° F in the thickest part of the breast. Remove cooked chicken breasts through a plate; if some chicken breast has not reached that point, replace the lid and cook at high pressure for another minute or two, then finish with a quick pressure release.
Use this technique with your favorite recipes that require cooked chicken:
Recipes from the cookbook of the electric pressure cooker that requires cooked or frozen chicken:
- Chicken soup with noodles, page 132
- Asian chicken noodle soup, page 113
If you're in a hurry to have dinner on the table, here are some fantastic recipes that require frozen chicken breasts:
Have you tried to prepare the frozen chicken in the pressure cooker? What works best for you? Do you have any advice you would like to share? Let me know!