This delicious Instant Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice is full of authentic Jamaican flavor. It's an easy full meal made in one pot- a whole lotta spicy, a little sweet and fantastically scrumptious!
Instant Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice will make you feel like you're vacationing in the Caribbean. It's full of authentic Jamaican flavor, thanks to scotch bonnet powder and a fantastic jerk chicken marinade.
Chicken drumsticks are marinated in Jamaican jerk sauce, then pressure cooked with Caribbean seasoned rice until they are fall apart tender. Toss the entire meal with fresh diced mango and you've got a spicy, sweet and mouth watering dinner!
Instant Pot jerk chicken and rice is ready to serve in about 45 minutes. It requires making the delicious marinade, then using the saute mode to prepare the chicken and rice for cooking, then pressure cooking everything together for a few minutes.
The ingredient list might look long, but don't let that deter to! Most are easy ingredients to find and are pantry staples.
This recipe will work in 6 quart, 8 quart, and 10 quart Instant Pots. I mostly use my 8 quart Duo Crisp pressure cooker. Just make sure to have a silicone sling, trivet, and round pan that fit your pot. For 3 quart pressure cookers, you'll need to reduce the recipe by half or more.
For the marinade you need:
- Scotch bonnet powder: if you can't find it in store, Amazon sells it.
- Dried thyme
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Black pepper
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Garlic cloves
For the rest of the recipe you need:
- Bone-in chicken: small cuts such as drumsticks, thighs or legs.
- White rice: do no substitute with brown rice as the cook time is different.
- Sweet or white onion
- Chicken broth
- Coconut oil
- Jerk seasoning: most stores sell this, but if not this brand on Amazon is great.
- Scotch bonnet powder
- Bay leaf
- Mango: or pineapple
- Add a can of kidney beans or black beans to the rice after cooking. They will only need to be warmed through, not pressure cooked.
- Add vegetables to the rice. Canned peas, carrots, and cut green beans are good options.
- Saute a diced red bell pepper with onions and garlic.
- Use chicken legs or thighs rather than drumsticks. You may need to extend the searing time, until the chicken has an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the rice with pineapple instead of mango.
Step 1: Make the marinade. Blend the marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. It will be a dark brown, thick paste when done. Place the chicken drumsticks in a large pan and baste with the jerk paste, covering thoroughly. Reserve a little marinade for step 4, and if possible, let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or overnight.
Step 2: Sear the chicken. Set the Instant Pot to saute on normal or high, depending on your model. Add the olive oil and chicken. Brown on both sides for 5 minutes each. Check the internal temperature to ensure it is at least 135 degrees F. Remove chicken and set aside while preparing the rice.
Step 3: Prepare the rice. Add the coconut oil to the inner pot and scrape any bits of stuck chicken off the bottom, but don't discard. These add lots of flavor to the rice! Next add the onions, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring often. Put the white rice in a pan that fits your Instant Pot. Add chicken broth to the rice pan, pour the onion and garlic mixture on top, and add the paprika, jerk seasoning, and scotch bonnet powder. Discard the bay leaf.
Before pressure cooking, clean out the inner pot with soap and water. This is important to ensure you don't get the burn notice. Because the jerk marinade contains sugar, it should not be left on the bottom of the pot while pressure cooking.
Step 4: Pressure cook. Pour 1-2 cups of water into the cleaned inner pot, depending on the size of your Instant Pot. Place a silicone sling on the bottom with the pan of rice on top of it. Put a trivet or egg rack on top of the pan and place the seared chicken on top of it. Baste with the remaining marinade. Close and seal the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Let complete a 15 minute natural release, then quickly release remaining pressure.
Step 5: Serve. Open the lid and carefully lift out the silicone sling wearing oven mitts. If it's too heavy, remove the chicken with tongs first, then lift the pan of rice out with the silicone sling. Mix the rice well. Serve chicken over the rice and mango, off the bone or shredded. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
*While the chicken should be cooked through, always check that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F. If it's not, put in the broiler or air fryer in 5 minute increments until cooked.
Garnish Instant Pot jerk chicken and rice with fresh mango, green onions, fresh cilantro, or red pepper flakes. If you want an extra kick, chop up a few habañero or scotch bonnet peppers and add them to the rice before it cooks or as a garnish when serving.
- Clean the inner pot with soap and water after cooking the onions and garlic. The chicken marinade has brown sugar in it, so if left on the bottom of the pot it will burn while pressurizing.
- Do not attempt to pressure cook the chicken directly in the inner pot or on a trivet at the bottom. The brown sugar in the marinade will fall to the bottom and cause a burn notice. The pan of rice should always be placed on a trivet at the bottom, with the chicken on top of the rice so the marinade falls into the rice, not the inner pot.
- A silicone sling placed at the bottom of the inner pot with the food on top of it makes removal so easy! Use it for this recipe and if you don't have one, make sure to get one for next time.
- If time allows or you've planned ahead, let the chicken marinate in the jerk sauce for at least 1 hour. It can be marinated the night before as well, or up to 24 hours. This will give the chicken the best flavor, but it's not a must.
- Scotch bonnet powder gives jerk seasoning it's authentic flavor. This is a pretty hot seasoning, especially if you're not used to it. As written, this recipe yields a medium-hot dinner on the heat scale. If you love a hot and spicy meal, increase the amount used. To make it mild, decrease the amount used by ⅛ teaspoon.
- Use good quality and unexpired jerk seasoning and scotch bonnet powder for exceptional flavor.
Jerk seasoning for chicken is a wet rub, also called a paste. A wet rub lies in the middle of a dry seasoning and a wet marinade, creating flavor with a little moisture and liquid. It's rubbed on the entire chicken before cooking to create a layer of flavor. Traditionally, jerk chicken is made with bone-in chicken, such as drumsticks, legs, and thighs. Once cooked, jerk chicken is tender, moist, and shreds easily with a fork.
Yes, and this recipe does exactly that. When cooking different foods at the same time in the Instant Pot, always ensure they have the same or very similar cooking times. This depends on the rice you use. White rice only needs 4 minutes of pressure cooking, while brown rice needs 15. When cooking chicken with white rice, it's important to sear it first to reduce the cooking time to that of the rice as we are doing in this recipe. When cooking it with brown rice, you may not need to sear it depending on how many pounds of chicken you have.
It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, covered in an airtight container.
This entire meal can be frozen. Store in freezer safe bags for up to 6 months.
Reheat in the microwave, oven or air fryer until warmed through. Then top with fresh cilantro or scallions and diced mango.
Instant Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice
Chicken and Rice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs bone-in chicken drumsticks, legs, or thighs
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup sweet onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups white rice rinsed
- 2 ¼ cups chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon jerk seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon scotch bonnet powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 mangos diced
- fresh cilantro for garnish
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade
- ¼ cup brown sugar light or dark
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 bunch scallions (3 stalks)
- 4 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup allspice
- 1 teaspoon scotch bonnet powder use ½ teaspoon for a mild version
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Blend the jerk marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor until a smooth thick paste forms. Place the chicken in a large pan and baste with the marinade, covering thoroughly. Reserve a little marinade for later use. If possible, let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or overnight.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute on normal or high, depending on your model. Add the olive oil and chicken. Brown on both sides for 5 minutes each. Check the internal temperature to ensure it is at least 135 degrees F. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add the coconut oil to the inner pot and scrape any bits of stuck chicken off the bottom. Leave bits in the pot. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring often. Turn off saute and discard the bay leaf.
- Clean out the inner pot with soap and water (the marinade contains sugar and should not be left on the bottom of the pot while pressure cooking).
- Put the white rice in a pan that fits your Instant Pot. Pour in the chicken broth and onion/garlic mixture. Add the paprika, jerk seasoning, and scotch bonnet powder.
- Pour 2 cups of water into the cleaned inner pot. Place a silicone sling inside and put the pan of rice on the sling. Put a trivet or egg stand on top of the pan and place the chicken on it. Baste with the reserved marinade.
- Close and seal the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Let complete a 15 minute natural release, then quickly release remaining pressure.
- Remove the chicken using tongs and carefully lift out the sling to remove the rice. Mix the rice well and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve chicken over rice mixed with diced mango and garnished with cilantro.