Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice is a delicious one-pot meal loaded with juicy Cajun spiced chicken, veggies and long grain white rice. This Southern Chicken and rice is a perfect weeknight meal that gets ready under 30 mins.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cajun Chicken and Rice, Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice, Souther Chicken and Rice Instant Pot
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 939kcal
Author: Meghna
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 1.66 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2.5" large chunks
  • 2 cups long gran white rice rinsed very well
  • 2 cups and additional 50 ml water or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp Paprika Powder optional
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste diluted with 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt (to taste)

Veggies

  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion roughly chopped yellow onion

For Flash Marinating Chicken (Optional)

Instructions

  • Flash Marinate the chicken with 4 dashes cajun seasoning, 2 dashes paprika and salt according to taste. Cajun seasoning already contains salt so you need to keep that in mind. This step is totally optional, however, flash marinating and than braising the chicken does build up excellent flavors. So, if you have a few extra mins on hand do this step.
  • Now, set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and set it on HIGH. Add oil. When the oil becomes moderately hot add the flash marinated chicken pieces and braise (fry them) them both sides until lightly golden or golden brown. Set them aside. You'll have some bits and crumbs sticking at the bottom of the pot while braising the meat, that's perfectly normal. Moreover. we'll be de-glazing the pot very well before pressure cooking.
  • Use the same oil, add more if needed. Keep the SAUTE settings to NORMAL. Add the chopped onions and saute until they begin to become translucent.
  • Now, add the colored bell peppers along with the celery and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Next, add the Cajun seasoning ( I mixed in the paprika too in the cajun seasoning just before adding). Mix everything well.
  • Add back the braised chicken chunks to the pot and give everything a very good mix.
  • In the meantime rinse the long grain white rice with enough water several times until you see clear water running through. This step is very important. It helps make the rice fluffy and prevents them from becoming messy, sticky and gooey. The surface starch of the rice is all drained out this way. Also, drain the rinsed rice very well. There should not be any excess water left.
  • Come back to the pot and add exactly 2 cups + additional 50 ml water and mix well. At this point de-glaze the pot really well with the help of a spatula. There should not be any bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot. De-glazing the pot well will prevent the BURN message.
  • Add the tomato paste and mix well again.
  • Next, add the rice and gently mix the grains in the water. Avoid over mixing, it will break the rice grains.
  • Check the seasoning and add salt if you need to.
  • Close the lid of the pot and seal the valve. Pressure Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes when the Instant Pot begins to beep wait for 10 minutes natural pressure release. Than, release the rest of the pressure manually.
  • Open the lid carefully and fluff the Cajun rice gently with the help of a fork. For best result allow the Cajun Chicken and rice to rest for 10 mins before serving. This helps the rice become more fluffy. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  1. Measuring Units used, 1 cup = 240 ml and 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
  2. What is Braising anyway? Braising means lightly frying or browning the meat both sides. And than cooking the meat covered in the same juices. This adds tons of flavor and depth to any recipe and also makes any tough meat fork-tender.
  3. Don't want to braise the chicken pieces? Flash marinate them as already mentioned in the recipe and add them directly in the pot. Saute them for 2-3 mins along with the other ingredients.
  4. DO NOT ever skip rinsing the rice well. You can find the huge difference once you make the recipe using rinsed rice. No more gooey, sticky and messy rice ever!
  5. Drain the rinsed rice very well. There should not be excess water left.
  6. Use the same cup to measure the rice and the water.
  7. Use the exact amount of water mentioned in the recipe for best results.
  8. Avoid BURN message: De-glaze the pot very well with the help of a spatula after adding chicken stock or water. There should not be any bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot. That eventually leads to the BURN message as Instant Pots are sensitive.
  9. You can reduce the amount of Cajun spice and also skip the paprika totally from the recipe if you prefer a milder Cajun chicken and rice.
  10. We went a little heavy on the Cajun spice because we love the flavors and the kick.
  11. NOTE: You can skip sauteing the onion, instead dump the onions and the veggies together in the pot and saute everything for 2-3 mins and follow the rest of the recipe. Sauteing the onion brings out the sweetness and makes the dish more flavorful.
  12. STORING TIPS: This Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice stores upto 5 days in the fridge in air tight containers.
  13. RE-HEATING TIPS: Re-heat the Cajun chicken and rice in the microwave oven until warm with sprinkles of water. The water will prevent the rice from drying out. You can also re-heat the rice on a skillet with sprinkles of water and over medium heat. Stir often to prevent it from getting stuck at the bottom of the skillet.
  14. FREZZING TIP: The Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and rice freezes very well upto 2 months. I often freeze it in freezer safe bags, thaw them over night in the fridge and than reheat with sprinkles of water. Works beautifully every single time.
 
Calorific details are provided by a third party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.
 
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 939 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 238mg79%
Sodium 295mg13%
Potassium 1269mg36%
Carbohydrates 112g37%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 60g120%
Vitamin A 5690IU114%
Vitamin C 133mg161%
Calcium 81mg8%
Iron 5mg28%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Calories: 939kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 1269mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5690IU | Vitamin C: 133mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 5mg