Instant Pot Mexican Chicken


I love to get a couple of meals out of one dish.  Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot is a huge timesaver and yields lots of succulent chicken to use for tacos, soup, and salads. This isn’t really a recipe, more of an idea…

  • 1 whole chicken, remove any giblets/liver etc. and rinse with cold water
  • 1 small can El Pato tomato sauce download
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 2t. garlic powder
  • 1 T. Kosher salt
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. oregano- They have Mexican oregano in the produce section of your grocery store
  • 1 C. water

Place the chicken into the Instant Pot. In a bowl, combine all the other ingredients and stir. Pour the tomato-spice mixture over the chicken.  Set the Instant Pot to manual-for 35 minutes. Be sure to close the steam vent. Alternatively you can get the same effect in a slow cooker for 8 or so hours on low. You can vent the steam manually or let it come down on it’s own. Once the lid unlocks, turn off the pot, remove the lid and let it cool down until you can handle it.  Some of the chicken is just going to completely fall off the bone. That’s what you want! Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and the bones to a separate bowl.  The rich, tomatoey broth that’s left behind is called the “pot liquor”. Don’t get rid if it! It’s an amazing base for soup. Strain the pot liquor through a mesh sieve and reserve it in the fridge or freezer. (it will gel when it’s cold and be jiggly, meat-Jell-o, then become liquid again when warmed)


Your hands are the best tool for separating all the chicken from the bones.  Carefully pick over the chicken and put all the meat into a separate container.  You may need to use a fork to shred some of the white meat. The bones are pretty much leached of all their nutrients at this point.  You could use them again to make more broth but it will probably be a mild-tasting one. I like to ladle a few spoonfuls of the pot liquor over the shredded chicken before I store it in the fridge or freezer to keep it from drying out.

Ideas for your shredded chicken:

  • Tacos: like these!  or these! 
  • Use the pot liquor for a base for tortilla soup- think of it as a concentrate and add a cup of water for each cup of liquor. Adobo Corn Soup is a winner! 
  • Chili – add half the chicken and pot liquor to a sauteed onion and three cans of pinto or black beans.  Simmer.  Top with fresh cilantro and sour cream.
  • Corn and chicken chowder- 2 C. pot liquor + 2 C. water + 1 C. half and half, cooked and diced potatoes, 2 C. shredded chicken, and fresh corn sliced off two or three cobs. Heat it through. Top with fresh cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cold chicken salad- add curry powder, mayo, mustard, red grapes, and almonds, serve over fresh greens. Or this one!
  • Baked chicken pasta like this! 
  • Topping for ramen noodles.
  • Toss with steamed yellow, Mexican rice and peas, throw in a few cooked shrimp, a 1/2 t. of paprika and call it paella!

About swellkid recipes

I am a mother of two children, a wife, a teacher, and an avid home cook. These recipes are written, tested and created or adapted by me in my home kitchen. All photos were taken by me with my Canon Digital Rebel XT. No filters or Photoshop, usually natural light on my kitchen table. My motto is, if I can do it, you can do it!
This entry was posted in Gluten Free, Leftovers, Quick Dinners and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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