Your whole family will crave this Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms so much you’ll put it on the regular rotation.
By now you may have guessed that the Instant Pot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I almost said it was one of my favorite kitchen “toys” but I wasn’t sure if that would be appropriate. To me though, these appliances are like toys for home chefs. And in my case, there’s nothing I’d rather play around with. Plus, as life only seems to get busier and busier I’m finding comfort in the fact that I can make my family a wholesome, home cooked meal in less than an hour from pot to plate. That’s superhuman stuff right there.
Can you imagine if our parents had one of those growing up? What do you think they would have cooked? Would they have even used it? I don’t know…my mom was the cook of the house and she seemed to really enjoy the process of it so maybe she wouldn’t have wanted anything to take that process away from her. Things I think about…
But, I digress. In this increasingly busy world, making meals faster I think is just one of those things we have had to rely on. And, for this dish, what I wanted to make happen is for this lovely Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms to make it to our table as quickly as possible. I did have to experiment a little to figure out just the right settings to get the chicken and rice to cook together properly. And then of course to have an option for brown and white rice. I know not everyone is a fan of brown rice. I do love it but my kids, not so much. You could also try a wild rice mix with this but I’d suggest following the brown rice directions.
The inspiration for this dish came from my love of all things mushrooms, and then my love of all things cheese. Oh, and my love for chicken and rice of course. This is a hearty, wintery meal that I just want to put on repeat all season long.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHICKEN THIGHS AND CHICKEN BREASTS?
Besides coming from a different part of the chicken, chicken thighs are smaller and contain more dark meat than chicken breasts. Often, skinless chicken breasts are substituted for red meat because of their lower fat content.
The choice between chicken breasts and chicken thighs also depends a lot on personal taste preference. Are you a dark meat or a white meat poultry lover? I actually love both, despite being a chicken-breast only person for the longest time. Then, I kept seeing all these recipes using chicken thighs — I tried a few and I have to say, I was quickly turned toward the thigh side. I think the dark meat can be more flavorful at times than the breasts and it tends to retain its moisture content better too.
However, chicken thighs are a little higher in fat content and calories when you measure against the same portion size of chicken breasts. If you want to trim the fat content off of the thighs, then you should literally trim some of the fat off of them. In that case, you’re going to want to use more of them. This recipe calls for four to six thighs so if you’re going to trim them, then I’d err on the side of cooking up six.
HOW CAN I MAKE THIS DISH CREAMY?
This dish should be nice and creamy with the addition of butter and cheese. If you’d like it to be even more creamy, you can substitute a third of the chicken broth for heavy cream. Or you could make a roux like I did in step 3 of this recipe for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and add it to the broth/mushroom/garlic mixture before adding the chicken.
CAN I MAKE PARMESAN CHICKEN AND RICE WITH MUSHROOMS IN THE SLOW COOKER?
Yes. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can use the slow cooker. I still recommend sauteeing the garlic and mushrooms in the butter before adding to the slow cooker, then adding your rice and chicken. This will take 3-4 hours on high or 4-6 on low for white rice and 5-6 on high or 6-8 on low for brown.
Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms
- 4-6 chicken thighs, or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried herb blend, divided see note
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup long grain white rice or brown rice (rinsed*)
- 1/3 cup fresh-grated parmesan cheese
- chopped parsley, optional for garnish
- 1-1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTE. Rub chicken with oil, then season all over with salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Add chicken to pot, brown for 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate.
- Add butter and garlic to the pot and stir 1-2 minutes until butter is melted and garlic lightly browned and fragrant. Add mushrooms and stir for 2-3 minutes until browned.
- For white rice: Stir rice and 1 cup of broth into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Set steam rack in the pot with the handles up. Place chicken on the rack. Cover and set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 5 minutes. Cook, then do a natural release for 5 minutes, remove lid.
- For brown rice: Stir rice and 1 1/2 cups of broth into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Set steam rack in the pot with the handles up. Cover and set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 10 minutes. Cook, then do a quick release, then place chicken in the pot on the rack and return the lid. Set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 5 minutes, cook, then natural release for 5 minutes.
- Remove chicken and rack from the pot. Fluff rice with a fork and stir in parmesan cheese. Garnish chicken and rice with chopped parsley, cracked black pepper, and additional cheese if desired and serve.