Instant Pot Chicken with Green Olives and Kale

I adapted this recipe from one of my current favorite cookbooks, “Instant Family Meals” by Sarah Copeland. The recipes are simple, but slightly elevated, and have all turned out perfectly (which is truly a marvel – I’ve found that appliance-focused cookbooks like this can be really hit or miss). I like these sort of recipes because they taste like they took forever to prepare when, in reality, they’re super easy – viva la Instant Pot!

  • 1.5-2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
  • 4 large leaves kale, rinsed and torn into very small pieces
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Cooked rice or polenta for serving

Place the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle evenly with the salt and healthy doses of red pepper flakes and black pepper. Massage the spices into the chicken and let the chicken rest at room temperature while you chop and prep the remaining ingredients.

Once everything is chopped, torn, and prepped, turn your Instant Pot on to the Saute function. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken, skin side down, into the pot (I had to do this is two batches). After 5-10 minutes, the chicken skin should be browned and there should be some nice brown bits on the bottom of your pot. Remove the chicken from the pot and add the second batch of chicken (you don’t need to brown on both sides – we are only browning the skin side to get some fat into the pot).

Once all the chicken has been browned and removed from the pot, add the onion, garlic, olives, and kale to the pot. Stir them around for a minute or so to coat them in the chicken juices that have accumulated in the pot. Press Cancel on your Instant Pot to turn off the Saute function.

Add the chicken broth and vinegar to the pot and stir everything to combine. Nestle the chicken back into the pot. Cover your Instant Pot, turn the valve to Sealing, and set it to cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.

Once the Instant Pot has finished cooking, cover the valve with a dishtowel and carefully perform a quick release by moving the valve to the Venting setting. Once all of the pressure has released, open the pot and remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the butter to the remaining broth and vegetables and stir it until it melts into the liquid. We are waiting now for the chicken to cool enough to shred and return to the pot (if you like, you can serve the chicken at this point with the skin and bone – this is how Sarah serves it. I always prefer shredded chicken to bone-in chicken for most dishes, which is why I am deviating from the original recipe here).

Return the Instant Pot to the Saute function to thicken and keep warm while the chicken cools.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin, shred the meat, discard the bones, and return the shredded meat to the pot. Stir the chicken into the sauce and taste for additional heat (red pepper flakes) or salt.

Sarah recommends serving this over polenta, but I use any excuse to eat rice, so that’s my chosen accompaniment here. Dig in!

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