Instant Pot Chicken Fricassee

This Instant Pot Chicken Fricassee is a one-pot French classic of browned chicken pieces cooked and served in a creamy, velvety white mushroom sauce. The sauce is heavenly and the dish is rustic comfort food at its best.


WHAT IS CHICKEN FRICASSEE?

Classic Chicken Fricassee is a traditional French stew made with browned chicken pieces braised in a delicious, creamy white mushroom sauce. The sauce is usually made with chicken broth, onions, garlic and mushrooms with plenty of butter and cream and a touch of wine or lemon juice. Oftentimes an egg yolk is used to make the sauce creamy.

Chicken Fricassee refers to a method of cooking rather than an actual recipe. The definition of the word Fricassee is ‘a dish of pieces of meat (such as chicken) or vegetables stewed in stock and served in a white sauce’.

The key part of this dish is that the meat is browned first, usually in butter and then braised in the stock or creamy sauce, although cream is often added at the end.

INSTANT POT CHICKEN FRICASSEE

Making chicken fricassee in the Instant Pot is really convenient as you can brown the chicken on Saute mode, then deglaze the pot with some wine or stock and whisk in the sauce. The chicken is then returned and pressure cooked for 15 minutes, with 5 minutes of natural release. The whole process takes around 30 minutes, plus prep time. This is significantly faster than braising chicken fricassee on the stovetop, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

In addition, pressure cooker chicken fricassee is super tender and very flavorsome. The sauce can be finished directly in the pot on Saute mode again.

Our recipe is inspired by the more traditional, French fricassee, however, there are many variations you can try such as tomato-based Puerto Rican or Cuban Chicken Fricassee or the Jewish or Hungarian version (see variations below the recipe card). You can also add extra vegetables such as carrots or potatoes.

This classic chicken fricassee recipe is low-carb and keto-friendly and can be made with gluten-free flour (or none as only a little bit is used at the end to thicken the sauce).

Chicken Fricassee Instant Pot Recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT CHICKEN FRICASSEE

The traditional French recipe is usually made with chicken, butter, onions, mushrooms, stock, a few herbs, white wine or lemon juice and cream or egg yolk to give the sauce extra creaminess and richness.

There are many regional and global versions of chicken fricassee and some add vegetables or use cocktail onions, some are tomato-based. Here are the ingredients for our classic, rustic version.

  • Chicken: The traditional French recipe is usually made with a mix of chicken pieces – you can use thighs, drumsticks, Maryland (thigh and drumstick) or breast, usually with skin on and bone-in but this is not essential. We used 5 x bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, with one piece per serving. You can add extra 2-3 thighs without changing the recipe or timings. We used olive oil and butter to brown the chicken, simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • For the braising sauce: Onions, mushrooms and garlic are the classics, plus some thyme and bay leaf for extra aroma, mustard for a little kick, white wine for acidity and to deglaze the pot and good quality chicken stock (you can use stock cubes if you wish).
  • To finish the fricassee sauce:  Once the chicken is cooked, the meat is removed and the sauce is thickened by using the evaporating/reduction method on Saute mode. A little bit of flour is then used to make a slurry and stirred into the reduced sauce to thicken it further. The cream (heavy or thickened is best) is added at the end to add luxurious velvety texture and rich flavor. Parsley is often used for garnish.
Ingredients for finishing the Fricassee sauce: flour, cream and parsley

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN FRICASSEE IN AN INSTANT POT

You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos of how to make this French chicken stew in the Instant Pot. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot for this dish.

Step 1. Set up the Instant Pot and press the Saute button multiple times until it shows More mode (the hotter setting). Add olive oil and butter and heat up.

Step 2. Pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.

Step 3. Once hot, add 2-3 chicken thighs at a time, skin side down first and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn over and cook for 1 minute on the meat side. Do the second batch and once the butter starts to get quite a golden brown color, you can press the Saute button again to switch to Normal mode as the pot will be quite hot by this stage. Cook the second batch for 3 minutes on the skin side and 1 minute on the meat side.

Step 4. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Keep the Instant Pot on Saute on Normal mode, leave any cooking butter and oil in the pot.

Step 5. Add the onions and stir for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and stir briefly.

Step 6. Now pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot. All those delicious, browned chicken pieces, juices and butter will incorporate into the wine. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot, make sure to remove anything that looks stuck to prevent the BURN error.

Step 7. Add mushrooms, dried thyme, bay leaves, and mustard and pour in the chicken stock. Stir through. Press Cancel to stop the Saute.

Step 8. Nestle the chicken pieces (skin side up) in the mushroom onion broth. Move the mushrooms around and on top so you can fit the chicken as deep as possible. It doesn’t have to be submerged.

Step 9. Secure the lid on top. Set to Pressure Cook on HIGH for 15 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will begin.

Step 10. Once done, leave the pot undisturbed for 5 minutes and then manually quick release the pressure. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate.

Step 12. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the broth and discard (there will be more liquid than when you started). Press the Saute button and press it again to cycle through modes until you get to More (hot setting). Allow the remaining mushroom broth to come to boiling and let it bubble away and reduce for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. This will evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the broth, saturating the flavor.

Optional step. Heat up a frying pan with a little oil and pan-fry the cooked chicken thighs skin side down for 2 minutes to brown the top. Set aside.

Pan frying the braised chicken pieces for extra crispiness

Step 13. In the meantime, mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 4-5 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, slurry-like texture. Stir this mixture into the chicken sauce after it’s been simmering away and reduced slightly. The sauce should thicken further. Press Cancel to stop the Saute.

Step 14. Finally, stir in the cream. Return chicken pieces to the sauce and top with parsley. Serve right away!

Instant Pot Chicken Fricassee (creamy mushroom chicken stew)

PREP TIP

You can dice all onions, garlic and mushrooms 1-2 days in advance and refrigerate them in an airtight container until you’re ready to cook. Using minced garlic and pre-chopped onions will also speed up the prep time. Some recipes call for mini cocktail onions which add a fun tangy, sweet flavor to the sauce.

If you want to make this dish ahead of time, you can pressure cook the chicken and store it in the fridge for 1-2 days with the sauce without adding flour or cream. Then finish the dish by reducing the sauce and thickening it with cream and pan-frying the chicken or broiling in the oven for a few minutes before combining back together.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN FRICASSEE

This is a great stand-alone one-pot dish that only really needs a good sprinkle of fresh parsley and a simple side dish. Mashed potatoes, boiled or roast potatoes are fantastic. You can whip up some simple rice or pasta noodles, quinoa or another grain. Chicken fricassee is great with a side of crusty bread or garlic bread for mopping up the sauce.

For a low-carb meal, make a side dish of green vegetables, zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.

Wine pairing for Chicken fricassee: A good white wine would go well with a creamy white sauce chicken dish. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are all great and can also be used in cooking.

Creamy mushroom chicken stew In Instant Pot

HOW TO STORE PASTA & BEAN SOUP

  • To Store. Cooled chicken and sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep it in an airtight container. 
  • To Freeze. Once the chicken is cooked, reduce the sauce but don’t add the cream as dairy doesn’t freeze well. Cool the chicken and the sauce and store them together in a large airtight container or in individual portions for up to 3 months. Defrost the dish overnight in the fridge and use it within 24 hours. You can also defrost in a microwave or on a stovetop on low heat. Finish by reheating and stirring in the cream.
  • To Reheat. To reheat chicken fricassee, add a splash of water or stock if the sauce has thickened. Make sure to reheat until piping hot.

FULL RECIPE & NUTRITION

Below is the full list of ingredients, instructions, notes, tips and nutritional breakdown. Don’t forget to rate this recipe and leave a comment with feedback or any questions.

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Instant Pot Chicken Fricassee Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Fricassee Recipe

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: French

Description

Learn how to make Instant Pot chicken fricassee, a classic French stew of browned chicken meat cooked in heavenly, creamy mushroom sauce. Enjoy the rustic comfort of this dish in half the time with the help of your pressure cooker!


Ingredients

Scale

5 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in (can be without bone)

2/3 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 tablespoons butter

For the stew part

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/3 cup white wine (chardonnay would be great here)

8 ounces / 220 g mushrooms, sliced 

1 teaspoon dried thyme 

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1.5 cups chicken stock

To finish

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup thickened/heavy cream

23 tablespoons chopped parsley


Instructions

  • Pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Set up the Instant Pot and press the Saute button multiple times until it shows More mode (hotter setting). Add olive oil and butter and heat up.
  • Once hot, add 2-3 chicken thighs at a time, skin side down first and cook for 4 minutes. Turn over and cook for 1 minute on the meat side. Do the second batch and once the butter starts to get quite a golden brown color, you can press the Saute button again to switch to Normal mode as the pot will be quite hot by this stage. Cook the second batch for 3 minutes on the skin side and 1 minute on the meat side. 
  • Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Keep the Instant Pot on Saute on Normal mode. 
  • Add the onions and stir for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and stir briefly. Now pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot. All those delicious, browned chicken pieces, juices and butter will incorporate into the wine. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot, make sure to remove anything that looks stuck to prevent the BURN error.
  • Add mushrooms, dried thyme, bay leaves, and mustard and pour in the chicken stock. Stir through. Press Cancel to stop the Saute.
  • Nestle the chicken pieces (skin side up) in the mushroom onion broth. Move the mushrooms around and on top so you can fit the chicken as deep as possible. It doesn’t have to be submerged.
  • Secure the lid on top. Set to Pressure Cook on HIGH for 15 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will begin. 
  • Once done, leave the pot undisturbed for 5 minutes and then manually quick release the pressure. 
  • Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the broth and discard. Press the Saute button and press it again to cycle through modes until you get to More (hot setting). Allow the remaining mushroom broth to come to boiling and let it bubble away for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. This will evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the broth, saturating the flavor. 
  • Optional: Heat up a frying pan with a little oil and pan-fry the cooked chicken thighs skin side down for 2 minutes to brown the top. Set aside.
  • In the meantime, mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 4-5 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, slurry-like texture. Stir this mixture into the chicken sauce after it’s been simmering away and reduced slightly. The sauce should thicken further. Press Cancel to stop the Saute. 
  • Finally, stir in the cream. Return chicken pieces to the sauce and top with parsley. Serve right away! 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh with sauce and mushrooms
  • Calories: 594
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 615 mg
  • Fat: 43 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 36.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 211.8 mg

Keywords: Chicken Stew, French Stew, Instant Pot Chicken Stew, Creamy Mushroom Chicken,


CHICKEN FRICASSEE VARIATIONS

Over time, the classic French chicken fricassee recipe has taken on many variations around the world. For example, the dish was brought to the Caribbean and Central Americas by the settlers from French and Spain and is now a popular dish known as fricasé de pollo (chicken fricassee). Unlike French-style fricassee, it has a tomato-based sauce usually with red wine. Here are a few recipe variations you can try:

Cuban Chicken Fricassee – dark meat chicken and potatoes braised in a tomato-based sauce with olives. Try this recipe.

Puerto Rican Chicken Fricassee – similar to the Cuban version, this stew is also made with wine and tomatoes, often carrots, potatoes, capers or ham are added as well. Try this recipe.

Jamaican Fricassee Chicken – browned, fried chicken is braised in a tomato-based broth and features a lot more spices, similar to jerk chicken. Try this recipe.

Cajun Chicken Fricasse – this version is made with a traditional roux, and contains the holy trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) highlighted with Cajun seasonings. Try this recipe.

Jewish Chicken Fricassee – made with schmaltz or oil instead of butter, onions, paprika and often added meatballs, the sauce is dairy-free, tomato-based and is very flavorsome. Try this recipe.

Hungarian Chicken Fricassee – this is somewhere between the Jewish recipe and the French recipe and is usually heavy on paprika as the main flavor component. Try our chicken paprikash for inspiration.

By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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7 Comments
  1. Oh yum! You had me at creamy, velvety white mushroom sauce. I love how easily this meal comes together in the instant pot.

  2. Wow, this was absolutely delicious! Made it last night and couldn’t stop eating it! Such lovely crispy skin and very flavoursome sauce (loved a hint of Dijon in it!)!

  3. Truly amazing in taste and flavors in this recipe. Will definitely make again, very good recipe!

  4. I have not made this yet, based on your writeup and photos it looks great. My comment is really a question. Do you think this would be good with skinless chicken thighs or do you need the skin to get the browning/caramelizing of the chicken?

    1. Absolutely fine with skinless chicken. We used skin on as it’s more authentic but not essential!

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