This Instant Pot chicken scarpariello recipe is a pressure cooker version of the American-Italian classic dish made with poultry and sweet and sour sauce of pickled roasted red peppers and rosemary. This sensational dish can be served over your favourite pasta, polenta, rice or vegetables. It’s gluten-free.
What is the chicken scarpariello?
Are you as puzzled by the name as we were? Well, the name ‘scrapariello come from Italian-Neopolitan word ‘scarparo’, which refers to a cobbler or shoemaker. It was originally used for a quick and easy dish of pasta with crushed tomato sauce and cheese (basically something quick for a busy cobbler could make for lunch).
Today, it has been appropriated for a modern Italian-American dish of juicy chicken thighs braised in vinegary, sweet and sour pan sauce made with pickled red peppers and often Italian sausage and rosemary or oregano. There are many variations of this dish, but in all cases, it is utterly delicious and easy to make.
how to make chicken scarpariello IN INSTANT POT
While you would typically make chicken scarpariello with sausage (or often without), we decided to use some smoked pancetta instead. The chicken is first flash-fried in on Saute setting (maybe a minute or 30 seconds on each side), then the sauce is quickly put together, and the whole thing is cooked under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes.
It only takes about 30 minutes and everything can be cooked in one Instant Pot (including the pasta!). Here is a little video of how we made this delicious chicken dish and some step-by-step photos to guide you along.
WHAT TO SERVE THIS CHICKEN DISH WITH?
The chicken is soft and juicy and the sauce, although not as thick as a pasta sauce, is very flavoursome with sweet and sour tones from the balsamic vinegar and sweet, pickled peppers. It goes really well over pasta, especially linguine or shells that can catch the sauce well.
You can also serve a side of creamy polenta or potato mash, roasted potatoes, rice, quinoa or some crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Any steamed vegetables will also go well with this dish. Leftovers should keep for 2-3 days, reheat well.
MORE ITALIAN INSTANT POT RECIPESPrint
Classic Italian-American chicken scarpariello is cooked quickly and easily in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. The meat is braised in sweet-sour red pepper sauce until tender and juicy and served over pasta, polenta, rice, or vegetables of choice. It’s gluten-free.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and set aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function. Once hot, add the olive oil and place 4 chicken thighs at a time. Cook for 1 minute on each side and remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding a little more oil if needed.
- Add pancetta, onion and garlic and cook for a minute or two, stirring a couple of times. Pour in the wine and let it bubble away for 10 seconds, then use a spatula to scrape off any cooked chicken bits off the bottom and incorporate them into the sauce.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir through. Cancel the Sauté function. Nestle the pre-cooked chicken thighs in the sauce, covering them with some of the onions and peppers. Pop the lid on top, lock and press Manual/Pressure Cook. Make sure it is set to HIGH pressure, adjust the time to 10 minutes. After 3 beeps the Instant Pot will begin pressurising.
- While the chicken is cooking, you can make the pasta on the stovetop or do it in the Instant Pot later on.
- Once the cooking timer stops, quick release the pressure (make sure to step away from the jet). Open the lid and remove all the chicken pieces from the pot to a casserole dish. Press the Sauté function again and allow the broth to come to boiling. Let it bubble away for 5 minutes to evaporate slightly.
- Finally, add the butter and stir it to melt into the sauce. You can simmer it for longer to get thicker. If you like it even thicker, stir in a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch. Pour the sauce over the chicken and pop in a hot oven to keep warm.
- To make the pasta in the Instant Pot: Rinse the Instant Pot from the chicken sauce and add the water, oil and salt. Add the pasta and stir. Pressure cook on Manual, HIGH pressure for 3 minutes (4 minutes if cooking thicker pasta like penne or shells). Quick-release the pressure but be super careful as the steam from the cooked pasta spits out some of the liquid. You can hold a towel over the jet (a little away from it) to prevent the liquid from spitting everywhere. Open the lid and strain the pasta.
- Serve the chicken and sauce over cooked pasta or separately.
This chicken recipe can also be made with chicken thighs that have a bone in and skin on, with chicken breast, drumsticks or diced chicken.