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.