- 2 tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix (or more to taste)
- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs (I used small bone-in, skin-on ones)
- 3 tablespoons chopped bacon
- 1 clove garlic (minced (or more to taste))
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 pound baby potatoes (very large ones cut in half)
- 1/2 cup cream (OR half and half)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more in case sauce doesn’t thicken enough to your liking)
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Brown chicken: Set instant pot to "sauté" and melt one tablespoon butter in the inner pot. Rub chicken thighs with Ranch seasoning mix, then add the chicken thighs to the instant pot in batches and cook on both sides until browned. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Start sauce: Melt one extra tablespoon of butter in the instant pot, then brown the bacon and garlic. Add chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to scratch away any browned bits (do this properly or you may trigger the burn warning). Switch off the instant pot.
- Pressure cook: Place chicken thighs back into the pot (it's fine to stack them), then place the potatoes on top. Close the lid and set the valve to the "sealing" position. Choose "pressure cook" (or "manual" on some models) and set the timer to 10 minutes to start the cooking process.
- Release pressure: Once the timer is up, do a 10 minute natural pressure release (just switch the instant pot off and leave it alone). Then release any remaining pressure manually according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Thicken sauce: Open the instant pot and remove the potatoes and chicken. Combine cream and cornstarch to make a slurry and whisk into the sauce in the instant pot. Set the instant pot to "sauté" and, stirring constantly, simmer until thickened. Switch it off, then stir in the parmesan, season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve over the chicken and potatoes.
Step by Step Recipe Video
Ingredient Notes:Butter: I love the taste of butter in any rich cream sauce (especially with bacon and ranch flavors, ahem), but if you want to make this dairy, free, use olive oil instead (and leave out the Parmesan cheese). Chicken: You can use other cuts if you prefer:
- Boneless thighs: Cooking time stays the same.
- Boneless chicken breast: Decrease cooking time to 8 minutes.
- Frozen chicken breast: Increase cooking time to 12 minutes. Seasoning and browning is more difficult – see cooking tips below.
- Frozen thighs: Increase cooking time to 15 minutes. Seasoning and browning is more difficult – see cooking tips below.
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cooking Tips:Using frozen chicken: When using frozen chicken pieces (either breast or thighs), there are a few ways to prepare it to still get maximum flavors:
- If you have some extra time: Submerge the package of frozen chicken pieces in room-temperature water for 15 minutes while you get everything else ready. Then, use the chicken as stated in the recipe (season and brown), but increase the cooking time to the times given in the “ingredient notes” section above.
- If you don’t have any extra time: Get the sauce started as directed in the recipe, then place a trivet in the pot. Combine the ranch seasoning with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and toss the frozen chicken in it. Place on the trivet, then place the potatoes on top. Pressure cook according to the cooking time in the “ingredient notes” section above.
- make sure to whisk the cornstarch very well into a small amount of cool liquid before adding it to hot liquid
- stir constantly as you simmer the sauce until it thickens
- make sure the sauce is hot enough to be at a constant simmer, or the cornstarch will not work