I like to consider myself a pretty decent cook; my family seems to agree, so we’ll go with it. That said, I suck at recipes. I love to read recipes. I have books full of them and search google for ideas regularly, but in reality, I never follow them. I substitute and make adjustments often based on what I have or what I like as well as Dominic’s allergies. I’m writing this as a recipe, but it’s really intended as a guideline for how to make a meal that fits your family, which is where the (ish) comes in.
Because I don’t really follow recipes, I’m really intimidated by new cooking methods. I bought myself an Instant Pot on a Cyber Monday special a couple of years ago and didn’t even open it until February of the following year. I’ve still only made a handful of things, but this one is on pretty regular rotation. I like it because it’s a dump recipe, which means you don’t have to cook anything ahead or when it’s done, which I was surprised is not true of many IP recipes. I don’t make it exactly the same every time, but that’s why I love Mexican food: it’s easy to modify/adapt!
Each time I make this, I reference this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch for relative quantities and cook time. In the Instant Pot, I’ve learned that it’s most important to have enough moisture and enough seasoning. I have a 6qt Instant Pot, and I have no idea how this recipe might work in other sizes or in other brands.
- 1 to 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken (this time I actually used 2.5 lbs chicken tenders, but I often use chicken thighs, and I have used chicken breasts, and I usually use less – we had a ton of leftovers this time)
- 1.5 cups chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium)
- Taco Seasoning (I do not measure seasonings, but I cover the chicken thoroughly because food in the IP can be very bland if underseasoned)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups salsa (this time I actually used a little leftover salsa and a can of tomatoes)
- 1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
- Toppings (see below for ideas)
- Spray the IP with Pam (or similar) and add enough chicken broth to coat the bottom (1/4-1/2 cup)
- Add chicken and coat with taco seasoning.
- Add black beans and corn and any other veggies.
- Add diced tomatoes or salsa.
- Add rice and remaining chicken broth. Press rice into the broth if it’s not covered.
- Make sure the valve is sealed and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes (extend this to 10-12 minutes if your chicken pieces are very thick).
- Do a natural pressure release (just wait) for 12 minutes and then quick release remaining pressure (open the valve).
- At this point the linked recipe has some really specific instructions to fluff the rice and remove the chicken to shred, etc. You may want to follow their advice if you’re looking for something more sophisticated, but I just stir everything together and break the chicken up and mix it in in the process.
Serving and Topping Suggestions
I like to serve this over tortilla chips or crumbled taco shells, and we almost always have diced tomatoes, lime juice, and cheese as toppings/mix-ins. This time, we also used some guacamole. Below are some other ideas. This is really a one-stop-shop of a meal (i.e. no sides needed), but sometimes I serve it alongside a salad (for the adults – my kids are great eaters, but they don’t eat lettuce salads).
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Avacado
- Diced Tomato
- Lime Juice
- Taco Sauce
- Tortilla Chips
Ideas for Adaptation
There are a lot of ways you can tweak this recipe. I have added other veggies like onions or green peppers. This time I added cumin and green chilies with the taco seasoning. I have also used enchilada sauce for part of the salsa/liquid (this is a good way to use up a partial can). I’ve added pinto beans, but you could also substitute them for the black beans. You can also vary the amount and type of chicken. I noted this in the recipe itself, but it’s worth mentioning again because one of the things that keeps this recipe in our rotation is I can use whatever chicken I happen to have, and I keep canned veggies and rice on hand most of the time, too. You can also vary the amount of rice, but make sure you adjust the chicken broth accordingly.
This recipe is a big hit with my kids and my husband. James (almost 2) had three helpings this week. I also love that it doesn’t include Dominic’s allergens unless you add them as toppings, so we don’t have to adapt much to meet his needs. Basically, it’s a win all the way around.