Bone-in chicken thighs are simply the best, loaded with juicy flavor and so perfect for creating a sweet/spicy and sticky skin. Bone-in thighs take about 10 minutes to cook, just enough time to cook long-grain white rice at the same time, with a 10-minute natural pressure release. You can also try this with boneless, skinless thighs, but you will need to reduce the cooking time to 8 minutes.
What you need:
- Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi (I used the Foodi for this one, for the broil function.
- Tall trivet (to cook rice for pot-in-pot)
- Stainless steel insert pan for rice
Set Instant Pot or Foodi to” Sauté” and heat oil. Brown chicken on both sides (here I used a cast iron pan, because I love using cast iron, but I also use my pressure cookers). Remove the chicken from the pot and deglaze with a little water. Add water, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, applesauce, sesame oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper to pot, and stir well.
Place the chicken in the pot, turning it over once to coat both sides with the sauce. Place your trivet over the chicken, and add the insert with the rice and water. Cook at 10 minutes high pressure, with a 10-minute natural pressure release. Release remaining pressure, and remove rice and chicken from the pot. Fluff the rice with a fork.
To thicken the sauce, whisk the cornstarch and water together until smooth. Set pot to “Sauté” setting. When sauce begins to bubble, slowly stir in cornstarch mixture, and continue stirring until sauce thickens. At this point, you can simply pour this delicious sauce over your chicken and rice and call it a meal, but I prefer to kick it up a notch.
You can brush the sauce over the chicken, and then place under a broiler until well-browned. I used my Foodi, removing the sauce from the inner pot liner first, and then placing the chicken on the broiling rack for about 4-5 minutes, just to get a little crisp and singe on the skin.
Sticky Honey Soy Chicken
- 4-6 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 Tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons very cold water
- Heat Instant Pot to “Sear” or use preheated cast-iron skillet. Add oil and allow to heat to a sizzle.
- Brown chicken thighs on both sides.
- Remove chicken from pot, and deglaze with water.
- Add water, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, applesauce, sesame oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper to pot, and stir well. Add chicken back to pot, flipping it over once to coat both sides in the sauce (cook with skin sides up).
- Add rinsed rice o stainless-steel insert, along with one cup water, and place in pot on top of trivet.
- Set to high pressure for 10 minutes, with a 10-minute natural pressure release. Remove rice and chicken from pot.
- For extra stickiness and flavor, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons very cold water. Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” and heat until bubbly. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture until sauce begins to thicken.
- For an even bigger flavor boost, brush chicken with additional sauce, and place under broiler until chicken begins to singe a bit. I used the “Broil” function on my Ninja Foodi for this part, for about 4-5 minutes.