Pressure Cooker Mexican-Style Chicken and Rice

This is most magical recipe I've made in the pressure cooker yet. Chicken, rice and seasonings all go in the pressure cooker at the same time, and 14 minutes later you have moist chicken and spicy mexican-style rice all cooked perfectly and ready to eat. 

Do you ever call your mom to tell her when you've made something truly wonderful in the kitchen because you want to share the recipe right then? Maybe I'm the only weirdo that does, but I can tell you that I called her after I made this recipe. The conversation went something like, "Mom, try this recipe in your pressure cooker. It's amazing. The chicken is so moist and tastes so good with the rice. Except maybe cut down the cumin and chili powder for you and dad." Yep, we're fascinating folks. I'd share more of the conversation but I wouldn't want to stimulate your brain too much on a Monday morning. The point is, though, that this is a recipe worth keeping and sharing. 

I feel a little bad even sharing such a magical recipe because unlike the other pressure cooker recipes that I've shared, I don't even dare to attempt to figure out some modifications so you can on the stovetop with a regular saucepan. So if you are pressure cooker-less, I'm sorry. 

Because this recipe is really good.   

Pressure Cooker Mexican-Style Chicken and Rice


4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each) trimmed
salt and pepper
4 tsp vegetable oil
2 onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced (I use one because I'm a wimp)
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 cup water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
4 scallions, sliced thin
Lime wedges (for serving)

1. Dry the chicken with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the chicken lightly on both sides, about 3 minutes, then transfer to a clean plate.

2. Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, jalapenos, cumin, and chili powder. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the water, scraping up any browned bits, then pour into the pressure cooker.

3. Stir the broth and rice into the pressure cooker. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice and press lightly to partially submerge. Sprinkle the tomatoes over the chicken (do not stir). Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Cook for exactly 4 minutes (6 minutes in my electric pressure cooker) adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain high pressure.

4. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 8 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid, allowing the steam to escape away fro you. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil.

5. Stir in the beans and cilantro into the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Replace the lid (do not lock) and let the rice sit off the heat until it is completely tender, about 2 minutes. Slice the chicken 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Arrange the chicken slices over the rice and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve with lime wedges. 

Recipe Source: Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

17 Click For Comments:

Okay, that's it. I have to have a pressure cooker. This recipe looks amazing!

Thanks! I really do love my pressure cooker, so I'm always encouraging people to go get one. You know, because I'm sure most of us don't already have enough kitchen gadgets.

Yeah for pressure cookers! This looks awesome! I think I know what tomorrow night's dinner will be!

So happy to hear from another pressure cooker fan. Hope you enjoy it!

The photo and the recipe look delicious! It's one of the "hippest" one pot meals I've seen in a while!

Compliments to the chef,


hip pressure cooking
making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

How many servings do you think this is? I'm trying to put it into my calorie recipe analyzer. It looks amazing!

Good question Beth, sorry I didn't include the serving number. The recipe says that it serves 6, and in my opinion it is a very generous serving size. I think my husband and I get about 8 servings out of it, but I use fairly large chicken breasts and we're not big eaters. Well, I am, but he's not. :)

Thank you Kevin! That's a big compliment from someone with such great taste. I love your site.

I'm new to pressure cooking, still trying to learn the ins and outs. Could I use dried pinto beans in this recipe instead of canned?

Congrats on getting into pressure cooking! That's a good question. For this recipe you shouldn't use dried beans. You could cook some dried pinto beans in your pressure cooker first and use those instead of the canned ones, if you wanted to use dried beans. The problem is that the dried beans require more liquid and a much longer cooking time than everything else in this recipe.

If you are looking for a great resource on pressure cooking online, check out http://www.hippressurecooking.com/

Why not brown the chicken and veg etc in the pressure cooker? I do that all the time. My PC heats evenly, no hot spots. Also, do the dried beans ahead of time, save on cost and sodium! Or are you advised not to brown in an electric PC?

I brown in my electric pressure cooker all the time. I find it not to be as wide as a 12" skillet so for this recipe instead of doing two batches of the chicken in the pressure cooker, I do it all at once in a skillet. Feel free to use your pressure cooker for browning, especially if it is a large one.

Thanks, Nicole. I have a whole large chicken to cook today, will try your recipe. Must get some fresh garlic & cilantro...love it.

Enjoy! I'm a little jealous. Your dinner sounds better than the one I have planned. :)

I'm new to pressure cooking (by new, I mean tonight will be my first time) which is crazy to me as I am not new to cooking AT ALL! Do you have any beginner tips? I may just be scared ;)

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