Tender chicken thighs bathed in a delicious sticky apricot ginger sauce, easily prepared in the instant pot with steamed baby bok choy. A few simple wholesome ingredients, dinner is ready in 20 minutes!
It is all about those thighs!
I have officially stopped purchasing chicken breast and have a freezer stocked with chicken thighs, thanks to this Instant Pot.
Have you made chicken thighs in the Instant Pot yet? If not, this is your starter recipe and once you are hooked you can thank me.
Ready in 20 minutes, full of flavor, quick and healthy – you know that's my style.
Let's get cooking!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS WITH AN APRICOT GINGER SAUCE
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – It is always my preference to use organic pasture-raised chicken.
- Apricot jam – I used a low sugar apricot jam from Trader Joe's but I've also tested the recipe with a more traditional apricot jam.
- Coconut aminos – Soy and gluten-free soy sauce, you can also use traditional soy sauce or tamari
- Freshly grated ginger and turmeric – you can certainly sub dried turmeric for fresh (it's not always easy to find), but fresh ginger is essential.
- Fresh garlic – Lot's of it, because…garlic.
- Baby bok choy – You can really use any veggie that you like, the bok choy will be steamed in the instant pot.
TOOL'S YOU'LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Instant Pot – or any pressure cooker you like
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS TURMERIC, GINGER, APRICOT SAUCE!
The combo of sweet apricot and spicy ginger with a grounding base of soy sauce. Turmeric not only adds a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory power but provides a back note of citrus heat. The sauce cooks down into sticky sweet deliciousness.
I've used this same sauce on chicken wings and poured over a simple roasted salmon.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECTLY TENDER CHICKEN THIGHS IN THE INSTANT POT:
- The formula is pretty simple. Mix up any kind of sauce that strikes your fancy:
- Apricot ginger
- Spicy buffalo
- You will need about 1/2 cup – 1 cup of sauce for up to 2 pounds of chicken thighs.
- Dredge your chicken thighs in the sauce
- Pressure cook on manual setting (see times below)
- Once you remove the chicken the sauce will be watery, remember a pressure cooker does not allow the liquid to evaporate so your sauces will always be a bit more watery then if you made it on the stovetop or oven. You can reduce the sauce (as you do in this recipe) or in some instances, the sauce may be fine.
INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS COOKING TIME:
I choose the manual setting, make sure the valve is in the sealed position and use a quick release.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – 10 minutes (I've found this time works for up to 2 lbs.)
- Bone-in skinless chicken thighs – 12 minutes
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – 12 minutes + 2 minutes on the saute function to crisp skin. I also use the trivet/ steamer basket when using skin on thighs. Place thighs on the trivet over your sauce
- Frozen chicken thighs – 14 minutes
MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE
INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS AND VEGETABLES:
The best part about this recipe is that you can easily make it a complete meal by steaming some veggies at the end. No need to dirty another pot, just steam the veggies right in the instant pot.
I use the trivet or steamer basket that came with my instant pot. Remove the chicken once it is done, add the trivet on top of the sauce, place your bok choy right on top and steam for 1 minute.
You could technically cook the vegetables at the same time as the chicken but they will be way overcooked.
NUTRITION NERD CORNER 🤓
BOK CHOY – A CANCER FIGHTING, ANTIOXIDANT RICH POWERHOUSE!
Bok choy is in the cabbage family, is also called pak choi and white cabbage. It is a nutrient powerhouse, at just 12 calories per cup with a massive nutrient punch!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BOK CHOY
- Bok Choy is listed in the top three on the aggregate nutrient density index and has one of the highest levels of nutrients per calorie compared to other foods.
- Bok Choy is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables (also referred to as Brassica)
- Phenols and other phytonutrients in bok choy have a full spectrum of over 70 antioxidants.
- Research suggests that increased intake of antioxidant nutrients, specifically from cruciferous vegetables is associated with decreased oxidative stress and a lower cancer risk.
- Bok Choy is naturally low in carbohydrates (2.2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams raw bok choy + 1 gram fiber = 1.2 net carbs per serving) and high in fiber – yes it is ketogenic friendly.
- Cruciferous vegetables are known for their glucosinolates, sulfur-containing chemicals. When you chew cruciferous vegetables anticancer compounds indole, nitrile, and sulforaphane are created. These compounds help protect cells from DNA damage.
TASTE PROFILE OF BOK CHOY:
- Mild and sweet, crispy texture.
- Baby bok choy, specifically is tender and delicious raw, lightly sauteed, or steamed. Bigger bok choy can be a bit spicier, similar to the tangy peppery bite of arugula.
This recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
- Paleo – Use a no sugar added apricot jam or fresh apricots
- Keto – Use fresh apricots instead of apricot jam
- Low Fodmap – remove the garlic, swap the apricot jam (if you are sensitive for blended kiwi!)
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PALEO GINGER APRICOT CHICKEN THIGHS?
This recipe can stand on its own with the baby bok choy, but is also great with:
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Sauteed cauliflower rice or broccoli rice
I hope you love this recipe for Healthy Instant Pot Apricot Ginger Chicken Thighs. If you make it be sure to tag me, @abrapappa on Instagram so I can see your masterpiece!
Instant Pot Apricot Ginger Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 12 ounces baby bok choy about 6-8 small heads
- 1/2 cup apricot jam (I used low sugar apricot jam)
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 2 tsp fresh turmeric, grated or 1 tsp dried ground turmeric
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Prepare the sauce by whisking together coconut aminos (or soy sauce), apricot jam, garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
- Set Instant Pot to saute, pour the sauce in and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally (you are just reducing the sauce a bit before you cook the chicken). Turn off the saute function.
- Add the chicken to the Instant pot and dredge in the sauce. Close the lid and place the valve in the SEALING position. Set on manual for 10 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done, perform a quick release. Remove the chicken from the pot.
- Add the steamer insert to the pot (handles up) and place the bok choy on top of the basket. Replace the instant pot lid, place the valve in the SEALING position and set on manual for 1 minute. When finished perform a quick release.
- Remove the bok choy and carefully remove the steamer insert.
- Reduce the sauce: Press the saute button and stir the sauce until it has reduced by half. It should be thicker and stickier.
- Serve over white or brown rice or cauliflower rice, drizzle sauce on top of the chicken and the steamed bok choy.
Bok Choy Nutrition References:
- Bhandari SR, Jo JS, and Lee JG. Comparison of Glucosinolate Profiles in Different Tissues of Nine Brassica Crops. Molecules. 2015 Aug 31;20(9):15827-41.
- Eriksen JN, Luu AY, Dragsted LO, et al. In vitro liberation of carotenoids from spinach and Asia salads after different domestic kitchen procedures. Food Chemistry, Volume 203, 15 July 2016, pages 23-27.
- Harbayum B, Hubbermann EM, Zhu Z et al. Free and bound phenolic compounds in leaves of pak choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. communis) and Chinese leaf mustard (Brassica juncea Coss). Food Chemistry, Volume 110, Issue 4, 15 October 2008, Pages 838-846.
- Heimler D, Vignolini P, Dini MG et al. Antiradical activity and polyphenol composition of local Brassicaceae edible varieties. Food Chemistry, Volume 99, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 464-469.
- Zamora-Ros R, Rothwell JA, Scalbert A, et al.Dietary intakes and food sources of phenolic acids in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.Br J Nutr. 2013 Oct;110(8):1500-11. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000688. Epub 2013 Mar 14.
- Zhang Y, Chen G, Dong T, Pan Y, et al. Anthocyanin accumulation and transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in purple bok choy (Brassica rapa var. chinensis).
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