InstantPot Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs

>>, InstantPot Recipes>InstantPot Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs
Cooking these Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs in an Instantpot reduces the time an old favourite slow cooker recipe cooks by 5 hours.

Those of you that follow me on Facebook will notice that Santa bought me an InstantPot for hexmas, well when I say Santa I mean me and when I say Christmas I mean in the Black Friday sales… Either way I am now the owner of an InstantPot and this Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs recipe is the first of many recipes I have developed for this fab piece of kit. The purchase was as a replacement for my ailing and knackered nearly 30 year old slow cooker and so far I have been very happy, primarily because I can now braise meat without being tortured by the smell of food as I am sitting home working. Fennel chicken thighs have been a longtime favourite slow cooker recipe for me but have not cooked it for a while for the torture reason. Working from home and slow cooking is not as much fun as it sounds, sitting around with fabulous food aromas in the house is for me torturous so being able to get the same effect in less time is awesome. So now I can indulge in this sumptuous north African inspired recipe with a little heat from the Harissa and all the freshness of Orange without being Mr Hangry all day long 😉

This is not a review of the InstantPot but I keen to share my initial thoughts, my InstantPot Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs recipe is the first of half a dozen recipes that I have adapted from my repertoire so far and I have been impressed. There are a whole host of features I will likely not use but I love the way pressure cooking holds and intensifies flavours and whilst I am not 100% convinced by the saute function, I find a frying pan on the hob much better, it is an function that certainly cuts down on the washing up. However I did not buy the InstantPot for speed or convenience, I bought a pressure cooker for the intense flavours you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time, so expect more flavour packed recipes like these fennel chicken thighs coming at you in the future.

Cooking these Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs in an Instantpot reduces the time an old favourite slow cooker recipe cooks by 5 hours.
Like this recipe? Then you should definitely check out this one!  Chole: Indian Chickpea Curry

InstantPot Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs

Cooking these Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs in an Instantpot reduces the time an old favourite slow cooker recipe cooks by 5 hours.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2
Author Brian Jones


  • 1 Orange.
  • 1 Fennel Bulb.
  • 2 Shallots.
  • 50 g Dried Apricots. Cut in half.
  • 4 Chicken Thighs. Bone in Skin On.
  • 1 Tbsp Honey.
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt.
  • Good Grind Black Pepper.
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil. Neutral.
  • 20 g Blanched Almonds.
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste.
  • 6 Garlic Cloves. Bashed a little with the back of a knife.
  • 1 Tsp Cornflower. Cornstarch in the US.


  1. Take the orange and remove the zest and set aside.
  2. Then peel the orange and cut out the segments with a sharp knife and again set aside.
  3. The squeeze out the remaining orange juice.
  4. Cut the fennel bulb into 6 wedges (top to tail), if your fennel has some feathery fronds pull them off and set them aside for later.
  5. Take the shallots, cut in half and peel and cut off 2mm of the base, just enough to smarten up the shallot but not too much so that it falls apart.
  6. Set your instant pot to saute and when hot add in the cooking oil and then sear the cut side of the shallots and fennel and when nicely charred after 3-4 minutes set aside, do this in 2 batches.
  7. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and again sear off until you get a nice colour on the skin side and remove, again around 3-4 minutes.
  8. Mix together the orange juice from the orange, the lemon juice and add water to make it up to 100ml, then add the honey and harissa paste and mix together.
  9. Cancel the saute function.
  10. Add in the garlic to the bottom of the pan, then layer on the chicken with the skin side up, followed by the fennel and shallots, then sprinkle over the apricots, almonds, orange zest and finally pour over the liquid mixture.
  11. Place the lid on your InstantPot and cook on manual for 12 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release (NPR).
  12. Whilst you are in the NPR phase you can turn on your grill (broiler) to flash under your chicken thighs and orange segments to get a nice caramalisation.
  13. To finish your sauce remove all of the ingredients from the pan and set aside, set your InstantPot to saute and bubble down the sauce with 1 teaspoon of cornflower mixed with 1 teaspoon of water until thickened and check for seasoning.
Cooking these Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs in an Instantpot reduces the time an old favourite slow cooker recipe cooks by 5 hours.
Cooking these Fruity Fennel Chicken Thighs in an Instantpot reduces the time an old favourite slow cooker recipe cooks by 5 hours


  1. valentina January 6, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

    This dish is absolutely gorgeous! I love the char on the citrus. YUM!

  2. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy January 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Chicken thighs are the best. So full of flavour and moist. This recipe looks fab. Perfect for any night of the week.

    • Brian Jones January 10, 2017 at 7:22 am - Reply

      They certainly do have the most flavour on the whole bird.

  3. Willow | Will Cook For Friends January 6, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Oh man, that chicken looks divine!! Your photos are stunning, too, my mouth was watering the instant I laid eyes on them.

    I’ve been hearing a lot about instant pots and am starting to think I might need to get one. This recipe is helping convince me!

    • Brian Jones January 10, 2017 at 7:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Willow, they are great and fit in with what I want to do as a cook… There does seem to be a move to ‘cook everything’ in the IP which confuses the snot outta me 😉

  4. Kaitie January 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    This looks amazing! Perfect for easy weeknight meals, or even a special dish on a weekend.

    • Brian Jones January 10, 2017 at 7:24 am - Reply

      Thanks Kaitie, it is a really versatile dish and pretty simple too 🙂

  5. Tamara Andersen January 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Love this! I recently bought a Pressure Cooker XL (similar to Instant Pot) after battling my stove top pressure cooker on my stupid electric stove… I’m with you in loving the intense flavors that can be achieved in such a short period of time. I rarely use my slow cooker anymore.

    This is a gorgeous recipe – so many wonderful flavors! I’d love to give it a try…

    • Brian Jones January 10, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      I’m definitely coming round to your way of thinking on the slow cooker… I do love slow cooking but working from home the constant aroma of food is on occasions a real treat but in recent winters it has become a curse, being permanently teased by food is not a good place to be 😉

Leave A Comment

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.