You’ll love these juicy and tender, fall-off-the-bone Instant Pot chicken drumsticks. Start by tossing in a simple marinade of lemon juice and spices. This weeknight dinner recipe takes under 45 minutes.
Chicken drumsticks are one of the most economical cuts of chicken that you can get in stores right now. They are full of flavour and can be cooked in so many different ways, you can make roasted chicken legs with crispy skin, toss drumsticks in Buffalo sauce for a perfect game day dinner, or even add the drumsticks to the slow cooker for a hands-off dinner.
Why this recipe works
Using the Instant Pot makes them extra juicy and tender, plus it’s an easy way to cook chicken without heating up your kitchen. When they are done cooking, I love to make an easy gravy to serve on top. These are so tasty served with rice (to sop up all the yummy gravy!) and your vegetable of choice; I’d go for roasted broccoli rabe.
One thing to keep in mind is that because these are being pressure cooked, you won’t end up with crispy skin (if you’re looking for crispy skin, try crispy roasted drumsticks instead). The searing is key to add colour and flavour to the chicken, but it won’t make them crispy.
- Bone-in, skin on chicken drumsticks are the star ingredient.
- The first step is to make your spice rub which is a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt, this helps to give the chicken flavour and colour. This spice rub gets combined with lemon juice, to add acidity and brighten the chicken.
- Chicken broth gets added to the slow cooker before you pressure cook the chicken. When pressure cooking, you need some kind of liquid to create the pressure. This broth is also used for the base of the gravy.
- The gravy is thickened with a slurry of corn starch and water.
Step by step instructions
- Whisk lemon juice with spices for the marinade. Toss with chicken to coat.
- Set pressure cooker to “brown/saute”, add olive oil and sear chicken drumsticks, 4-5 at a time, for 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining chicken and set aside.
- Add chicken broth to the pan, scraping brown bits from the bottom. Insert the trivet and add chicken on top, they will be in a pile, so overlapping is ok!
- Secure the lid and set the vent to sealing. Select the pressure cook/manual setting. Set to high pressure and cook for 10 minutes. When the cooking program ends, allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
- Remove chicken and trivet and make the gravy. Turn back to brown/saute and bring broth to a boil. In a small bowl stir cornstarch with water and add to the chicken broth. Stir, while boiling until thickened to desired consistency.
- Keep in mind that the saute/brown function on a pressure cooker doesn’t get as hot as your stovetop, so you won’t end up with a perfect sear, but the chicken will still be delicious! This is a step that helps build flavour, so don’t skip it!
- These chicken legs won’t have crispy skin–some recipes will tell you to throw them into the oven or under the broiler to crisp the skin, but that will just leave you with dried out chicken. In this case, enjoy the tender, juicy chicken and flavourful skin!
Frequently asked questions
I’ve had success with 10-12 drumsticks in the Instant Pot, this recipe calls for 10.
Yes, you need to add liquid to the Instant Pot to help it build pressure. In this case, we’re using broth because it also acts as the base to create a flavourful gravy. BUT, the liquid shouldn’t be covering the meat.