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Fresh Fennel Shredded Chicken

I’m a Thigh Girl

If you haven’t noticed yet, I lurv cooking chicken thighs in the pressure cooker. I think of all the things I can make in there, chicken thighs turn out best. I don’t like all meats shredded or soft. I’m a fan of crust, crisp and crunch. Things you can’t really achieve with the oh-so-useful electric pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Easy

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs however pull apart perfectly and then with a little reduction action, the liquid vanishes to a thick sauce and a little caramelizing and toasting happens for little bits of toasty chicken. I mean. It’s just so damn good. And “Instant Pot easy” that should be a thing, or their new tag line. Haha I did work in marketing back in the day. No, I don’t have an actual Instant Pot, before getting my own electric pressure cooker I used my neighbors Instant Pot all the time, she has two and I commandeered her back up, for a month. Until my mom heard of this nonsense and sent me my own, or well, a pressure cooker. I now use the Breville FastSlow Pro, it’s pretty fancy. My mom loves Breville. If you haven’t bought a pressure cooker yet, and are a kitchen gadget junkie, it’s a cool one to consider. But all pressure cookers use pounds per square inch too cook. So tomato-tomAto right?

So for this dish, cook it at the poultry setting first, then open it and set it to reduce or saute for 10 minutes, in this time the liquid should be boiling and reducing. Stir occasionally.

pulled pressure cooker chicken

Living On The Edge

Also… don’t fret, no, I don’t use a lot of liquid when cooking in my pressure cooker. You don’t need to fill it up to the line, the chicken and vegetables will release their own juices and when you open the pot they will be swimming in fluid, hence the reduction. If you’re scared you’re going to explode your kitchen, go ahead and add the “required” amount of liquid. Just keep in mind, you will need to reduce (boil) it for longer after it’s done pressure cooking, maybe even 20 minutes.

What I Love About This Dish…

Is the fresh fennel that gives it that  familiar flavor that reminds you of breakfast sausage. Basil, lots of garlic, turmeric, and aromatic ginger come together for depth and warmth. This chicken is versitle and delish. Add it to some sweet potato hash for breakfast, toss it in some BBQ sauce and wrap it up in a plantain tortilla, for a pulled pork sandwich experience. We had it over a bed of fried cabbage, garnished with fennel greens, and it was perfect!

fried cabbage


Fresh Fennel Shredded Chicken
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  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup minced fennel bulb
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 inch nub of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp bacon fat
  • 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • a few sprigs of parsley


  • Prepare your vegetables: dice fennel, peel and dice garlic, peel ginger.
  • Add the chicken to the bowl of your pressure cooker.
  • Add in the bacon fat, coconut milk, vinegar, and all the seasoning.
  • Add in the fennel, garlic and the chunk of ginger.
  • You just want the ginger to infuse it's flavor in the dish, mincing the ginger up will make it's flavor overpowering (you will remove the chunk after cooking).
  • Toss with a spoon or with clean hands.
  • Close the pressure cooker, set to poultry mode (Aprx 12.0 PSI for 20 minutes)
  • When the machine is done cooking and the pressure has released, open the lid, stir well.
  • There will be a lot of fluid in the pot, set the pressure cooker to saute or reduce mode, for 10 minutes.
  • It will come to a boil. Stir twice during reductions. You want the chicken to stick a little to the bottom to get that toasty, browned part.
  • When done reducing, mix with tongs or forks, the chicken should easily shred, fall apart, and it should be saucy but not soupy.
  • Serve, garnish with fennel greens, and be sure to find and remove the large piece of ginger.
  • Chop up parsley, add in and mix up.
  • Enjoy!


aip instant pot

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6 Thoughts to “Fresh Fennel Shredded Chicken”

  1. Megan
    How would i cook without pressure cooker?
    1. You can make this in a slow cooker! Or stove top with a braising method. Brown, then lower heat and simmer on low for 30 min or so.
  2. Donna
    I love this recipe! The only change I've made is to use the whole fennel bulb. I've made it at least 5 times and it comes out great every time :)
    1. OH that's so awesome Donna! Thank you!!!
  3. Alyssa
    Hi Cristina! I have to say, I've always been a fan of the chicken thigh over the breast, but the flavors in this recipe were super unique and incredible! Just one question. I noticed there's not a lot of liquid in the recipe and I'm used to using the 'one cup of liquid' rule for my instant pot recipes. I added more coconut milk and spent a little more time reducing it down after it finished so it still turned out awesome, but wanted to get your input. Thanks again!!
    1. Hi Alyssa! So glad you enjoyed it! I have a Breville Fast Slow Pro, and although, like all pressure cookers it has a liquid minimum, I have learned that when cooking chicken, it released A LOT of liquid on it's own, as do the veggies and such in the recipe. But it's up to you, do what you feel comfortable with. I am breaking the rule :)

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