Freezer Meal · Instant Pot Pressure Cooker · Main Dish · Stovetop

Sesame-Soy Chicken With Rice

Sesame-Soy Chicken Thighs With Rice

I’m in love with Instant Pot Freezer Meals! I started experimenting with them as part of my “survive the kitchen & hip renovations” plan. All of which is progressing nicely. My new cabinets are going up, and the new range hood is on order. The appliance folks assure me this one will move enough air that my whole house doesn’t have to smell like sautéeing onions. Especially helpful considering that my laundry room is directly above the kitchen. I started PT this week for the hip, and that’s going well, too. And my freezer full of delicious dinners is keeping us well fed, just as if life were not a bit disrupted around here. I’ve got a real baking jones, though. There’s a recipe for raspberry buns in the cookbook my sister gave me for my birthday that I’m really itching to try. But I digress.

What could be easier than an Instant Pot freezer meal? Dump a bunch of stuff in a freezer container, pop it in the freezer. Then later pop the frozen block out of the container & into the Instant Pot, press a few buttons, go do something else for a half hour, come back and eat! Turns out, though, that a lot of these meals are actually tasty enough to make anytime. I think I’ll always keep a couple in the freezer from now on for those times when I just don’t have the energy to cook. You can, of course, skip the freezer step if you want to make it for tonight. If you do, though, why not make a double batch and freeze half for later? 

Since not everyone is on the Instant Pot bandwagon, I’ve also included instructions for making this on the stovetop. You’ll find those, as well as the printable Instant Pot instructions, at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

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⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

~ ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 knob of fresh ginger (The one in the photo is about twice what’s needed.)

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

½ cup rice

2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Preparation:

1.) Pour the soy sauce and rice vinegar into a one-cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way to 1 cup with the broth, and pour it all into a 64-oz freezer container.

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2.) Add the tomato paste and whisk to combine. Peel the ginger, and mince or grate one tablespoon. Mince or press the garlic, and add both to the broth mixture. Stir in the sesame oil.

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3.) Add the chicken thighs in a single layer, and press them down into the liquid to submerge. Cover and freeze.

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4.) Place the rice in a ziptop freezer bag. Put the sesame seeds in a smaller bag, then tuck that into the rice bag. This way, the sesame seeds (which don’t get cooked) and their bag will never be in direct contact with the raw chicken. Once the chicken mixture has frozen, you can put the rice bag inside the container on top of the frozen chicken mixture. Return the container to the freezer.

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5.) When you’re ready to cook, set the rice and seeds aside. Pop the frozen block out of its container and place it, still frozen, in the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Place a trivet on top of the block.

6.) Fold a length of foil in half, and lay it across the trivet. This will serve as a sling to lift the rice pan out of the pot.

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7.) Place a heat-safe pan on the foil sling. Add the rice and one cup of water to the pan, and cover the pan with its lid or another piece of foil. Fold the ends of the sling over the top of the pan. I used one of my Ekovana stackable pans, because I’m a sucker for gadgets. You can use anything heat-safe that fits, like a cake pan or a disposable aluminum pie pan with the edges bent up vertically.

8.) Leaving the Instant Pot lid off, press the “Sauté” button to turn the pot on. Press the “Adjust” button as needed to set the level to “normal.” Cook for 5 minutes. (Note that the “Sauté” function counts down from 30 minutes, then automatically stops. You’ll have to set a separate timer or watch the clock for the 5 minutes.)

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9.) After 5 minutes, press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to end the sauté function. Close and lock the lid, and shut the steam valve. Using either the “Poultry” or “Manual” button, set the pot for 15 minutes at high pressure. When the cook time is up, allow 10 minutes NPR (natural pressure release), then release any remaining pressure.

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10.) Carefully lift the rice pan out of the pot, using the foil sling. Check the chicken for doneness. Serve the chicken over the rice, sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

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Sesame-Soy Chicken With Rice: Instant Pot


Ingredients


⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
~ ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 knob of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup rice
2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Directions


1.) Pour the soy sauce and rice vinegar into a one-cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way to 1 cup with the broth, and pour it all into a 64-oz freezer container.
2.) Add the tomato paste and whisk to combine. Peel the ginger, and mince or grate one tablespoon. Mince or press the garlic, and add both to the broth mixture. Stir in the sesame oil.
3.) Add the chicken thighs in a single layer, and press them down into the liquid to submerge. Cover and freeze.
4.) Place the rice in a ziptop freezer bag. Put the sesame seeds in a smaller bag, then tuck that into the rice bag. This way, the sesame seeds (which don’t get cooked) and their bag will never be in direct contact with the raw chicken. Once the chicken mixture has frozen, you can put the rice bag inside the container on top of the frozen chicken mixture. Return the container to the freezer.
5.) When you’re ready to cook, set the rice and seeds aside. Pop the frozen block out of its container and place it, still frozen, in the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Place a trivet on top of the block.
6.) Fold a length of foil in half, and lay it across the trivet. This will serve as a sling to lift the rice pan out of the pot.
7.) Place a heat-safe pan on the foil sling. Add the rice and one cup of water to the pan, and cover the pan with its lid or another piece of foil. Fold the ends of the sling over the top of the pan.
8.) Leaving the Instant Pot lid off, press the “Sauté” button to turn the pot on. Press the “Adjust” button as needed to set the level to “normal.” Cook for 5 minutes. (Note that the “Sauté” function automatically stops at 30 minutes. You’ll have to set a separate timer or watch the clock to measure the 5 minutes.)
9.) After 5 minutes, press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to end the sauté function. Close and lock the lid, and shut the steam valve. Using either the “Poultry” or “Manual” button, set the pot for 15 minutes at high pressure. When the cook time is up, allow 10 minutes NPR (natural pressure release), then release any remaining pressure.
10.) Carefully lift the rice pan out of the pot, using the foil sling. Check the chicken for doneness. Serve the chicken over the rice, sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

Sesame-Soy Chicken With Rice: Stovetop


Ingredients


⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
~ ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 knob of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Directions


1.) Pour the soy sauce and rice vinegar into a one-cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way to 1 cup with the broth, and pour it all into a 4½-quart saucepan.
2.) Add the tomato paste and whisk to combine. Peel the ginger, and mince or grate one tablespoon. Mince or press the garlic, and add both to the broth mixture. Stir in the sesame oil.
3.) Add the chicken thighs in a single layer, and press them down into the liquid to submerge. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until done. If you want a thicker sauce, leave the cover off for the last 5 minutes or so.
4.) Meanwhile, cook your rice in a separate pot according to package directions.
5.) Serve the chicken over the rice, sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

10 thoughts on “Sesame-Soy Chicken With Rice

    1. I used Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown. It’s parboiled, so the cook time and rice:water ratio is the same as for white rice. You can just substitute white if you prefer. I haven’t tried other brown rices with this yet – they take enough longer on the stovetop that I’m not sure they’d work.

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