A staple of Belizean cuisine, this Belizean Stewed Chicken in the Instant Pot is much faster to make, but just as delicious as the original! Naturally low in carbs, this stewed chicken recipe is fantastic served over cauliflower rice or mash!
Since this week is all about low carb Instant Pot recipes, I thought I’d tinker with a delicious stewed chicken recipe that’s insanely popular here in Belize. It usually marinates overnight and cooks for hours, but when I made this Belizean Stewed Chicken in the Instant Pot, it cooked in less than half an hour and just fell off the bone!
Cooking this stewed chicken on the pressure cooker setting also drove the flavors of that delicious marinade all the way through the meat, creating the most delicious sauce/gravy!
Traditionally, Belizean stewed chicken (referred to in Belize simply as “stew chicken”) is seasoned with a dash of vinegar, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce (depending on who is making it,) onions, garlic, spices, and recado rojo seasoning – which is sold in the US and Mexico as Achiote paste. Some family recipes also include peppers or even tomatoes – but I didn’t add either to my version since Mr. Hungry has a deep aversion to both. 🚫
You can find Achiote paste or seasoning in the Latin section of your grocery store (see example) – or order traditional recado or achiote on Amazon. Deep red in color, the flavors are rich and earthy, with a pleasant tangy sweetness that perfectly complements the traditional rice and beans that it is served with.
For my fellow low carbers, this Belizean stewed chicken recipe also works perfectly alongside a cauliflower puree or my coconut cauliflower rice! Typically you would get a side of cole slaw if you ordered this out – so my keto broccoli slaw would work great too.
If you’re looking for an economical keto recipe that is easy to make, as well as homey and comforting, then this Belizean stewed chicken in the Instant Pot is the perfect fit! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this can be made in your slow cooker or simmered on the stove for hours when you’ve got a leisurely afternoon at home planned.
Your house will smell amazing, so be prepared for random neighbors and friends to drop by around dinner time.
Typically, Belizean stewed chicken would marinate overnight, but because we are using the Instant Pot pressure cooker feature, that’s not as important – though I recommend it if you can. Then you just sear the meat, remove and toss in your onions to brown them, then add back the chicken and the marinade + chicken broth and seal that baby up for 20 minutes.
Be aware that the skin will stick to the pot during the initial sear, even with the coconut oil in it – that’s ok as long as it doesn’t burn. During the pressure cooking those brown bits will melt into the sauce making it taste even more amazing!
Boom. A keto friendly, fall off the bone chicken dinner on the table that will have everyone clamoring for seconds!
Try a taste of Belize this week – I promise it will be a huge hit with the entire family! Ironically, I’m typing this up while in the states for a visit and just remembering how good it was is making me look forward to returning to Belize (and my Instant Pot) next week so I can have it again!
Check back on Friday when I’ll be posting a collection of my favorite low carb and keto friendly Instant Pot recipes from around the web! See you then!
Belizean Stewed Chicken in the Instant Pot Recipe Notes:
Some of these are sprinkled throughout the post but I’ll restate here for those of you that like to skip down to the recipe!
First – don’t add salt to the marinade! There is a lot of sodium in the seasonings used, so cook it first and then taste and add a little salt as needed to avoid it being overly salty out of the gate.
Second – in case you missed it, you can get Achiote seasoning or paste in the Latin section (usually where the Goya foods are found) of your grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can get it cheap on Amazon or find recipes to make your own on the internet.
Third – Belizean chickens are on the small side (and so tasty) because they aren’t GMO or fed growth hormones. For that reason, you can easily eat a leg and thigh as one serving. In the states, where the chickens are a little heftier, you might find a single thigh or drum to be enough – thus I called for 8 pieces in this recipe. You can also use just thighs if you prefer, and that will give you 8 solid servings if that’s what you need. I will do the nutrition info for an average serving of chicken, with the sauce broken out separately in case you want to eat two pieces and do your own calculations.
Fourth – your chicken will stick a bit during the browning process – that’s totally ok, as the browned skin that’s stuck to the bottom will melt into the sauce during cooking, leaving your pan easily cleaned and your sauce tasting amazing.
- 4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumsticks, separated into 8 pieces)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp recado rojo or achiote seasoning/paste
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup sliced yellow onions
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano (Mexican if you can get it!)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar substitute (I used erythritol)**
- 2 cups chicken stock
- DON'T ADD SALT
- Combine the recado or achiote paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce), cumin, oregano, pepper and sweetener in a large bowl.
- Mix well.
- Add the chicken pieces and rub the marinade into the skin. Marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.
- Place the insert in your Instant Pot and set to saute.
- Heat the coconut oil and brown the chicken in batches, skin side down for about 2 minutes per side (reserve the marinade to add back in later.)
- Remove the seared chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions and garlic to the Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes until steaming and softened.
- Add the chicken pieces back to the Instant Pot.
- Pour the chicken broth into the bowl containing the remaining marinade and stir well.
- Pour the broth/marinade over the chicken pieces in the Instant Pot.
- Seal the Instant Pot according to manufacturers instructions.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual, High pressure, for 20 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, release the steam.
- Taste the sauce and add a little salt if needed (it probably won't need it,) then serve the chicken hot, garnished with cilantro if desired.
Approximate nutrition info breakdown:
1 leg or small thigh: 279 calories, 18g fat, 0g carbs, 28g protein
1/4 cup sauce: 40 calories, 4g protein, 3g net carbs, 0g protein
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