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Prepare Ingredients: Mince half of a small onion & 4 cloves of garlic. Rinse rice 2 - 3 times under cold water to remove some extra starch. (Note: This helps prevent the "Burn Error"). Be sure to drain the rice well.
Brown Chicken in Instant Pot: Press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen. Add 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Pat dry chicken with a paper towel, then lightly season one side of the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper. Place 1½ lb (680g) chicken thighs in Instant Pot (seasoned side face down), then brown for 3.5 minutes. Lightly season the other side of chicken with salt and black pepper. Flip the chicken, and brown this side for another 3.5 minutes. Set aside the browned chicken thighs.
Saute Onions & Spices: Add diced onions, then saute for 3 minutes. *Note: If you're using onion powder & garlic powder, saute them together with all the other spices for a minute instead. Add in minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp (3g) smoked paprika, a pinch of dried basil, a pinch of dried oregano, and ½ tsp (1.5g) ground cumin, then saute for another minute.
Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. *Note: Make sure to deglaze really well for this Mexican Rice recipe! Add in another cup (250ml) of unsalted chicken stock.
Pressure Cook Mexican Rice: If you used minced onion and garlic, blend the liquid mixture with an immersion blender. *Note: If you’re substituting them with ½ tbsp (5g) onion powder & ½ tsp (2.4g) garlic powder, skip this blending step. Add in ½ tsp (3.8g) table salt, then mix well. Add browned chicken thighs in Instant Pot. Add in 2 cups (400g) well-drained white rice. *Pro Tip: Make sure to add the chicken in Instant Pot first, and then the rice on top to avoid the "Burn" error. Ensure all the rice is fully submerged in the stock. Layer 2 tbsp (30g) tomato paste on the very top. Do not mix. With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
Mix & Season: It’ll look a bit too watery at first, that's normal! Once you start mixing all the ingredients, it'll all come together nicely. You can serve the chicken as is or shred them up. Make sure to taste the chicken and rice, then adjust the seasoning accordingly (for reference, we added roughly 2 - 3 pinches of salt to open up the flavors).
Serve: Garnish the Mexican rice with freshly chopped parsley, then serve.