Soak the dates in the hot water for ten minutes. Add to blender or food processor with all the other ingredients and blend well.
Blend the seasoning ingredients together and stir well. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Lay out a piece of parchment or tin foil on a cutting board. Please chicken pieces on the board and cut thighs in half. Generously season both sides of the chicken with rub.
Measure out 2 generous cups of the BBQ sauce into a pourable measuring cup or bowl.
Turn on the sauté button on the Instant Pot and add the oil. When it is hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. During the last minute, add the garlic and stir well. Turn the IP off. Pour in a little of the sauce and stir well to deglaze the pot.
Add the rest of the sauce, and all the pieces of chicken and stir to coat well. Lock on the lid and set the toggle to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 12 minutes.
When the pot is done cooking, allow for a ten minute NPR – natural pressure release. Then, carefully remove the lid and set aside. Take the pieces of chicken out and set them on a plate to cool slightly.
Turn the sauté function on and let the sauce bubble and cook down for 4-5 minutes. If it is very thin, you can make a corn starch slurry with the extra sauce and add here to thicken.
Using two forks, shred the chicken and then add back into the pot. Serve over a baked sweet potato, white potatoes, or on a bun or wrap. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and some diced red onion.