Thursday, September 15, 2011

French Chicken in a Pot

I saw this a few years ago on America’s Test Kitchen.  It seemed to me to be a very good way to get baked chicken without a lot of fuss.  I use my porcelain Dutch Oven.  I can always get a whole chicken whereas I have to travel to Pocatello to get a rotisserie chicken.  I usually purchase two chickens at a time and cook them both in one day, just before garbage day.   (That way I have the mess in one day and can have the garbage pickup the next day.)  I remove the meat from the bones, divide it up in quart sized freezer bags, then put it in a gallon freezer bag and label for future use.  I use it in casseroles, in soups, and in sandwiches.

(From America’s Test Kitchen)
Serves 4
1 whole roasting chicken (4 ½ to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped medium (about ½ cup)  (I use a whole onion and just chop it into 8ths.)
1 small stalk celery, chopped medium (about ¼ cup)
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed  (I generally don’t have garlic cloves, so I omit this part)
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
½ to 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

    Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 300°.   Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking.  Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary around chicken.  Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid.  Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160° when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175° in thickest part of thigh, about 1 ½ hours.

    Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about ¾ cup jus).  Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat to reduce it.  Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan.  Stir lemon juice into jus to taste (about ¼ teaspoon lemon juice for every ¼ cup).  Serve chicken, passing jus at table.

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