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.
FRENCH CHICKEN IN A POT
(From America’s Test Kitchen)
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.