French Chicken in a Pot

March 24, 2009 at 10:24 pm 2 comments

Here it is – our long overdue first blog post! It seems that every time we cook a meal lately, it’s not until halfway through eating it that we remember our empty blog pages… We finally caught ourselves just in time as we headed into the kitchen today to make French Chicken in a Pot. Scott recently got a dutch oven for his birthday and we have been eager to try it out, and I just like saying “French Chicken in a Pot” so we gave it a shot. The original recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen, is pretty simple. Here is our version:

  • 1 whole chicken, giblets removed, wings tucked under back
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 shallots, chopped medium (original recipe called for 1 small onion)
  • 1 celery stick, chopped medium
  • 2 carrots, chopped medium (original recipe did not call for carrots)
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
Ingredients, Chicken in a Pot

Ingredients, Chicken in a Pot

Chopped Veggies and our Homegrown Rosemary

Chopped Veggies and our Homegrown Rosemary

Preheat oven to 250 degrees, with rack adjusted to lowest level. Rinse chicken and then pat dry before seasoning with salt and pepper. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat on stovetop. Add the chicken, breast side facing down, and scatter veggies and herbs around the chicken. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until breast is lightly browned. Flip chicken over (no small feat depending on the size of your bird – Scott used his grilling tongs!) and cook another 6-8 minutes. Remove dutch oven from heat. Place foil over the pot and then cover tightly with lid. Transfer to oven and cook until thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the breast and 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.

French Chicken in a Pot

Browning the Chicken

Into the Oven!

Into the Oven!

Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into a saucepan over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan to make an au jus sauce. Add lemon juice and corn starch to the jus and whisk together, letting the jus simmer for a few minutes. Serve up the chicken and coat with a little au jus at table.

The chicken...two hours later.

The chicken...two hours later.

Serve with beverage of your choice

Serve with beverage of your choice

Overall, the French Chicken in a Pot turned out pretty tasty. We served with wild rice (made with a little chicken stock from the giblets) and sprinkled a few of the veggies on top (even though the original recipe said to discard them). The breast meat, which was not submerged in the cooking liquid, did not come out as tender and juicy as the rest of the bird. For next time, we will add just a bit more rosemary for extra flavor and aroma and attempt to keep the whole bird moist throughout the entire cooking time, perhaps flipping it after an hour.


Entry filed under: Dinner, French. Tags: , , .

big jones

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jpodbuild  |  April 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Your food looks amazing. I must do this recipe. Did you cook the rice in the D.O. as well?

    The forum may be of interest to you. I know the members there would love to see your creations.

    • 2. syockel  |  April 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks jpod. Looks like lots of good D.O. ideas on that site.

      Nah, we cooked that harvest rice in another pot. Although, if you added some liquid to the pot about 1 hour before finishing, I think you could cook the rice in there too. You’d probably want to remove some of the rendered fat out of the liquid first.

      I’ll have to show you site to some of my Jeep loving friends in CO.


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