Today I demo’d one of my favorite recipes at Cordata – French Chicken in a Pot. It is a dry braise recipe, and it is the moistest chicken I have ever tasted! It’s also an incredibly easy recipe, and the samples were a big hit!
- 1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2—5lbs), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
- 2 t sea salt (or smoked sea salt)
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 4—5 shallots, peeled, trimmed and chopped in half if large (I prefer the local French Shallots when they are in season)
- 1 small stalk celery, chopped medium
- 1 medium leek, white portion cut in half lengthwise, cleaned and cut into 1 1/2” pieces
- 5—6 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven (or sturdy stockpot) over medium heat until just smoking.
- Add chicken breast-side down; scatter shallots, celery, leek, 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 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat.
- Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Serve chicken, passing jus at table.
Side dish suggestions:
- Roasted Green Beans
- Mashed or Roasted Potatoes
- Braised Winter Greens