Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dutch Oven Chicken

Roasted chicken may get all the love, but I've been addicted to Poulet en Cocotte this winter.  It's easy, quick enough, low maintenance, and never sets off the smoke detector.  As a bonus, root vegetables are easily cooked in the pot.  It's perfect.  You won't even be sad about the lack of crispy skin.

For the pictured dish I preheated the oven to 350 while I trussed and salted a small chicken.  The chicken got seared on its front, back, and sides in lard in a dutch oven, and then placed on it back while halved turnips, carrots, and whole garlic cloves were scattered in the pot and mixed around to get a light coating in the fat.  The veggies got a little salt and pepper, and some herbs de provence was scattered on the top of the chicken.  Once that was all set, the dutch oven got covered and placed in the oven for the short side of an hour.

After about an hour the chicken was tender and smelled delicious, and the veggies were fully cooked and soft.  The chicken and veg got removed from the pot, and the accumulated juices were set aside in a measuring cup.  The pot was set over high heat and some shallots got sauteed in olive oil along with some yellow oyster mushrooms.  Once the mushrooms were cooked, some white wine was added and reduced, and then the chicken juices got mixed in and reduced with the onion, mushrooms, and wine.  Vinegar got added to taste (butter or cream would have been a great addition, but wasn't necessary).

While the sauce was reducing the well cooked and incredibly moist, and still pretty hot, chicken was easily cut into pieces for serving.  This was the perfect time to eat the chicken oysters before the whole mess of chix, veg, and sauce was brought out to the table with a side of lightly dressed watercress.

This is a terrific seasonal dish, and nearly all the ingredients can still be found from local producers.  The chix was from Tea Hills, mushrooms from Killbuck Valley, and the turnips from another vendor at the Shaker Square Indoor Winter Market. Garlic from Urban Growth.  Seriously life changing one pot chicken dinner.

For a classic version of this see a Julia Child recipe here.


steve said...

Happy to see you found your way back to your blog. Chicken sounds great. Hope to see you both soon.

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