Classic method yields superior results!
Roast chicken is a favourite Sunday supper in our house. This classic French method is not only super easy, it also produces the juiciest, most flavourful chicken I have ever tasted, because the bird simultaneously roasts and steams while cooking in the Dutch oven. As an added bonus, your oven will stay cleaner as the chicken won’t spatter all over the place! The only downside of chicken in a pot is that you don’t get that yummy, crispy skin to nibble on while carving, but the moistness of the meat and oodles of juice for gravy-making more than compensate. Enamelled cast iron Dutch ovens are handy for lots of purposes and they’re often available at very reasonable prices (check your local hardware store, thrift shop or even garage sales).
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped medium
- 1 small carrot, chopped medium
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- In Dutch oven just big enough to hold chicken, heat oil on stove over medium-high heat until nearly smoking.
- Add chicken, breast-side down; scatter onion, carrot, garlic around chicken.
- Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breast-side up and continue cooking until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Don’t worry if the chicken skin sticks/rips during this process.
- Remove Dutch oven from stove; cover tightly with lid. If your lid does not fit tightly, cover pot with foil then put lid on top.
- Transfer pot to oven and cook until the thickest part of the breast is 165F and thighs are at 175F. This should take 60 – 90 minutes, depending on size of chicken.
- Remove chicken from pot and tent with foil to rest 10 minutes.
- Remove vegetables from pot with a slotted spoon & discard.
- Use chicken drippings in the pot to make rich, flavourful gravy.
**Don’t forget to freeze the carcass to make excellent stock later!