Monday, February 15, 2010

French Chicken in a Pot

I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen, a very informative cooking show on PBS. If you've not checked it out, I highly recommend you do so. The Kitchen Witch always thought herself to be pretty informed about all things food, then she got skooled by ATK. My new goal in life is to become a cook in the test kitchen. That would be simply awesome.

Until then, I'll share with you their recipe for a whole chicken cooked in a pot. Its about the easiest thing you'll ever do, and the most tasty, too. The chicken is unbelievably moist, juicy and tender. Its delicately seasoned, which is nice because the left over chicken can be used in a number of applications.

What we like most about this dish is the jus, or gravy as my 3 yr old insists on calling any sauce I serve. According to the fine folks at ATK they say the cooking method of dry roasting in a tightly sealed environment, causes the bird to baste itself and the juices stay in the bird. This is undeniably true. The chicken stays super moist and flavorful. From a dry pan you end up with about a cup and a half of golden chicken juices. Reduce them by half and you have the most intensely chicken flavored jus to ever cross your palate. You'll want to make French Chicken in a Pot just for the jus. I know I do :)

French Chicken in a Pot
from America's Test Kitchen Best of 2009 Cookbook
Serves 4 to 6 people
1 roasting chicken, 4-5 lbs, giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper
1 small onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
6 garlic cloves peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary or 1/2 dry rosemary
1/2 to 1 t lemon juice

Preheat oven to 250*

You'll need a heavy dutch oven or large pot that a chicken will fit in with a tight fitting lid, oven proof of course, set over medium high heat with the EVOO in it.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with the salt on all sides. Once pan is hot add chicken breast side down. Sprinkle back side of chicken with pepper. Cook about 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Flip bird over, sprinkle breast with pepper and turn heat off.

Add the celery, onion, herbs, lemon and garlic to the pan. Cover top with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and put the lid on top of that. The aluminium foil will help cause a tight seal so your chicken is juicy.

Cook at 250* for 90 to 110 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Once rested remove chicken to a cutting board and cover with foil until ready to carve. Strain off the vegetables skim fat off top of cooking juices.

In a small saucepan boil the cooking juices until they've reduced by half. Serve with the carved chicken and enjoy.

**The skin on this chicken is not crispy or very brown. As a matter of fact the chicken is less than impressive when you remove it from the pot. Please don't let the pale color deter you from trying this dish, the flavor more than makes up for its pale appearance. I take the skin off my piece of chicken anyway, so I don't really miss it.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218.6
Total Fat 5.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 124.0 mg
Sodium 615.6 mg
Potassium 500.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 39.0 g


Tonya said...

Mmmm. I've done this before with great results too. It also works with a couple of cornish hens with a slightly shorter cooking time. In fact, I have two hens in my freezer and I think I'll thaw them tonight and have this tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe and the reminder!

I am also going to make Spanakopita for the first time this week too. Have you ever tried to make it? Suggestions?

Michelle J said...

Oh man that looks good!

I love ATK too. They don't pull any punches about things that taste bad or don't work as promised. Gotta love that! I'm also a fan of Alton Brown. I like knowing the techincal deets behind all of the chemistry because I'm a nerd like that. ;)

Ashleigh said...

I like to make spinach pie triangles rather than a pie type of thing. I find it gets super crispy that way. Also add tons of fresh dill and garlic. Tons. If you roll that way.

Andrea your juices look amazing.

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