Magazine Monday - French Chicken

Oh, if you enjoy a roasted chicken, you will love this one. It's from Cook's Illustrated magazine.

One thing that prompted me to try this recipe was the beginning paragraph of Charles Kelsey’s article in Cook’s Illustrated.

I first encountered poulet en cocotte in a Parisian bistro last fall. Recommended to me by the waiter as a specialty of the house, the dish featured a whole chicken baked with a smattering of root vegetables in a covered pot. It was just the kind of comfort food I was craving on that cold, wet night.

The bird arrived on my table in a cast-iron pot, and my anticipation grew as the waiter lifted the lid. At first glance, it was nothing to rave about – the it had pale, soft very unlike the crisp exterior of roasted poultry I was used to, but the deep aroma was better than any that of any roast chicken I could remember.

The meat was incredibly tender and juicy, with a rich, soul satisfying flavor

Well….with an introduction such as that, how could I resist trying this recipe? Plus we are big fans of a roasted chicken in our house.

Ready to grab your ingredients? There aren't many, this is easy.........

1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back (see note)

2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)

1 stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)

6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed

1 bay leaf

1 medium sprig fresh rosemary

Start by adjusting 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 over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) 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 from heat. Now place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid.

Transfer pot to oven and cook for approximately 2 hours. It's done when a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees 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 10 minutes. While it is sitting there covered, strain the fat off the broth.

Place the stewed garlic and onion mixture in a bowl. It will be great to ladle over rice or on the chicken.

We served this with a lightly stir-fried mixture of yellow squash, scallions, mushrooms and fresh tomato.

It was juicy and tasted like chicken. Just chicken. That sounds bland, doesn't it? But it was just as the author of this article was pure.

In the dry environment, without benefit of tomato sauce or broth or any liquid, the juices that come out of the chicken go right back in, undiluted by other ingredients and flavors.

And you know I made soup and broth from the carcass and leftover meat......stay tuned!

Cook’s Illustrated, January/February issue.


Janel said...

I will definitely try this soon. Easy and tasty are two things that don't always happen, but it sounds like this recipe makes them true!

Pierce said...

Janel - it warms up your kitchen too. Nice for this cool weather/

Kim said...

I just picked up a Cook's Country and Best of Test Kitchen Mag and I LOVE THEM! This french chicken sounds delicious and your chicken looks really moist. I love that you made a soup from what was left. Can't wait to see what soup you made!

A Year on the Grill said...

that is a beautiful chicken... I need to make one fothese, and besides i used up all my stock... Time to buy a chicken!

Cathy said...

I love any kind of roasted chicken! My all time favourite is the barefoot contessa recipe where you stuff the chicken with lemons and garlic.

Wandering Coyote said...

Wow, that looks totally awesome, Pierce!

Anonymous said...

The chicken looks terrific, very flavorful!

creampuff said...

Wow, Tina! It looks so tender! And it looks like a great comfort dish. Nicely done!

poppyseed said...

That looks like chicken the way I love it--tender and delicious, rather than dry and crunchy.
I'll be making it.

Fresh Local and Best said...

I love Cook's Illustrated and trust their recipes. This one looks very good and I will be trying it! Thanks for sharing!

Nova Walsh: said...

I don't know how you could resist not making this recipe with a description like the one you quoted. I'll definitely have to try it - sounds like a good alternative to the roasted chicken I always do.

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Tina, I just did this last week it was oh so good and of course, I too made stock out of the rich juices. I actually posted the recipe and seasoned chicken on my blog when someone complained about it being too graphic.

Yours looks yummy!!! I too was thrown off by the lack of crispiness but that soon diminished on the first forkful.

Thanks for sharing...

The Food Hunter said...

Sounds like a good chicken recipe to add to my collection

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm from Australia...are the temperatures you have in the recipe Celcius or Fahrenheit?
Thank you,

Lord of Squirrel Head Manor said...

Angela, Tina is tied up at the moment, so I will take this one...The temps in the recipe are in Fahrenheit.

Pierce said...

Kim - I just saw your post via google reader today (when I was at work) - your post is great and thanks for the award - I'll post on it later!! Yeah, that's a great magazine, so many ideas.

Year on the Grill - you can never have too much chicken on hand! Hey, exciting news about you moving to the US Virgin Islands... Wow!

Cathy - I a huge fan of roasted chicken. Haven't tried the Contessa yet, thank you for the idea.

WC - I KNOW you love a roasted chicken. Thank you :-)

Five Star Foodie - Thank you Natasha :-)

Creampuff- thanks for the link on your blog. I really appreciate it.

Thank you Poppyseed, Fresh and Local Best, Angela from Australia, Mova Walsh, Food Hunter and Louise!

Louise - What a coincidence that you and I roasted the same meal. I have to go check your post out - too graphic? Photos or description? I have to see.

KBeau said...

Thanks for stopping by my Life in the Slow Lane. What a coincidence. BTW, my daughter-in-law swears by Cooks Illustrated. She loves the website.

Pierce said...

KBeau - I am enjoying that magazine so much. It's been around for ages but, it's new to me.
And wow, what a coincidence about our blog names!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Tina, I think the problem was I included it in between Sock-It-To-Me-Cake & Butterscotch Apple Dumplings. No problem, I took it down. I'll save it for another post. Here's the link.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

I've cooked chicken many ways but never like this. Must try. (Had to delete last comment due to atrocious spelling!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for helping me out with the temperature. I will look forward to cooking this meal.
Regards from Australia,

Pierce said...

Thanks for the link Louise. I had not had time to get over there yet but plan to today. I am home awaiting a repairman and last night was a bust. Got stuck out...I'll post about it!

Sarah - thank you, this is a good one and we love roasted chicken, this will definitely be a repeat.

Anonymous Australia - glad you got the info. Please do drop me line and let me know how it turns out :-)

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