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 stated....it 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.