The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

French Chicken in a Pot

I received a subscription to Cook's Illustrated a few months ago and I absolutely love this magazine. It's a subscription issued by the same people that bring you America's Test Kitchen and is an amazing resource and reference to both beginner's and experts, in the kitchen. I read the issues from cover to cover, taking in all of the expert knowledge on recipes, techniques and product reviews.

This recipe is taken from the January/February 2008 edition. While this particular cooking method is a classic french recipe, I give credit to Cook's Illustrated because of the loving time they put into perfecting this method and particular recipe.

This recipe ditches the American way of crispy fried skin on a bird, for simplistic and powerful chicken flavor. As the magazine notes, why concentrate so much effort to make skin crisp, when you should focus on the flavor and tenderness of the meat? The method of "Dry cooking" this bird really did bring out the flavors of the meat and my chicken was to-die-for perfect. Thank you Cook's Illustrated, once again.

1 whole raosting chicken (4.5lbs), giblits removed ad discarded, wings tucked under back
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, medium chop
1 celery stalk, medium chop
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary
juice from 1 lemon

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250*. 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 around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into the cavity of the bird, flip chicken breast side up, and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat, place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to over and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees with inserted in the thickest part of the breast and 175 in the thickest part of the thigh, about 80-110 minutes.. Transfer chicken to carving board and tent with foil, resting about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Allow liquid to settle then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Serve chicken, passing jus at the table.


K8teebug said...

I really need a dutch oven. And a subscription to Cook's Illustrated. I have their recipe book, and it's the best ever.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds really good. I only like chicken if it is really good, if not, why bother? you know?

roopa said...

I love Cook's Illustrated - I got a subscription for my birthday. Although I can't use half of it (all those meat recipes!), the half I do use is great. I particularly loved the French Onion Soup recipe they had in there a while back - I made it using vegetable broth and came it out sooooo good.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love America's Test Kitchen, watch it at 11:00 at night. I always appreciate how they perfect each recipe after trial and error. I'm sure your chicken tastes as good as it looks!

Kevin said...

That chicken looks really good especially with that gravy! I like the sound of the lemon in the gravy. I have yet to try cooking a full chicken and I want to get around to trying it soon.

Maureen said...

Do you have a suggestion on how to handle the fat without a "separator"? This looks divine.

Meghan said...

If you have plenty of time, the easy way to remove fat is to chill the liquid until the fat floating on top congeals. Then you scoop off as much as you wish. If you have little time before serving, use a poultry baster to dig under the fat layer and pump the clear liquid below a basterful at a time, emptying it into a second pot until you have accumulated enough.

Fat Separator:
It's not only cheap... it's a helpful gadget. Even if you only use it once a year for holiday times.

Meghan said...

I can't wait to make the onion soup! It's on my list for the weekend!

Larissa said...

Oooh, I've been thinking about subscribing to Cook's Illustrated - you may have convinced me!

Emiline said...

Your chicken looks beautiful! I like that you have jus to pass around the table. I love sauces and gravies.

I like CI, too. I don't have a subsciption, though. Lucky you! They also put out a magazine called, Cooks Country. It's a little less gourmet.

Kayte said...

this looks incredible!!! i cannot wait to try this recipe.