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Herb-Roasted Chicken in a Dutch Oven

roasted chicken 1

There are several methods and recipes on how to roast a whole chicken. Getting a crisp-browned skin is an obsessive goal for some cooks, while getting a succulent moist meat is more important to others.  In this dutch oven method there is a medium between the two.

Herbs

Before I roasted a whole chicken I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing.  I just did not realize how easy it was. When you buy a whole chicken from the grocery store it is cleaned and the giblets (liver, heart, gizzard) are all removed. Meaning that they are not attached and you can easily take them out and discard them, use them for chicken stock or some other culinary adventure.

Now that all the “gross” stuff is out of the way you can create a wonderfully aromatic and heartily comforting meal all in one pot. Roasted chicken is great for a small dinner party or gathering. It takes little attention once you get it started. That way you can focus on your guest.

Roasted Chicken

Herb-Roasted Chicken

If you don’t have a dutch oven use a heavy, oven safe pot.  

3-4 pound whole chicken, remove giblets
1 cup dry white wine
few bunches of fresh herbs, various kinds (I used thyme, tarragon, sage, and rosemary from my garden )
2 leeks
3 carrots
3 parsnips
3-5 baby red potatoes
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
5-6 garlic cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
Prepare your chicken by rinsing it and patting it dry with paper towels. Having a dry chicken helps the skin to be more crisp. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Set aside while preparing the vegetables. Clean and slice the white and light green part of the leeks into 1/2 inch thick medallions. Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut in half. Cut baby red potatoes into quarters.
Crush garlic cloves with the flat edge of a knife. Crush herbs to releases oils, making it more fragrant and theoretically more flavorful.
Fill cavity with half the garlic and half the fresh herbs.
Heat butter in dutch oven on medium heat. Place chicken in dutch oven and sear for about 1 minute then carefully flip and sear other side for one minute.  Remove chicken from dutch oven and drain excess butter off. Fill dutch oven with root vegetables, remaining herbs and garlic, leeks, white wine and the chicken, breast side up.
Bake, uncovered for 60 to 90 minutes.  The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees fahrenheit. and the juices should run clear. Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Resting meat helps the juices redistribute and makes the meat more moist.

Serves about four to five people.

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