This recipe for roast chicken from Cook’s Illustrated magazine adapts a French technique for cooking a whole bird in a cast-iron Dutch oven, a method that ensures terrifically moist, succulent results.
LARRY CROWE / Ap
French Chicken in a Pot from Cook’s Illustrated uses the French technique of roasting a whole chicken in a Dutch oven.
The cooking times are for a 41/2- to 5-pound bird. A 31/2- to 41/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours.
Use a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
French Chicken in a Pot
Start to finish: 2 hours (20 minutes active)
1 whole roasting chicken (41/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small celery stalk, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Adjust an oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the chicken, breast-side down. Scatter the onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary around chicken.
4. Cook until the 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.
5. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Place a large sheet of foil over the pot, then cover tightly with the lid.
6. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, about 80 to 110 minutes.
7. Transfer the chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from the pot through fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard the solids. You should have about 3/4 cup of juices).
9. Allow the liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into a saucepan and set over low heat.
10. Carve the chicken, adding any accumulated juices to the saucepan. Stir lemon juice into the saucepan to create the jus, or sauce. Serve the chicken, passing jus at table.