Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
This is quite different from the Chicken in a Pot recipe already posted (#7202), which calls for tomato and very little liquid. I like this alternative because it provides you with a whole, cooked chicken and stock for use in soup or whatever you wish. And maybe you disagree, but I think home-made chicken broth is noticeably better than the canned variety. I use this recipe specifically with soup in mind, but it's also an easy way to cook a chicken and results in a moist, tasty bird that is good re-heated. There are recipes for this that call for the chicken to be cooked in stock instead of water. In my experience this is unnecessary since the chicken and vegetables create one in the cooking process. For this recipe, it would definitely defeat the purpose. I suggest altering the seasonings according to your taste or planned use of the broth. This liquid can be used in any soup or stew that calls for chicken stock. Since this recipe results in about 6 cups of liquid, for soup you may want to freeze the first batch and plan on making another. I like to condense it by boiling and reducing the liquid. As if this isn't wordy enough, here are some options for serving. So... Option 1: When this is done cooking, save all the remaining liquid for soup and eat the chicken and vegetables with a supplemental gravy. You can make a gravy from the stock, or from the chicken wingtips, neck and giblets. If you want to do this, put the wingtips etc. into a small saucepan with salt and pepper, and maybe some vegetables like onions, carrots or garlic. Cover this with water and bring to a boil around the same time you start the chicken. Skim off the foam and simmer, adding water as it boils off if necessary. When your chicken is nearly done, take the wingtips and other things out of the gravy liquid and put it back on the stove. Sample it and add salt and pepper to taste. Combine three tablespoons of cornstarch with some water and add it to the liquid, bringing to a boil. Turn it down to low. The gravy should thicken. If you want it thicker, add more cornstarch. For more gravy, add some of the stock from the chicken pot. I like the taste of this gravy, but if you find it bland, add bullion to taste (preferably before the cornstarch). If you do this it's good to make mashed potatoes or add some small whole potatoes to the chicken pot at the beginning-- if you can fit them. Don't add cut-up potatoes since they'll cloud up and thicken your stock. Option 2: Along with the chicken, serve the stock as a soup with dumplings. I have provided a butter dumpling recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The bowls of broth and dumplings make a good first course-- if you do this, the chicken and vegetables may be kept warm on a platter in a 200 degree oven. Or you can slice up the chicken and add it to the bowls with the vegetables for a hearty soup.
- 1 (3 -4 lb) whole chickens, rinsed and trimmed of fat
- 8 cups water
- 3 medium onions, quartered
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 4 allspice berries
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus
- more salt, to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
Optional Butter Dumplings
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 1⁄4 cup minced parsley (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup minced or grated onion (optional)
- chicken stock, as necessary
- On the stove top, combine chicken, vegetables and water in a dutch oven or other large pot with a lid then bring to a boil over medium-high heat; skim off foam then reduce to a simmer at medium-low.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cover (if you put the seasonings in at the beginning you will lose some of them when skimming the foam-- for this reason corned beef seasoning packets are also best added after skimming the foam).
- Simmer until the chicken is cooked through-- about 45 minutes-- checking occasionally, if a lot of the water has boiled off, add more.
- When done remove the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and strain the liquid to reserve as stock for soup, stew, or whatever you want; you must use it within four or five days if refrigerated or much longer if frozen.
- For dumplings: put the stock back on the stove at a simmer, taste the broth and add salt/pepper as necessary; if it's not rich enough, put the heat on high and boil it down to reduce until to your liking. For the batter, cream the butter in a bowl with a fork, then beat in the eggs and stir in the rest of the ingredients, blending well. The consistency should be such that it allows you to drop gobs of it into the pot; if it's not soft enough, slowly mix in broth to desired consistency. Drop the batter into the simmering broth by the teaspoonful (do this in whole "chunks", don't drizzle) and cook for about 10 minutes, until dumplings are set and cooked through. Serve immediately in the broth.