French Chicken in a Pot (America's Test Kitchen)

"Roasting a whole chicken in a covered pot is a classic French technique where the meat turns out juicy, intensely flavourful, and especially tender and also creates a rich jus top serve with the chicken. This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen and was published in "Cook's Illustrated Magazine" (Jan. 2008). The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup."
French Chicken in a Pot (America's Test Kitchen) created by Chef Hamturo
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  • Adjust 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 (5- to 8-quart) 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 Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted 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 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat.
  • Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste. Serve chicken, passing jus at table.

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  1. zeldaz51
    Wonderful, but it is not roasted chicken. Roasting is a dry heat process, with different results; this technique is steaming, braising if you want to stretch it. Yummy but not roasted.
  2. aester667
    Really tender and juicy chicken. Beautiful sauce. I will definately be making it again. I went by the recipe and think that adding some seasonings according to preference could be nice (thyme, dijon, wine, or favorite seasoning). The recipe as written yields a juicy bird with a deep chicken flavor. It is simple and delicious.
  3. robertoilgatto
    I have used this recipe several times. It yields a truly delicious bird. I have come up with minor tweaks. First, I use an under three pounds free-range, organic chicken. Second, I brine my bird, and pepper it right before cooking. Third, I put a chicken paw over the breast, in order to baste the white meat. The jus is also juicier. Basting and heavy-duty jus gets you juicy white meat. The dark meat takes care of itself. Try it.
  4. Starr 4.
    I made this twice. First time was better. I used a better quality chicken and a cast iron Dutch oven. Second time, I used one of those Purdue chickens that are injected with saline solution and shrink wrapped. They came out vastly different. The first one barely made any broth, but just enough for a nice gravy. I added 3/4 cup of a nice white wine, mushrooms, carrots, onions garlic, and celery and cooked it at 300. It was gorgeous, brown, tender and very tasty. The second one (which I made two at the same time) made me look like a terrible cook. The pot was filled with water that came out of the chicken. The chicken makes the difference. Buy a chicken from the butcher or one that is sitting on the styrofoam with plastic wrap around it. Not one of those tasteless saline injected ones!!
  5. Julie R.
    I stuff the bird with some cut up lemons, chunks of sweet onion and sprigs of fresh rosemary. Don't need to add the lemon juice at the end with the lemon juice already in the juice. This is my go-to roast chicken which turns out tender and juicy every time!


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