The flu bug has officially visited my house. I was the second person to get hit and hopefully the last. I can finally look and think about food again. I was wanting to post this recipe earlier but there was no way I could even think about it. Thankfully I’m on the mend and can start giving you wonderful recipes again.
Cooking a whole chicken in a pot is the classic French way to cook a chicken. I’ve never tried it before and I’m so glad I finally made it. I now have my favorite way to cook chicken. The recipe comes from my new America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, which is now one of my favorites. I loved that everything is cooked in one pot. You brown the chicken with the onions and then throw it in the oven. After 2 hours of baking, I checked the chicken to find it was not done. I decided to crank the temp on the oven to 350 and let it go for 40 minutes. That did the trick, the chicken was cooked perfectly. The sauce was my favorite part of the meal! We spooned it over the chicken and the basmati rice pilaf I made to go along side it. I could have kept eating the sauce with a spoon. This made a great Sunday night dinner for us, but could easily be made during the week.
Chicken in a pot with Thyme and Lemon:
- 1 (4lb) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Adjust oven rack to the lower position and heat the oven to 250 degrees. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, tuck the wings under the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, breast-side down, and scatter the onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme around the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, 10-12 minutes. Turn the chicken breast-side up.
- Off the heat, place a large sheet of aluminium foil over the pot and press to seal, then cover tightly with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees and the thighs register 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a carving board, ten loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. Strain the juices from the pot into a fat separator (if you don’t have one strain them into a bowl and skim off the fat), reserving the strained vegetables. Let the juices settle for about 5 minutes.
- Add the defatted juices, strained vegetables, and any accumulated chicken juice back to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Off the heat, discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, stir in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve the chicken and remove the skin. Serve, passing the sauce separately.