Because the chicken stays covered while roasting, you will not experience crispy, browned chicken skin. You will, however, experience exceptionally moist and tender meat.
- 1 whole 3-4 lb. chicken
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons
- 4-5 scallions
Brine chicken for roughly 24 hours in a solution of 1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt) to 1 gallon of water. You can also use beer for the liquid part if you wish, and feel free to add thyme, pepper, or other herbs and spices. If you don't have 24 hours, double the salt, and brine for only 4 hours. If you don't have time to brine at all, simply salt and pepper the bird heavily, inside and out, before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Slice the lemons in half, and after lightly salting the cavity (or heavily if you did not brine), stuff it with scallions and lemons. Lightly oil the bottom of the dutch oven, and place the chicken inside it breast side down. Lightly salt and pepper the bird, cover, and place in the oven (salt more heavily if you didn't brine).
The chicken is ready to be pulled when it registers 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast or thigh. This will probably take about 1 hour. Pull it, and then let it rest for 20 minutes or so under tented aluminum foil. It will come up to 165 degrees F as it rests.
While the chicken is resting, you may want to make gravy from the drippings. If you do not want to make gravy, you probably have severe emotional problems that need dealing with.
A nearly ideal side dish to complement dutch oven roasted chicken is skillet roasted vegetables.