Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recipe: Dutch Oven Roasted Chicken

This recipe calls for brining the chicken, and then roasting it in a covered cast iron dutch oven.  If you don't have time to brine it, no matter.  Just salt it well.   You can use either a bare or enameled cast iron dutch oven. 

Because the chicken stays covered while roasting, you will not experience crispy, browned chicken skin. You will, however, experience exceptionally moist and tender meat.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole 3-4 lb. chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 4-5 scallions

Procedure
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.

9 comments:

  1. Wow! That is fantastic! Thank you.

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  2. I am looking forward to giving this a try. I thoroughly enjoyed the gravy/severe emotional problems comment. I had a good laugh!

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  3. Hi Ginny,

    Thanks for stopping by... and I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on the gravy front!

    -Derek

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  4. yes like minded thank you

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  5. I always take the top off of my dutch oven about 30 minutes before the chicken is done. I baste it and then let the skin crisp up.

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  6. That's a great suggestion. Most often, we actually use a skillet to roast chicken and leave it uncovered the whole time for a nice crisp skin. Covering the chicken in a dutch oven preserves more of the moisture... but removing the lid with 30 minutes left is a great way to get moist texture AND crisp skin. Thanks!

    -Derek

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  7. I bake the chicken then use it and the drippings in soup with homemade noodles. Haven't baked one in the dutch oven. Everything tastes better when cooked in cast iron, so this will be great!

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