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Chicken In A Pot

April 13, 2011

The cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan fell into the hands of one of my coworkers recently.  Smitten by the gorgeous image on the front cover, we all immediately agreed that we would get together to prepare and enjoy this magnificent-looking dish.  The dish in question is called “Chicken In A Pot: The Lemon and Garlic Version.”  Its flavors are the stuff of homey, peasant food — garlic, onions, carrots, celery — tarted up with Moroccan preserved lemons and dry, white wine.  The vegetables are roasted, the whole chicken is browned on all sides, and then the lot are combined in a large Dutch oven, sprinkled with fresh herbs, and doused in wine and broth.  The cover is sealed onto the Dutch oven with dough around the rim, and the assemblage is baked in a very hot oven for an hour, creating a dark brown crust on the bread, and braising the chicken and vegetables inside the pot.  While similarly tasty results could be achieved with a less labor-intensive (and, admittedly, less aesthetically impressive) methodology, this was a fun dish to cook and enjoy with others.  The vegetables soaked up the wine and the drippings from the chicken, while the preserved lemon bits added an interesting twist.  We drank wine, talked about food (of course) and somehow found room for tea, Moscato, and tiramisu from The Cafe for dessert.

Even if you don’t intend to try any of the recipes, it’s worthwhile to flip through Around My French Table just to enjoy the gorgeous photography and Dorie Greenspan’s well-written introductions to each dish.

Chopping up the peel of the preserved lemon.

Simmering the preserved lemon peel in sugar-water before using it.

 

Flat-leaf parsley, preserved lemons, whole chicken, sweet potatoes, garlic, yellow pearl onions, and thyme.

 

Celery and carrots were part of the mix, too.

 

The recipes calls for 4 HEADS of garlic. Yes, that is a lots of garlic.

 

Browning the vegetables in a cast-iron skillet before filling the Dutch oven.

 

Martha browns the chicken in a cast-iron skillet

A nest of browned vegetables and fresh herbs awaits the chicken.

 

Ready to be sealed and put into the oven.

 

 

We noshed on foccaccia and roasted garlic while the chicken-in-a-pot cooked.

The Dutch oven sealed with dough comes out of the oven. Bon appetit!

 

 

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5 Comments
  1. Molly permalink
    April 13, 2011 8:15 pm

    Wow! The only thing that confuses me is the ‘bread seal’. Seems like even baking a loaf of home-made french bread at the same time would be a whole lot tastier… did you eat the bread or was it mostly functional / for show?

  2. April 14, 2011 10:16 am

    In the recipe, she calls for either a simple paste of flour and water, or says you can use pizza dough (I used the latter). I think the dough seal is for creating a sealed environment for the steam if your pot lid doesn’t fit tightly enough to create the seal on its own. I used a Calphalon Dutch oven, and my lid snugs down inside the pot, which created a sort of scissor-effect on the dough, so that the part of the dough on the inside of the pot separated and fell in. The dough on the outside got sort of crunchy, while the dough inside ended up with a texture kind of like steamed buns. It all tasted fine, but we did make some foccaccia on the side, since we weren’t sure if we were supposed to eat the dough from the seal or not. So, even though we ate some of it, I think the dough seal is more functional and for effect.

  3. Diana permalink
    April 14, 2011 10:39 am

    I looked at this book when it came to the library, but if you liked the photos in this one you should see the photos in the ne Modernist Cuisine—six volumes.

  4. April 14, 2011 12:24 pm

    Diana, I am just waiting to get my hands on that set!

  5. Molly permalink
    April 15, 2011 10:11 am

    I might have to try it! Though I’m not sure if my “dutch oven” is actually oven safe…

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