Chicken Cooked in a Dutch Oven

Friday 7 June 2019 15:19

Chicken Cooked in a Dutch Oven 

I don’t know if they actually cook chickens like this in the Netherlands but this is my classic go-to recipe when we have friends to dinner and I want to serve a one-pot meal using my ancient ceramic Dutch oven. It is so old and discoloured from years of cooking food in the embers of a hearth fire. The moistness of the chicken and the depth of flavour when it is cooked in this way is a revelation and certainly in its simplicity is in the Dutch spirit of things.

Approx 1.5kg whole roasting chicken

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

a couple of carrots peeled and chopped

a stick of celery finely chopped

one wineglass full of dry white wine 

4 cloves of garlic, crushed with the flat of a knife then finely chopped

A good handful of flat leaf parsley, stems removed and finely chopped

2 tablespoon (or more) fresh tarragon chopped 

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Sweet smoked paprika

If you are using a ceramic Dutch oven soak both top and bottom of the pot in cold water for at least 10 minutes.

Do not preheat the oven.

Put the wine with half of the chopped onion, the carrot, celery, half of the chopped garlic, half the parsley and a tablespoon of chopped tarragon into the base of the pot. Mix well and lightly season.

Rinse the chicken in cold water, pat dry with paper towel. Lightly oil or butter the outside of  the chicken and sprinkle salt & pepper inside cavity and on the outside skin. Place chicken breast side up in clay pot and fill cavity of chicken with the rest of the onion, garlic, parsley, tarragon, and oil. Sprinkle the chicken all over with the paprika and lightly rub it into the oily skin. 

Cover with the lid and put in a cold oven. 

Turn oven to 220C/425F/gas7. 

Bake for around 90 minutes. Remove the top during the last 10 minutes of baking to brown. Check that it is properly cooked all through. (Liquid should run clear when pierced between leg and carcass with a sharp knife).

Remove from oven and place on hot pads or a towel. Do not put on a cold surface. 

Remove  the chicken to a warm place to rest - do not leave it in the pot or it will continue to cook.

Make a gravy with the wonderful juices lurking in the bottom of the pot adding more wine or chicken stock if necessary. Before serving drain off any surplus fat from the gravy.

I like to serve this with a delicious buttery mash and whatever vegetables are in season.