French Chicken in a Pot

Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

Our challenge when working on our chicken-in-a-pot recipe was to prevent the humidity in the pot from washing the flavor from the meat as it cooked. By removing the vegetables—the liquid they released made the pot too steamy—and cooking the chicken by itself and by tightly sealing the pot with… read more

Our challenge when working on our chicken-in-a-pot recipe was to prevent the humidity in the pot from washing the flavor from the meat as it cooked. By removing the vegetables—the liquid they released made the pot too steamy—and cooking the chicken by itself and by tightly sealing the pot with foil before adding the lid, we got the tender, succulent, flavorful chicken recipe we were looking for. After developing the basic technique, we revisited the possibility of including vegetables, finding that we could add a small amount of potently flavored, aromatic vegetables if they were lightly browned with the chicken to remove most of their moisture.

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Serves 4

The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.

Ingredients

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