***I came across this recipe in a recent issue of Cooks Illustrated. It sounded wonderful, and it was an excuse to use my new Dutch oven! ;) Let me just say that this chicken was tender enough to cut with a butter knife! It was also very moist. However, if you're looking for a beautifully crisp and brown bird when you pull it out of the oven, this one isn't for you. It makes a much prettier presentation carved and on a platter. Don't judge a book by its cover though! It was delicious!***
French Chicken in a Pot
Cooks Illustrated magazine
1 roasting chicken (4 1/2 - 5lbs), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped medium (about 1/2 c.)
1 small stalk celery, chopped medium (about 1/4 c.)
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (I used dried rosemary)
1/2–1 tsp juice from 1 lemon
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 mins.
Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 mins. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 mins.
Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 mins.
Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 c. juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 mins, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste.
Serve chicken, passing jus at table. (I sprinkled the chicken with thyme before serving.)