Welome friends! My favorite kind of recipe is any that contains chicken, is simple and delicious. French Chicken is roasting a whole chicken in a covered pot is a classic French technique where the meat turns out juicy, intensely flavorful, and especially tender and also creates a rich jus top serve with the chicken.
A whole chicken is browned in a Dutch oven (large pot with a lid) and then finished off in the oven at low heat. Low and slow cooking method allows for the chicken to simmer in its own juices. The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4½ – to 5-pound bird, if you are using a smaller or larger size bird, see cooking time adjustments in recipe.
After browning the chicken sauté vegetables in same pan which will be used as a “shelf” for the chicken to sit on while cooking.
As you look over the recipe you’ll notice the “time” is 11o minutes, but only about 20 minutes are hands on time prep time, the rest of the time is sitting in the oven cooking giving you all the time you’d like to do something else!
This is one of my favorite chicken recipes…and I love chicken. Whenever I prepare this recipes it bring back memories of my Mom, who lovingly cooked meals every day for 12 people. On Sunday we always sat down for a large meal together and chicken often was the centerpiece of our meal.
1 whole roasting chicken (4½ to 5 pounds), giblets removed, wings tucked in
2 teaspoons good salt
¼ teaspoon ground black or white pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (butter, coconut oil, ghee, palm oil, lard)
1 small onion, rough chopped (about ½ cup)
2 carrots, skinned or rough chopped (I’m use baby carrots an chop in half to save time)
1 small stalk celery, rough chopped (about ¼ cup)
6 medium garlic cloves, skin removed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
½ – 1 teaspoon 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 (5- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down and lightly browned for about five minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and brown the other side. Remove chicken, add vegetables and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Once vegetables are done place chicken on top. Add lemon juice, rosemary and bay leaf.
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 minutes. A 3½ – to 4½-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours.
Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. 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 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, 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.
NOTE: The cooking times in the recipe is 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. 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.