Friday, May 22, 2015

FFWD ~ Chicken in a Pot: Garlic and Lemon Version

FFWD ~ Chicken in a Pot: Garlic and Lemon Version

As I struggle to come up with just the right words for this post, I am feeling sad, accomplished, gratified, and grateful! This is the last recipe to complete in our French Fridays with Dorie journey.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for four and a half years. The recipe we saved for last is the cover recipe. So now, I get to write for the very last time...This week for French Fridays our recipe is, Chicken in a Pot: Garlic and Lemon Version.

My son loves to cook. For his birthday a few years ago; I sent him a copy of “Around My French Table”. Chicken in a Pot is a recipe he has made many times, and is one of his favorites. The last time I visited him, we made it together. It’s a little time consuming to get all the veggies cut up, and ready for the pot. But once it’s put together, it braises in the oven for about an hour.  I made a jar of preserved lemons a few months ago…little did I know that I would need them for this dish. They were perfect! I used a whole chicken, which I browned on all sides, before adding it to the pot. I also used a combination of sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. This was a winner in my house, although I would have rather cooked it on a cold winters day. It is perfect comfort food. A two thumbs up from both my hubby and me!

The chicken sits on top of the veggies and braises for about an hour

Four and a half years ago, I embarked on an adventure, with a group of fellow bloggers, to cook through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, “Around My French Table”.  It was a way to fill my newly retired days. It was also a huge leap out of my comfort zone! My computer skills were limited at best. For some reason I thought, "I can do this"!!  Little did I know how passionate I would become about every aspect of blogging. It was no longer just about the baking, or the recipes. It was about the friendships that spawned from our FFWD group. It has bonded us! We are kindred sprits of the foodie world. Then a funny thing happened, it also sparked a love of photography in me, which I continue to explore and strive to improve upon. And those limited computer skills…they’ve gotten quite good!  Who says, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?

We still have four celebratory weeks left to share as a group but, this is the end of our French Friday picks. The last recipe we will be blogging about as a group. There are several thank you’s that I must share! First and foremost, a special thank you to Dorie Greenspan, for allowing us to cook through her fabulous book! I have developed a deep love of French food and culture because of it! Dorie has been gracious and generous to our group of Doristas! Another big thank you to Laurie Woodward, the founder of this incredibly terrific group. It has enriched my life in ways I didn’t think possible. With much appreciation for their hard work, and for keeping our group on track each week, a great big thank you to Betsy and Mary. And one last thank you from me to Trevor…for coining the name Dorista! I am so proud to be a Dorista!  Happy Friday everyone!

I made these preserved lemons last fall…glad to have them on hand
Sautéing  the veggies
 Place the chicken on top...
 Add the crust to seal the pot
Chicken was moist and delicious
And for the last time, with sadness in my heart...Happy French Friday everyone! 

Chicken in a Pot: the garlic and lemon version
by Dorie Greenspan, “Around My French Table”                                                                                                                                                                                                     makes 4 servings


1⁄2 preserved lemon, rinsed well
1 cup water
1⁄4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and each cut into 8 same-sized pieces (you can use white potatoes, if you prefer)
16 small white onions, yellow onions, or shallots
8 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
4 celery stalks, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
4 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 thyme sprigs
3 parsley sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, preferably organic, whole or cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1 cup chicken broth
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
About 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
About 3⁄4 cup hot water


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Using a paring knife, slice the peel from the preserved lemon and cut it into small squares; discard the pulp. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, drop in the peel, and cook for 1 minute; drain and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables are brown on all sides. (If necessary, do this in 2 batches.) Spoon the vegetables into a 4 1⁄2- to 5-quart Dutch oven or other pot with a lid and stir in the herbs and the preserved lemon.

Return the skillet to the heat, add another tablespoon of oil, and brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning it with salt and pepper as it cooks. Tuck the chicken into the casserole, surrounding it with the vegetables. Mix together the broth, wine, and the remaining olive oil and pour over the chicken and vegetables.

Put 1 1⁄2 cups flour in a medium bowl and add enough hot water to make a malleable dough. Dust a work surface with a little flour, turn out the dough, and, working with your hands, roll the dough into a sausage. Place the dough on the rim of the pot -- if it breaks, just piece it together -- and press the lid onto the dough to seal the pot.

Slide the pot into the oven and bake for 55 minutes. Now you have a choice -- you can break the seal in the kitchen or do it at the table, where it's bound to make a mess, but where everyone will have the pleasure of sharing that first fragrant whiff as you lift the lid with a flourish. Whether at the table or in the kitchen, the best tool to break the seal is the least attractive -- a screwdriver. Use the point of the screwdriver as a lever to separate the lid from the dough.

Depending on whether your chicken was whole or cut up, you might have to do some in-the-kitchen carving, but in the end, you want to make sure that the vegetables and the delicious broth are on the table with the chicken.

If the chicken is cut up, you can just serve it and the vegetables from the pot. If the chicken is whole, you can quarter it and return the pieces to the pot or arrange the chicken and vegetables on a serving platter. Either way, you don't need to serve anything else but some country bread, which is good for two things: spreading with the sweet garlic popped from the skins and dunking into the cooking broth. One of the reasons I like to bring the pot to the table is because it makes for easy dipping.

If you have any leftover chicken, vegetables, and broth (what we call "goop" in our house), they can be reheated gently in the top of a double boiler or in a microwave oven.

Bonne idée:
You can save yourself a little time and some cleanup by using store-bought pizza dough to seal the pot. If you use pizza dough, it will rise around the pot.


  1. This is a unique group in the blogging world. I haven't heard of any group that has meet in the physical world as much as ours. So interesting that you and your son have a bond over this cover recipe. What do you think it is... the beautiful presentation? The hominess of the dish? I would be curious to know. Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend.

  2. How nice that you and your son have cooked this recipe together! This recipe is one that can use two choppers:) Its been a pleasure, Kathy! Your photography and computer skills are way ahead of mine! Take care! Happy French Friday!

  3. Its been so delightful to watch you grow up as a blogger and photographer Kathy! I"m so glad we got to meet! Who would have imagined how many new real life friends we would make when we started this 4 years, 7 nth and 21 days ago.

  4. Sad we never got to meet over the past four and some years :( But I'm subscribed to all the Dorista blogs so I will be looking forward to seeing where they all go after the next few weeks is over! Happy - sniff sniff - French Friday!!!

  5. No have the best photographs and posts and I will miss the FFWD posts very much...I hope you will have plenty to take it's place. I had to bow out early on this group as my family just wasn't matching the weeks picked early on but I have still be cooking from the book with the recipes that fit in our menu plan over the years. Kudos to you for doing it all in a timely manner...admiration abounds from this end to yours. Your photos and posts have added happiness and joy to those of us who have enjoyed each and every one over these years! xo xo xo xo x !!

  6. It has been fun growing and cooking together. I am going to miss this group - even though there are other groups out there (TWD, etc), this microcosm of the blogosphere is unique.

    I am very grateful for the real life friendships that have come out of this.

    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  7. It's been wonderful watching your skills improve - I need to get better at food photography! I am so happy that we got to meet in person and know we'll find a chance to meet again. It's been a wonderful journey and I'm curious to see where we all go after this.

  8. Kathy, this is what family food is all about - I am delighted to read that you gave your son a copy of this cookbook and that he truly enjoys Dorie´s recipes so much. And that the two of you got a chance to make this dish together and enjoy it together! The preserved lemons is something that I have not had the chance to make yet but I would really love to make some very soon and then make this dish and many others from the book again. Your photos are wonderful and really show off this lovely dish!
    Thank you for all your kindness and friendship during the last couple of years,

  9. Kathy, as you know, I was not a part of this group, but I loved reading your FFWD posts - I will miss them greatly; and what a wonderful post this one is - made even me, feel a little teary eyed.

  10. It's hard to believe this is the very last recipe. I love that you and your son prepared it together.
    It's been such a pleasure to share this journey with you. You are one of my favorite blogging friends. I'll miss the Friday routine of checking everyone's posts and sharing thoughts on the week's recipes. I feel grateful to have met you in person a few times. I hope there are more opportunities in the future. Enjoy seeing Cher and Gaye tomorrow! This is NOT goodbye.

  11. It looks sooooooooooooo tender and juicy! I love the combo of flavour.

  12. Thanks for reminding us, Kathy about gifting the book to your son! It's wonderful when you have a shared experience. And it's been wonderful for all of us to share this experience as well.

    I thought this was a fitting last recipe. Fairly early on, I realized that this would likely be reserved for that special place, so I never made it. It was a fun process, even if I did do it a bit late, and with a few shortcuts. So happy that you enjoyed yours - and your dish and photos (the lemons!) look beautiful!

  13. I think you came up with the perfect words, many of us are feeling very mixed emotions. But one thing I am most definitely NOT mixed about is my genuine gratefulness to have found this group to begin with.

  14. Kathy, beautiful photos, as always! I loved reading about how you've grown in the last few years--isn't it funny how things work sometimes? I hope someday to meet you and am so happy to have re-connected with this group. the people really do make it wonderful.

  15. Except to say your chicken looks great, it's hard to find words for the end of this journey. I loved reading
    your blog each week, and I am happy that you found a new hobby from this, photography. Your pictures
    always look fantastic. Since we all live close here on the East Coast, I am positive there will be more meet ups which I would enjoy. Our trip to Manhattan to see David L. was so much fun, Tricia and I loved it.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Looks beautiful, Kathy! Congrats on reaching this moment - what a family you have all created!

  17. Kathy, it was wonderful meeting you and Bill and Cher and family yesterday. It was a highlight of my trip - thanks for organising. Hope the gardening went well today. Your chicken looks fabulous - I liked it, though I would have loved a little more kick.

    1. It was delightful meeting you and Tim, too! A highlight for sure!

  18. LOVE this post, just as I have loved getting to know you virtually and in person over the last four years. You should be very, very proud of the skills you have picked up. While I often still have to ask my sons something about my iphone I imagine your grandkids are going to Grandma to learn how to use their technology - LOL. LOVE IT. And your photography is really off the charts Kathy, this post is a perfect example. I look forward to seeing how you continue and reading your blog on days other than Friday :) Loved getting to know you and your family during this adventure and I know we will keep in touch. Hmmm...Hyde Park adventures with the other Doristas this fall ??? Please keep my Mom and I posted. I can pick you up en route is on the way :)

    1. Depending on the date, I would love to join you! Keep me posted!

  19. Lovely post. I have enjoyed what limited time I have had with the group. I look forward to the next 4 weeks. I think I have seen you on TWD so maybe we can keep in touch there. Have a great week.

  20. You added sweet potatoes, that's cool! I heard so much about this book but I have never seen it in Europe or Asia, maybe it's time that I research a bit. Somehow dishes like that are rarely made in France, at least I haven't seen anybody ever making something like this. Thanks for sharing your version of this classic! :)

  21. Kathy, this is such a lovely, lovely post with, as always, such beautiful photographs. You are NOT an old dog, but you certainly have learned some new tricks and it's wonderful. I'm so glad I got to meet you during this adventure - xoDorie

  22. Wonderful post! I've loved your photos, your food styling, and your stories. It's been so lovely blogging along with you for these four-and-a-half years.

  23. Beautiful post and beautiful chicken! My mom and sister both have a love of cooking (and they both have copies of AMFT). It is so much fun to share that with them, as I am sure it is fun to share with your son. One can really see your passion for photography in your beautiful photos, Kathy!