|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!
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.
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.