One-Pot Chicken Dinner

 

Let me start out by saying this may have been the best chicken I ever made! I used a peculiar method of mixing two totally incompatible cooking techniques: roasting and braising. Crazy right? But it worked! And, it’s a One-Pot Chicken Dinner!

Nothing is more satisfying than making an entire meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken gives outstanding flavor.

I’ve recently come across a few recipes for roasting a chicken in a heavy-duty pot such as a LeCreuset Dutch oven, which is an iron pan with an enamel coating. An excellent braising vehicle. The idea of using it to roast seemed a bit odd at first. Usually you want a roasting pan that has lower sides to allow the heat to reach the chicken and brown the skin. The problem with this method is that the breast is done before the thigh meat and continued cooking makes the breast meat dry.

It’s Really an Uncovered Braise

I thought I’d give this method a try and see what happens. My take away is that it’s an “uncovered braise.” Leaving the cover off allows the top to get some color, but the cooking environment is still quite moist and the skin doesn’t crisp all over like a roasted chicken. However, the flavor and the moistness of the chicken is by far the best I’ve ever had! And, most importantly both the thigh meat and the breast are done at the same time. The intensity of the heat from the high sides of the pot accomplishes this beautifully and those high sides also keep moisture in the pot, preventing the chicken from drying out. A win win!

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I chose to use a lower cooking temperature than I saw in some recipes. I did start out at 475 degrees F for the first 20 minutes. The chicken gets a little color on the top and the pan heats up quickly. I then chose 300 degrees F for the cooking time vs. 350 degrees recommended in other recipes. This is more of the braise approach – low and slow.

I also added lots of vegetables to make this a one-pot dinner. Lots of onion and garlic as the base, some thinly sliced red potatoes and rainbow chard. Not one to waste food, I chopped up the chard stems and added them to the vegetable base along with lots of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and parsley) salt and pepper. Coarsely chop up the chard leaves for later.DSCN5066

I rubbed a combination of melted butter, more of the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper under and over the skin. The lemon from the zest I quartered and stuffed it into the cavity with a little salt and pepper.

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Cooking the chicken on top of the vegetables and letting all the flavors marry is a wonderful way to get dinner done in one pot. Check to make sure your potatoes are completely cooked. If not, finish on the stovetop while the chicken rests and then stir in the coarsely chopped chard leaves to wilt.

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Place the vegetables on a warm platter and top with the carved chicken.

The entire recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.

Note: I’ve made this more than once now and if you prep the roast and then pop it in the oven after, it gets a deeper brown over the top. The bottom still “braises.” I also used different a different herb combination. Use your imagination to mix it up with herbs and spices. If butter is not compatible with your theme, use olive or vegetable oil. Just don’t miss out on this spectacular way to cook chicken!

One-Pot Chicken Dinner
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 portions
 
Nothing is more satisfying than making an entire meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken gives outstanding flavor. Stir in the chard leaves at the end just to wilt. The entire recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches rainbow chard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 large red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 three to four pound roaster
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • GARNISH
  • More freshly chopped herbs
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Wash the chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Trim the stem bottoms and mince. Roughly chop the leaves and save for later.
  3. Grease the bottom of the pan with the butter or pour in the oil.
  4. Add the chard stems, onion, potatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  5. Combine the melted butter, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Lift up the skin and using one-half of the butter mixture rub all over each breast and on the legs and thighs. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of the chicken.
  6. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with a little salt and pepper and stuff in the lemon quarters.
  7. Tie the legs and place on top of the vegetables.
  8. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and cook for another 25-30 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the chicken should register 165 degrees F.

 

 

 

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