French Chicken in a Pot – November 14, 2010

I ran across this Cook’s Illustrated recipe a couple of times and thought it held a lot of promise. I first was intrigued when I saw the recipe in the January 2008 copy of the magazine. Then a month or so ago I watched them make it on America’s Test Kitchen. Note: Thank link may now be behind a pay wall or at least require you to sign up.

It looked to be very simple to prepare giving me plenty of time to do other things while the chicken cooks. The basic plan is to take a whole chicken, give it a rub, sear it for a few minutes with some vegetables and then pop in the oven for an hour or so. It would result in a tender, tasty chicken with some delicious jus. Can you hear a big “but” coming?

A version of the recipe can be found here.

The ingredients are simplicity itself: a chicken with nice fresh vegetables and aromatics

Prepped and ready for the pot

Break out Old Blue for a quick sear with the onion and celery

Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then the lid to make sure none of the steam escapes

All done! The sauce is strained and fat removed; then the resulting jous goes into a pan for a quick simmer

The finished product. Just carve and serve

Looks wonderful. I learned a new way to carve which is a plus. Remove the leg and wing. Then take the breast off in one piece and slice against the grain. I used the same technique on the turkey at Thanksgiving with success. Carla made cornbread and a broccoli slaw.

It looked good. But the flavor was very bland. The rub on the skin all ended up in the jous making it too salty. Next time (if there is a next time), I’ll put the rub under the skin; and go with a smaller chicken. This specimen was about 5 pounds.. All in all it really was kind of dry and bland. It made good chicken salad for lunch the following week!

Rating: ★★★  2 Stars

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