Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chicken in a Pot Recipe

OMG -  All I can say is to make this dish as soon as you can.  It is Soooo  Good.  This recipe is my take on Chicken in a Pot from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. My boys got me this book for Christmas and I couldn't wait to try the cover recipe. Oh my goodness, was it good. 
I know when I have a "keeper" recipe when my husband is still talking about the meal a week later to anybody and everybody that will listen to him.    I can't wait to try some of the other recipes. 

My only real change to Dorie's recipe was to add mushrooms and use regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes.  I have made other similar chicken recipes, but none compare to the technique used here.  Sealing the pot with dough makes a HUGE difference .   Please do not skimp here.  Dorie recommends that you can substitue store bought pizza dough for the seal to save time/mess.    I used chicken parts to help keep serving simple.   A whole chicken would be more dramatic, but even chicken parts look great on serving.  

Recipe for: Chicken in a Pot


½ preserved lemon, rinsed well
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 cups frozen pearl onions (or 2 large onions sliced)  8 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
½ pound Baby Bella mushrooms- cleaned and quartered
40 cloves of peeled garlic or 4 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 parsley sprigs,  2  6 inch rosemary sprigs (or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary), 2 sprigs of thyme
4 chicken thighs, 2 chicken breasts with bones
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup hot water

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 450 °F.
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 or microwave safe container, drop in the peel, and cook for 1 minute on stove or microwave. Drain and set aside.  This keeps the dish from being too salty.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper and sauté until vegetables are brown on all sides. (If necessary, do this in 2 batches.) Spoon vegetables into a 4½- 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 and add another tablespoon of olive oil. Brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning it with salt and pepper as it cooks.   I cut the chicken breast in half for easy serving. 
Place chicken into the dutch oven, surrounding it with the vegetables.
Pour the broth, and wine over the chicken and vegetables.
Put 1½ cups flour in a medium bowl and add enough hot water ( start with 1/3 cup -1/2 cup) to make a dough. Dust a work surface with a little flour, turn out the dough, and, working with your hands, roll the dough into a rope.  
Place the dough on the rim of the pot — if it breaks, just piece it back together — and press the lid onto the dough to seal the pot.
Place the pot into the oven and bake for 55 minutes.
Break the seal using the point of the screwdriver as a lever to separate the lid from the dough.
Serve chicken and the vegetables from the pot into bowls with plenty of broth.  Serve with bread for spreading garlic and dipping. 

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