Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Sixty-Four: Around My French Table

by Dorrie Greenspan

   Chicken in a Pot: The Garlic and Lemon Version

Tuesday nights are usually reserved for puzzle night with my sister. However this night she had of all things, a Christmas party to go to and my better half was out on a night ride. So what does one do when left alone? Cook something to post about of course!

I have said this before and I'm going to say it again; I love one pot dishes! Though technically this was a two pot/pan recipe being you have to brown your veggies and chicken first.

The ingredient list calls for 16 small white onions which my grocery did have but I thought the pearl yellow onions looked too cute to pass up. I should have gone with the slightly larger white onion for it was quite a tedious job peeling all those teeny, tiny pearl onions. One item my local market did not carry was preserved lemons, so I was going substitute a bit of lemon zest, which I forgot - not a problem though; this is one recipe you certainly can play around with the ingredients to your liking.

Success meter (1-3): 3

ohhh the aroma! mmmm...

Looks like a pig!

I think my dough was a tad bit too wet.

Well... it certainly isn't as beautiful as the cover
recipe photo - good thing this not to be eaten!

Again - the aroma!

The crust forms a wonderful seal to produce
a fall-off-the-bone delight.

Bummer I forgot to buy french bread to
soak up the yummy juices!

Andy picking the bones clean
just like at Thanksgiving.
Thanks hon!

Now... hopefully after an overnight soak I   
will be able to get that crust off my pot.

Chicken in a Pot: The Garlic and Lemon Version
Serves 4

½ preserved lemon, rinsed well
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
5 Tbl 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 springs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, preferably organic, whole or cut into eight pieces,
at room temperature
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
About 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
About ¾ cup hot water

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°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 ½ - to5-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 1½ 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.

Around My French Table/Dorrie Greenspan

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