I have been wanting to do this for a while now… but I needed a little inspiration. Thanks so much Julie @ The Little Kitchen !
With the temptation of a delicious rotisserie chicken at a steal of a price for just $6.99 and ready to eat, it’s so hard to turn down. And the stores are smart, they always have these sitting on a warmer, right near the checkout. Normally, I’d just grab one and go, but not this time; this time I sacked up and bought a little raw 4.5 lb fryer chicken, some veggies and herbs, and set out on a culinary adventure. Not only does it give me the satisfaction of knowing I cooked a tasty chicken from scratch, but also it gives me the liberty to incorporate different flavors with much less sodium! Score!
Here’s how the fun process works:
First, grate some lemon peel.
Combine lemon peel with chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, and some salt and pepper and a pad of butter.
Rub the herb butter on chicken breast, underneath the skin. This will make it super moist and extra tasty!
Coarsely chop carrots, celery, and onion.
Make the Spice Rub and apply to the skin of the chicken….really rub it on there good, you won’t regret it.
Then stuff the cavity of the chicken with a few handfuls of veggies, along with a quartered lemon and a sprig of rosemary.
I bet right now you are getting so excited that you are almost ready to get your little guy cooking. I know that I was so giddy… but first, you should infuse some olive oil with a few smashed cloves of garlic and rosemary.
Put the chicken in, breast-side down to brown for 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the veggies around the chicken.
Flip the chicken over, breast-side up, and let other side brown for another 5 minutes. I threw some more thyme on top too, just for fun.
Put the lid on the b-e-a-utiful dutch oven, and put in the oven.
After about 30 minutes, pull it out and pour in the wine along with placing the quartered potatoes on top. Put the top back on and pop back in the oven for another half n hour or so.
Check done-ness with instant thermometer (our new kitchen tool, compliments of Lauren’s dad, Thanks Mike!) Take chicken out of the pot, and set on cutting board (with grooves, so juice doesn’t flow all over the place), cover with foil for 20 minutes.
Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
Add in parmesan cheese, chopped rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper, a pad of butter, and some milk. Get smashing, until preferred texture.
Strain out the juices from the solids, applying a little pressure on the solids to help the process, and discard them. Then let the juices settle and spoon out the fat, which is that whole top layer. Cook the remaining juice with lemon juice and serve this “sauce” with the chicken & smashed potatoes!
Meanwhile, chop up some onions, green bell pepper, and trim some asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Let bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Plate the chicken, smashed potatoes, and crispy balsamic veggies… and you have an amazing 100% home-cooked 3 dish dinner!!
Lemon Herb Dutch Oven Chicken
1 whole roasting chicken (41/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded,
salt & pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
7 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (one to stuff in the chicken, and one to finely chop)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp lemon peel, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 red potatoes, cleaned and quartered
Spice rub: (1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper) This combination was inspired from The Little Kitchen blog
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange racks to make room for dutch oven.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season outside with spice rub (see directions above).
3. Mix butter, rosemary, thyme, and lemon peel and distribute evenly underneath the skin, atop the chicken breast. Stuff the chicken cavity with the carrots, celery, onions, 4 cloves smashed garlic, sprig of rosemary, 2-3 wedges of lemon.
4. In a large Dutch oven over high, heat the oil and add small sprig of rosemary (only the leaves) along with 3 smashed cloves of garlic to infuse the oil. Add the chicken, breast-side down. Scatter the remaining onion, celery, and carrots around chicken.
5. Cook until the breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken breast-side up and cook another 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the wine.
6. Cover with lid and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, about 60 to 80 minutes. Halfway through, throw the quartered red potatoes on top, close the lid and return to oven.
7. Once it’s finished cooking, first take out the quartered potatoes and put aside, in a medium bowl. Then, transfer the chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
8. Now the fat has to be separated from the juice. While the chicken is resting, strain chicken juices from the pot through fine-mesh strainer into a glass measuring bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard the solids (carrots/celery/onion). You don’t want to eat the veggies since they are doused in fat, although I suppose they are tasty.
9. Allow the liquid to settle, about 3 minutes, then pour back into dutch oven and set over low heat.
10. Carve the chicken, adding any accumulated juices to the saucepan (if at all possible). Stir lemon juice into the saucepan to create some really delicious “au jus” type sauce, and serve with chicken.
Herb-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes preparation:
1. Smash potatoes with fork, or a masher if you have it.
2. Add a pad of butter, 2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until desired consistency (it’s best to start with less liquid, and then adding more as needed). Also it would be a great idea to add in a few tablespoons of the chicken “au jus”.