Dorie Greenspan's chicken in a potLet’s be honest – when you’re drawn to ultimately purchase a cookbook, the photo on the front cover generally has some level of influence.  This recipe featured on the cover recipe on Dorie’s Around My French Table cookbook, so when I got it – I knew that one day I would have to try it.

And seriously – who can say no to a one pot wonder.  A dish where you essentially pop it in the oven and then forget about it whilst it roasts away and fills your family home with truly delectable aromas.

And so it happened.. I made this dish and it was wonderful.  Though next time I’ll probably season each component a lot more throughout each step.  It will be for a beautifully relaxed dinner party with pre-prepared entrees & desserts – the best type of dinner parties where the hosts are not in the least bit stressed!

I highly recommend giving it a go.  I chickened out and in the end used my 28 inch Le Creuset – but it probably would have all fit in my 26 inch Le Creuset.  It’s definitely a good idea to open the lid at the end in front of the dinner table where everyone can immerse their senses in the aromatic goodness that sneaks out from the pot once the seal is broken.

To me the best part was the broth.  I went crazy with it with some warm, toasted bread at the end of the meal.  Absolutely delish!

It only serves 4 but would probably feed 6-8 if you have a decent entree and dessert at hand.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed well
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp 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 & quartered
4 celery stalks, trimmed, peeled & quartered
4 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
salt & freshly ground pepper
3 thyme sprigs
3 parsley sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 chicken, about 4 pounds (2kg), preferably organic, whole or cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine {I used the dry vermouth I had in the house – a substitute for dry white wine that I once read about in a Nigella Lawson cookbook.}
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups hot water

DIRECTIONS
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450F / 232C.

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.preserved lemons

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 saute until the vegetables are brown on all sides.  (If necessary, do this in 2 batches).  {I forgot the shallots so did them separately in a third batch!}browning the vegetablesbrowning the shallots

Spoon the vegetables into a 4.5- to 5-quart Dutch oven or other pot with a lid and stir in the herbs and preserved lemon.adding the herbs

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.browning the chicken

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.adding the chicken

Put 1.5 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.dough sealpot lid sealed down

Slide the pot into the oven and bake for 55 minutes.chicken in a pot - ready to eat

So there you have it – a deliciously moist chicken in a pot – complete with vegetables and a to-die-for broth.. xx

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