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La Belle Cuisine - More Poultry Recipes

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Parisian Casserole-Roasted Chicken
(Poulet Rti en Cocotte)



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“...But Parisians still want to know where their chickens are from,
and that the Sunday roast bird was a well-fed and happy lass.”
~ Michael Roberts, 'Parisian Home Cooking'

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La Belle Cuisine


Casserole-Roasted Chicken

Parisian Home Cooking:
Conversations, Recipes, and Tips from
the Cooks and Food Merchants of Paris

by Michael Roberts, 1999, William Morrow and Co.

“Casserole-roasting is one of the most common ways of cooking in Paris, where,
in years past, the oven had no real thermostat, just a knob that regulated the
flow of gas. Roasting in a casserole protected the Sunday chicken from change-
able conditions in the oven. And for people with tiny ovens or no ovens at all,
a tight-lidded casserole, almost too heavy to lift, became the oven-surrogate.
There are only a few essentials to remember about this cooking method. You
must use a heavy pot with a heavy tight-fitting lid. Copper pots are fine, but
often their lids are ill-fitting and too thin to reflect heat back into the pot. Cast
iron reacts with acids – wine, onions, shallots, even garlic. My preferred vessel
is enameled cast iron, which distributes heat evenly across its bottom surface,
and whose heavy lid radiates the interior heat back into it.
Whereas roasting occurs, or should occur, in a dry-air environment, casserole-roasting occurs under moister, less brutal conditions. Little of the natural
moisture escapes the vessel and the result is browned, crisp, well-cooked
chicken that is unbelievably moist.”

Makes 4 to 5 servings

One 4 1/2- to 5-pound roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola
5 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1/2 cup homemade chicken broth or
low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken inside and out with
salt and pepper. Turn the wings under the bird and tie the legs together.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lay the bird on its side, cover, and transfer the casserole to
the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. and roast for
30 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken onto its other breast, cover, and
roast for another 20 minutes. Turn the bird on its back, cover, and roast
for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh
is pierced. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover, and keep warm.
4. Skim the fat from the juices in the casserole. Place the casserole over medium heat and cook the shallots, stirring, until soft but not browned,
about 2 minutes. Add the wine, broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Boil the
liquid until reduced by half, then remove from the heat and pour in any
collected juices. Stir in the remaining2 tablespoons butter. Pour the sauce
into a sauceboat and serve on the side.

Le Creuset® Cassis
Round French Ovens

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Roemertopf Chicken

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