How To Make Slow-Roasted Chicken


Have I mentioned lately how much I love our Dutch oven? (Even though Le Creuset insists on calling it a French oven.) You can throw just about any big hunk of meat in there and a few hours later you’ve got an amazing dinner.

The funny thing is, the more we use it the more we go in two opposite directions: More seasoning (potted chicken with tomatoes and Italian herbs), and less seasoning. And both directions are great. I’m starting to think the secret may be a well-cooked piece of meat. Who would have guessed?

(Oh, and PS: It takes about five minutes hands-on time to prepare it.)


120423-150602_Lg1 whole frying chicken (~3-5 pounds)
olive oil
butter (oops, forgot to put it in the picture)
kosher salt & fresh-ground black pepper


Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.


Heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the Dutch oven on the stovetop and add the chicken.

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Season with salt and pepper while the bottom browns a little.

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Turn it over and season the other side.


Turn once or twice, make sure the skin gets a little color.


Good enough. No need to play around with it too much. Give it another shot of olive oil and a pat of butter.

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Cover and put in the oven at 350° F. After about two hours, check with an instant-read thermometer that the breast is up to 160° F. This one wasn’t — it was still nearly frozen inside when we started, so it took a total of two-and-a-half hours.


Ever heard the expression “fall-off-the-bone tender”? Look what happened when I tried to lift it out of the pot by the breast.


As I lifted the rest of the pieces out, every bone I grabbed pulled out clean.


Speaking of a side dish — okay, so I wasn’t speaking of a side dish, work with me here — we kept with the spirit of super-simple and made a pot of plain rice. Then stirred in about a half-cup of the drippings from the chicken.

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Good lord that stuff was good.

And so is the chicken.

And that’s it.


  1. After you’ve flavored your rice with that heavenly essence, go ahead and add another pat or 2 of butter to the pot along with some flour to make a roux. Then pour in a can of chicken broth and have your gravy, too!

  2. Greatgranny22 says:

    I grew up eating this same roasted chicken and I’m 65 yrs old. Additionally, my mother made a gravy with the pan drippings, a little flour and water. The meal consisted of roasted chicken, white rice with gravy, peas and cornbread (we’re from the deep south). I still make this quite often as my husband and grandchildren love it.

    • Barb and Granny, I thought about doing the gravy. But the chicken smelled too good, and the rice was getting cold.

  3. That looks delicious. Would the same technique work in a cast-iron Dutch oven? (My budget only runs to Lodge, not LeCreuset).

    • Absolutely. I’d just use a little more oil, or even better some bacon fat, to make sure it doesn’t stick.

  4. Gretchen Alt-Cooper says:

    Made this last weekend, but had cauliflower colcannon with leeks and baked pumpkin as accompaniments – oh, it was so good! Boyfriend and I agreed that this is one we will often make – so easy and so delicious. I stuffed the chicken with some organic lemons he had brought me, and some sprigs of lemon thyme. The aroma of the baking chicken had us salivating long before dinner was ready.

    • Gretchen, this method works for any large cut of meat. My wife has totally fallen in love with the dutch oven. (Okay Le Creuset people, French oven. Happy?) She’s also gotten into cooking chicken with lemon lately. Just had it tonight and it was fabulous.

  5. Thank you so very much. This recipe/guide has changed my life- roasting a whole chicken was one of those things that I always thought was too hard. Now that I can do this, I’m trying a lot more stuff in the kitchen now!

  6. Jamie Robertson says:

    I think your blog is really helpful for new cooks to be able to learn to do things that they never thought they could do before. I always learn a lot when coming here and today is no exception. I really appreciate that you take the time to use images with your explanations every step of the way and not just show the finished product. I think it helps cooks as they go through knowing that they have done things the right way.

    • I heartily agree, Jamie. I’m no novice in the kitchen, and I still love the way Drew lays out the recipes step-by-step and with pictures. Even someone who’s used to cooking likes to see how a recipe was supposed to look.

  7. As to Le Crueset, I just bought one of their items, and I discovered it was not a French anything. Or Dutch for that matter. It was made in China! I was horrified. The whole reason I went to Le Crueset was because of troubles I had with Enamel flaking off of metal during cooking. Le Crueset has (or at least it had) a reputation for quality, I can’t possibly trust them now. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can find enamelled or cast — like Le Crueset — cookware that is of quality and not made in China?

  8. It looks delicious. Thanks for the share.

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