How To Make Slow-Roasted Chicken

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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.)

Ingredients

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

Directions

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.