Dutch Oven Chicken

For last Christmas, Peg unexpectedly bought me a Dutch Oven, not that we didn’t already have one. This one is enameled cast iron, unlike the plain cast iron models that we also own. So it’s pretty, and very easy to clean.

The dish is nearly trivial to make, and consists of only six ingredients:
1 whole chicken
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 T vegetable oil
3 T AP flour

Preheat your oven to 350F.
Pour the oil into the Dutch oven and preheat over a medium high flame.
Rinse the chicken and dry it with paper towels.
Season both top and bottom of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the Dutch oven breast-side down, where it will cook for five
minutes or so, until the chicken is browned nicely. Watch it for sticking.

While the chicken is browning, you have time to cut and slice the onion.

When the chicken is browned nicely, turn it over to brown the other side. Add the onions to the pot, along the sides. Cover the pot and place it in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes. (My first attempt ran 55 minutes and it was a bit overdone). Set a timer.

When the timer expires, check the thigh with a meat thermometer. The chicken should reach a temperature of 165F to assure it’s done. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it rest.

Pour the onions, fat, and juices into a heat-proof container. Use a ladle to save 3 T of the accumulated fat, and put that back in the Dutch oven. Discard the remaining fat, but retain the other juices. Combine the flour and oil, cooking over medium heat to form the roux for the gravy. When the roux is cooked and smooth, add the onions and remaining juices to the Dutch oven, stirring well to avoid lumps, and cook for several minutes until well-mixed and thickened. If the gravy is too thick, add milk until the consistency is to your liking. A submersion blender may be used to advantage here, but it’s not really necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy.

I think it turned out very well. Peg claims that she’s not going to cook any more.

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