Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dutch Oven Braised Chicken

I found this one in a cookbook of mine, and I really liked the appeal of it.  It looked a little bit fancier than just roasting up a bird, so I thought I’d give it a try.  As always, I tweaked up the recipe a little bit, based on my experience long ago of making tomato soup from scratch. 

This one’s a two-step process.  You first cook the bird and the veggies in the dutch oven with the liquid, and let the tomatoes dissolve.

Then, you carve the bird and puree the liquid with a little thickener to make the sauce.  Serve it up, together.

And, then, the next day, I had enough leftover chicken bits and sauce to make a delicious thick soup.  It really was a versatile meal.

Dutch Oven Braised Chicken

12” deep dutch oven
10-12 coals below
12-14 coals above

Serves 8, 475 Calories per serving

  • 1 whole chicken
  • Salt
  • cayenne
  • Black Pepper

  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4-5 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, coarsely minced, or sliced

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • liberal shakes of parsley
  • liberal shakes of cilantro

  • 2-3 tablespoons flour

So, I started off with the chicken, thawed completely, of course.  I’ve had problems with cooking chickens and turkeys that were still frozen.  I coated it with kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and some pretty liberal sprinkles of ground cayenne.  Next time, I’ll probably lighten up on the cayenne.  I don’t mind hot, but in this case, it started to overpower the other flavors.  I rubbed all that onto the chicken, and set it in the deep dutch oven to allow the seasonings to absorb a bit.

While that was happening, I lit up some coals and started chopping the veggies.  These were all just scattered all around the chicken.  Then, I added the juice, the stock, and the herbs sprinkled on top.

I had a really, really tough time getting coals lit.  My wife had bought a bargain brand, and they would NOT light and turn white, no matter what I tried.  I did finally get them going, but it took me about an hour to get enough to get started.  Lesson learned:  Stick with brands you know.  My favorite is Kingsford...

The rest of the cooking process was pretty simple.  Just keep hot coals on it, until the internal temperature reaches 165.  There wasn’t much else to that.  The liquid simmered the veggies down and seasoned the meat, and it was all great.  I tasted it a time or two, but I felt it was all pretty balanced, except maybe too much heat, as I mentioned before.

Once the meat was done, I brought it in, and pulled the chicken out of the dutch oven.  That’s not always easy for me, because I like to serve straight out of the dutch.  It’s like it connects in my mind that this delicious meal came out of the dutch oven instead of my stove, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a greater challenge. 

Or something like that.

Anyway, I tented the chicken with some aluminum foil to rest, and I scooped up some of the veggies with a slotted spoon.  These, I reserved as a garnish.  Then, I ladled out most of the remaining liquid into my blender.  Yes, I used an electric appliance.  Sue me.  I added just a bit of flour as thickener and pulsed it up, then pureed it.

I carved up the chicken and put it onto a serving tray, then as a final touch, poured the puree on top and added the veggie bits on the side.  It looked really, really good, and tasted very gourmet as well.  I was quite pleased with myself!  Smug, even...


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: Long Long Time 


  1. Sams Club has 2 huge bags of Kingsford for the price of one anywhere else.

    Sounds yummy!

  2. Made me laugh with the bargain brand charcoal
    I have been down the same road myself, It just don't pay.

    This is a very interesting article, I have read several of your post on dutch ovens and recipes.
    I have posted several dutch oven cookware articles also, & tons of recipes on my blog your readers might enjoy. my latest Dutch oven cookware article is
    at this link.



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