Saturday, September 26, 2015
Dutch Oven Artichoke and Veggie Chicken
But the dinner was great! It was this delicious chicken breast surrounded by veggies. It had a bit of citrus and acidic twang to it, too. So, I thought I’d give it a try in my Dutch ovens, along with some variations. These mostly come in the form of the various veggies you can add in, depending on what you’ve got.
I decided to serve it all on a bed of brown rice, which was also different from the formal dinner we attended.
12” Dutch oven
24+ coals below for searing stage
10-12 below for baking stage
8” Dutch oven
12+ coals below
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (we buy them frozen in a bag). Make sure these are well-thawed.
2-3 medium to large potatoes
1-2 medium to large onions
Vegetables to put on top
1 bottle or can (about 14oz) brined or pickled artichoke hearts
15-20 cherry tomatoes
2-3 stalks celery
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
a cube of chicken bullion
The first step was to prepare the chicken, which I did while the coals and the Dutch oven were getting hot. I made sure that the chicken was well-thawed, and pat dry with paper towels. One problem with chicken breasts is that the middle is much thicker than the edges, so it’s a little more difficult to regulate the cooking. If I were to do this again, I would pound the chicken a little thinner with one of those meat tenderizer mallets. Not so flat like you do for a cordon bleu or some other kind of roll-up, but just so that it’s not so thick in the middle. Then I drizzled on some oil, and rubbed in the spices and herbs, onto both sides.
I put a lot (a couple of dozen) of coals underneath my Dutch oven, and I let it get really hot with a little oil drizzled on the bottom.
Once it was hot, I set in 3-4 of the breasts and let them sear a little on each side. Then, I pulled those out, let the Dutch oven heat up again (you might even want to replenish the coals) , and I finished the remaining 3-4 breasts. They should have a little brown and the spice rub should be nicely cooked on. It’s OK if it’s not cooked all the way through, though. We’re going to bake it still.
Then, I set up the Dutch oven with the coals configured for baking (the second set of numbers above). I cubed up the potatoes into large chunks about 3/4” to 1” big. Then I cut up the onions into big 1/8th chunks. By that, I mean, I cut each onion in half, and then each half into quarters. All of these got tossed into the bottom of the Dutch oven and stirred up a bit, to coat with the oil.
On top of that, I layered the browned chicken breasts, and I arranged them so that they were overlapping as little as possible. I put on the lid and put on the coals for baking.
Making the rice is easy, too. I added the rice, the bouillon, salt, and the water to the Dutch oven and set it, with the lid on, on the coals specified. I watched for it to start venting steam out from the side of the lid, showing me that it was boiling. I gave it about another 10-12 minutes before removing it from the coals. Without lifting the lid, I just set it aside to cool down and to finish cooking. I let it go for quite a while, because brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. I had to resist the temptation to lift the lid and check it! I wanted the steam to stay in and cook the rice.
When it was all done, and time to serve, it smelled delicious, and looked great. I spread a bit of rice on the plate, then added the chicken breast and the veggies. I scooped a bit of potato and onion onto the plate, too, then drizzled some of the broth liquid from the bottom of the Dutch oven over the entire entree. It was a great meal!
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.