Usually when you’re cooking a whole chicken, the focus is on the crispy skin, but what if the goal is deeply flavoured moist chicken meat instead? Baking in a tightly covered pot is the answer. It also happens to be one of the simplest ways to cook a chicken, and the tastiest because this covered cooking method makes lots of true, concentrated chicken flavor.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2- 4 lb onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, tarragon, oregano or thyme
2 or 3 bay leaves
1- 4 pound Roasting Chicken
1 pound baby spinach
2 dozen or so Cherry Tomatoes
Preheat your oven to 300 °F (150 °C).
Toss the onions, garlic, celery and carrot into a Dutch oven and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and bay leaves. Stir everything together.
Season the chicken and rest it on top of the vegetables. Cover the pot tightly with a tight-fitting lid and bake the chicken for 90 minutes or so, until a thermometer inserted in one of the thighs reads 180 °F (82 °C).
Remove the chicken and rest on a plate, covered with foil for 15 minutes or so before slicing.
Meanwhile, place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring the onion mixture to a simmer. Add the spinach and tomatoes and stir until the spinach has wilted and the tomatoes have heated through. Season to taste.
Slice the chicken, removing all the meat. Toss the meat with the spinach and tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
You found it! This is the single most requested recipe in my entire repertoire. Maybe its because the sweet, sour, spicy, salty and savoury flavours of Thailand are one of my favourite ways to fill a bowl. They’re seductively addictive, always well balanced and one of the world’s great cuisines. They’re also easy! This is a very simple dish to make.
I often braise chicken thighs for dinner; they have infinite varieties of preparation and go well with just about any side dish. They are flavour sponges too! In this version I pair the woodsy aroma of rosemary with the subtle flavour of vanilla. Try experimenting with other seasonings for different flavours.