Thursday, May 21, 2015

FFwD: Chicken in a Pot

So this is it. The last recipe that the French Fridays with Dorie group is scheduled to cook from Around My French Table. We'll have one more month of cooking, where we highlight our favorites/recipes that taught us something/etc, but, really,

Chicken in a Pot. This is the recipe on the cover.

The prime placement, that gorgeous photo, and the fact that we saved this recipe for last, may have all served to build my expectations a bit too high. I love roast chicken. Love it. In combo with roasted-in-the-same-pot sweet potatoes, carrots, and white potatoes, it's one of my top 5 favorite recipes (and Dorie's Hurry-up-and-Wait Roast Chicken has become my standby). This one uses all my favorite elements (I omitted the preserved lemon), and looks spectacular in the picture.

Except for one thing. It turns out, this is not a roast chicken. That picture totally fooled me. After browning the vegetables, you brown the chicken, then put it in a pot to braise in broth and wine. Dorie calls for white. I used red, because I accidentally drank the white the night before. Well, the drinking wasn't an accident. The forgetting that I'd reserved it for this recipe was.

This is a divergence, but it boggles my mind whenever a recipe calls for a ton of veg, and then, when it wants you to brown it, makes a side note of "if necessary, do this in 2 batches." How big of a pan do these people have that could ever possibly brown this amount of anything in one pan?? Of course it's going to take two batches. In fact, this took me three batches! Pet peeve. I don't know why. I think because the batches always add extra time that I hadn't accounted for on first read. And, in this case, I don't feel that the browning added additional flavor to the veg after they soaked in that braise for an hour.
I appear to have done a terrible job browning my chicken. I'll admit outright that I am an impatient browner. It always takes so much longer than I think it's going to.

That gorgeous golden bread ringing Dorie's pan was a let down. She says that this seals in all the flavor. I, mistakenly, assumed that it would also be good for eating. Nope. It's basically just a putty to seal the pan closed, that is dry and flavorless once baked. Is this step really necessary? No. Not if you have a well-fitted lid, it's not.

One other complaint regarding the bread-sealed lid is that I couldn't check the temperature on my chicken.

In the end, this was a perfectly fine chicken. It took more time and more steps than seems necessary, especially when a straight-up roast chicken, with all the same ingredients, is exponentially more delicious. I wish I had a more dramatic love for our last recipe, but I don't. It was fine. It feels a little anticlimactic. Ah, well. Fine's not so bad.


  1. Why is this the last recipe :-(
    What will we eat????
    My results this week were not what I envisioned. Sigh.
    Good thing we have a few more weeks for redemption :-)
    P.S. Wine should never be an accident!

  2. Ha! I hate it when I accidentally drink all my wine. Well, not really.

  3. My results were not what I expected this week either. And hey - Cher is right - WHAT will we all eat now?

  4. I was fooled too. But Diane gave me a heads up that this was a braise, so I adjusted my expectations. Not sure what' I'll be eating next week, but it probably won't be French.

  5. I agree, it was deceptive. I guess the good thing about making this at the very. last. possible. minute. was that I couldn't help but see some of the great Dorista advice - therefore, little other than a good splash of wine and the juice from the lemon I zested were all that I added.

    About this dough thing. I completely agree. As I looked more carefully at the photo, I realized that Dorie had used one of the pots that has a flat lid that sits atop the pot (not anything like a heavy Le Cruset pot), so I imagined that that might be the reason for the dough seal - and used an All Clad pot with a similar rim. It sealed. The lid came off. (of course I only used one pot for the whole thing so the dough had a tough time with the hot rim... oh well!)

    Lovely last recipe though. Love your post!

  6. My patience held out for the chicken, but seemed to fade by the time I got to the veggies. I might be more of a lazy chicken kind of girl in the end, but I did enjoy this one and thought that the technique was interesting.

    I hear that you're moving back to the States. Happy for you, but sad that we didn't somehow manage to get together during your stay on this side of the Pond. Maybe someday...

  7. Totally agree that with your post. I first made it years ago and really disliked it. That dang dough ring is icky, too. Eh, I suppose they can't all be winners (though I'll admit I was saddened when I saw this was the last recipe knowing that it wasn't my favorite at all). :)

  8. I had to soak my pot overnight to get the dough off the rim. Not pretty. Sad this is the last recipe, but I have enjoyed cooking with you and reading about all your adventures. It's been great. Keep us all posted as to your next assignment and good luck.

  9. Ei, I agree that while the flavour wasn't wowing, it was good. Looking forward to partying with you over the next four weeks.

  10. I just love that you drank the white wine- that is exactly the type of comment from you and the other Doristas that has made me enjoy this adventure so much. Keeping it real ! It has been an utter treat to get to know you through FFWD. I have been so impressed that you continued on this journey while being stationed in Italy and have found it interesting to read you posts on prices and lack of availability of certain ingredients. Not to mention your fun adventures traveling through Europe - it has been an armchair adventure for me for sure ! And that Charlie is an angel- I have so enjoyed your posts and photos of you sweet and hilarious son. He is fabulous :)

  11. I cracked up laughing that you accidentally drank your white wine. It could happen to anybody so don't feel bad:) I felt the same way about the two batches thing! And like you I wondered if it was really necessary to brown them at all. I browned in four batches and was feeling kind of put out at the time and mess involved in all the browning. Of course, it was all forgotten when I took it out of the oven and it smelled so good!

  12. Ha! Drinking the white wine sounds like something I might have done. At least it didn't affect the presentation. I'm sort of happy that I have a lot of catch ups to do, as it's making me put off the sadness of the end of the group.