Poulet-au-pot

What would make Robin Hood and his merry band forget about Maid Marian and the sheriff? Poule-au-Pot: chicken in a pot! You too can tempt your band of thieves with this sumptuous, healthy dish.

Serves 4 hungry people. Just add homemade or Artisan bread.

1 ¼ hours cooking time and 45 minutes prep time, with some help from Friar Tuck.

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The Shopping List:

  • ½ preserved lemon (homemade directions below)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 white potato and 2 red potatoes, peeled and quartered (you can use all of one kind if you prefer)
  • 10 shallots or small white onions (yellow onion can be substituted)
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed and quartered
  • 8 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 10 to 12  mushrooms, each cut in half or thirds depending on size
  • 1 large taro root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 chives, chopped
  • 6 to 8 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 chicken, about 3 ½ to 4 pounds (preferably organic), whole or cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup hot water

Let’s cook!

To make preserved lemon: Thinly slice lemon and saute slowly in olive oil, a little sugar, and kosher salt until very tender. Drain off remaining liquid and chop lemon slices into small pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and center a rack in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and vegetables seasoning them with the garlic powder, paprika, and freshly ground pepper. Saute until vegetables are brown on all sides (it may take a couple of batches to do this…don’t overcook). Spoon the veggies into a Dutch oven, ceramic pot, or other pot with lid. Stir in the preserved lemon and the herbs.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning it with freshly ground cracked pepper.

Nestle the chicken into the center of the pot, surrounding it with the vegetables and herbs.

Mix together the last tablespoon of olive oil, wine, and chicken broth and pour over the chicken and vegetables.

In a bowl, combine the 1 ½ cups of flour and enough hot water to make the dough workable. Dust a work surface with a little flour, and roll the dough into two sausage shaped links working with your hands.

Join the two sausage shaped links of dough around the rim of the pot-if it breaks, just piece it back together. Now press the lid onto the pot to seal and it is ready to slide into the oven.

Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

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Now you have a decision to make! You can break the seal in the kitchen or at the table to show off this sumptuous dish!

A bit messy, but worth the first fragrant aroma as you lift the lid off the pot! Use a butter knife or other instrument to break the seal if needed.

If the chicken is whole, you will need to remove it and carve it before returning it to the pot or a serving platter.

Serving Suggestions/Presentation:

Little John must have his bread for the dipping so serve up some warm Artisan bread such as rosemary & olive oil, Italian, or three-cheese.

King Richard the Lion Heart says, “For an added treat, smear the softened garlic onto a slice of bread before the dipping commences!”

Change it up – Sometimes you may want to substitute:

*Latin flavors:  Stuff sliced Andouille sausage into the chicken or among the veggies. Add cilantro, poblano chiles, cayenne pepper, Spanish olive oil, and lime. Serve with large warmed tortillas.

*Asian Infusion: Add Daikon radish, ginger, taro root, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, water chestnuts, and sesame oil. Skip the potatoes and serve over steamed white rice or Chinese noodles.

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