The final result looked just like the book cover!
Every year for Christmas, my husband buys me a cookbook. For our first Christmas together, he bought me an Ecuadorian cookbook so I could learn to make the foods of Quito, where we were living. Oh how I struggled to understand some of the recipes, which were all in Spanish! What a wonderful way to improve my Spanish vocabulary as we tried new foods.
Each year he devotes an incredible amount of time researching the cookbook he’ll give me. And every time, he makes a wonderful choice. I now have books on traditional Spanish cooking, international soups, and classic baking. My favorite Christmas activity is to curl up on the couch and read the book cover to cover.
This year was no exception. I received Dorie Greenspan’s Book around my french table, which highlights all my favorite flavors: thyme, garlic, mushrooms, cheese, and white wine. Best of all, everything I’ve made so far has been very easy to prepare.
Almost every time I try a new recipe, I have a vision of what I think it will look and taste like. Unfortunately, the end result is often drastically different than what I had imagined. We’ve all been there…you end up with a dish that is edible, and may even taste good, but the appearance leaves something to be desired. This is why the recipe that I’m going to share is so special: The final result looked just like the cover of the book!
This dish is extremely easy to prepare and tastes absolutely delicious. We cooked up some quinoa to add to the mix and we had a full meal.
Chicken in a pot: the garlic and lemon version
Recipe from Dorie Greenspan, with my substitutions
zest of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2 inch strips
6 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
4 celery stalks, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
2 heads of garlic, separated, but not peeled
3 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 chicken, about 4 pounds
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (key ingredient!)
About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
About 3/4 cup hot water
Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until veggies are brown on all sides. (If necessary, do this in 2 batches). Spoon the vegetables into a 4 1/2 to 5 quart Dutch oven or other pot with a lid and in the herbs and lemon zest.
The veggies are sautéed and ready for the chicken
Return the skillet to the heat, add another tablespoon of oil, and brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning it with salt and pepper as it cooks. Tuck the chicken into the casserole, surrounding it with vegetables. Mix together the broth, wine, and the remaining olive oil and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
Put 1 1/2 cups flour in a medium bowl and add enough hot water to make a malleable dough. Dust a work surface with a little flour, turn out the dough, and, working with your hands, roll the dough into a sausage. Place the dough on the rim of the pot–if it breaks, just piece it together–and press the lid onto the dough to seal the pot.
Chicken and veggies ready for the oven
Slide the pot into the oven and bake for 55 minutes. (This took much longer in our oven which tends to cook very slowly. I’d give it an extra 10-15 minutes)
After you take it out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes. Then, carefully, take the lid off the pot. Dorie recommends using a screwdriver, but I found this unnecessary.
Carve the chicken to your liking and serve with the vegetables and broth over quinoa. I think couscous or rice would taste great too.
This recipe was so easy to prepare and was so simply elegant in its presentation. This may just be my new favorite recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon.