A classic French dish based roughly on a recipe from James Ramsden’s book “Small Adventures in Cooking” for Pot Roast Chicken
1 oz butter
4-6 baby onions, peeled and left whole
2 sticks celery, washed, trimmed and sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced into 1 inch lengths
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch lengths
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 sprigs thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 fl oz white wine
1 x 4-4.5 lb chicken, preferably a heritage breed or a Freedom Ranger
40 fl oz water
Heat the butter in a large ovenproof, heavy-based pan. Add the vegetables, garlic and thyme.
Season with salt and pepper and cover and sweat for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened but not browned. Add the white wine and allow to cook down for a minute or two then add the chicken. Add enough water to come 2/3 of the way up the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours. 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, preheat your oven to 400F. At the end of the hour and a half remove the lid from the pan and place the pot in the oven for 20 minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest for 20 minutes while keeping the juices and vegetables warm on the stove top over a low heat. Carve the bird and serve with the vegetables and broth in a shallow bowl.
Although technically it needs nothing else with it we served it with sautéed brussel sprouts and a potato dish called a paillasson which is similar to a rosti or hash browns, delicious with all that chicken-y broth.
The next day I took the broth along with the vegetables and heated it in a pan and then used my immersion blender to make a smooth soup to which I added a handful of cut up chicken pieces for a great soup for my girls’ school lunch. I then also removed any extra meat from the bird and made more broth with the chicken carcass…3 meals from 1 chicken…now there’s value!