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French Chicken in a Pot

French Chicken in a Pot

Sear the chicken in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid then slow-cook it in the oven.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Entree, Main Course
Servings 6


  • 1 whole chicken 4 1/2 - 5 pounds
  • 1 - 3 tsp Kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 3 - 4 T fat - some combination of butter, olive oil, duck fat, ghee and a touch of bacon grease about 1/4 cup total
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 1 - 2 small celery ribs roughly chopped
  • 1 - 2 small carrots roughly chopped
  • 4 - 8 small garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme


  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position, remove the middle rack if needed and preheat to 250.
  • Rinse your chicken and pat him all the way dry. Liberally season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Chop the veggies.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken breast side UP and brown - about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over by slipping a large spatula under him and grabbing the top of him with your hand. Add the veggies and garlic. Brown the breast side - about 7 minutes. Unlike all the other versions of this recipe, I cook him breast side DOWN because I think it lets the juices from the dark meat add flavor and tenderness to the drier white meat. Plus, it gives the breast skin a great color.
  • Add the fresh herbs. Remove from heat. Cover with tinfoil then put on the lid.
  • Put the tinfoiled and lidded pot in the oven and cook 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the bird.) It's done when the breast is 160 degrees and the thighs are 175 degrees.
  • Remove the chicken to a carving board, cover with a large sheet of tinfoil and let it rest 20 minutes. 
  • Strain the juices into a fat separator measuring cup. Pour off the fat. You'll have about 3/4 - 1 cup jus. Add 1/4 tsp lemon juice for each 1/4 cup jus.


For an informalĀ approach, let the chicken rest in a large, shallow (pasta serving) bowl and pour the jus over the chicken. Carve/break off legs and wings from the bowl. Spoon juices over the meat.
The leftovers from this make a great chicken salad.