Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shades of Grey Poupon - French Cookpot Cooking Lesson

My husband bought me one of those French enamel cook pots.  It's like a Dutch oven, but the instructions are in French!  I had hinted that I wanted one after seeing the roast perfection our friend Mr. B. did one night in his enameled cooking pot and next thing you know - there's one on the counter.

Here is my first attempt at chicken in it.  It turned out really tasty, but the aroma, oh my, the aroma that filled the house.  Definitely worth a try if only to sit and watch both man and beast sniff the air.   It's not a "crispy skin" chicken, but it is so very, very moist, perfect for slicing up for salads and sandwiches later. You can remove the bacon before serving if you wish, it's purpose is to add a smoky flavor to the skin and keep it moist.

1 whole roasting chicken
7-8 strips of bacon
1/3 cup olive oil (80 mL)
2/3 cup  vermouth  (160 mL)
4 stalks fresh rosemary
1 large lemon
2 sweet onions
generous sprinkle of summer savory (I used Penzey's)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed slightly.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (177 C).

Stuff the cavity of the emptied, cleaned and dried chicken with one onion, outermost layer peeled away, the rest cut into quarters, half a lemon, squeezed (save the juice) and cut in half again, the garlic cloves and 3 sprigs of rosemary.

Take the other onion, peel and cut into medium sized rings, spreading out on the bottom of the enamel pan.

Truss your chicken.  This helps the bird cook evenly and hold it's shape as it cooks and as you carve it (even if two lemon slices stuck to the top of the French Oven.).  Basic directions are below but if you need additional help there's numerous videos of it on the net (though it's  "trussing" not "bondage" or you may get some web sites you don't want).

1) Pass about 3 feet of cooking string underneath the tail. Bring the ends of the string up around each leg and cross the ends over the top.
2) Bring the string under the drumsticks and pull both ends to pull the legs together. Draw the ends of the string along either side of the chicken and over the wing joints.
3) Turn the chicken onto its breast, cross the string over the neck skin, and tighten to pull the wings to the body
4) Tie the strings securely so your chicken doesn't fly the coop.
5) Turn the chicken onto its back again, it is now ready for. . . . bacon!

Sprinkle the chicken with summer savory and place breast side up in the pan on top of the bed of uncooked onion rings.

Place the bacon across the top of the chicken until most of the surface is covered.  Mix the lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon that went into the chicken with the vermouth and pour over chicken.  Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil. Slice remaining 1/2 lemon (do not squeeze first) and place on top. Sprinkle dismantled remaining rosemary sprig on top of that.
Cover and bake for one hour. Remove lid, check internal temperature near the bone and continue cooking as needed until the chicken is 165 degrees F (another 30-40 minutes in my old gas oven) at the thickest part of the bird.  Cover loosely with foil and let set 5-10 minutes, remove foil and serve, warm or cold.

Now for your salad dressing.  Grey Poupon Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (5 mL)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (22 mL)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60 mL)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of tarragon (to taste)
Whisk together the mustard and vinegar, then SLOWLY stream in the oil in a thin stream, whisking to make an emulsion.  Salt and pepper to taste, adding tarragon if you wish (optional). Serve a portion of the meat on top of fresh chopped romaine with dressing accompanied by French bread, a glass of wine and a little Cartier Baiser Vole' Eau de Parfum behind each ear.


  1. Now this is something I need to try.

  2. Would this recipe work just as well in a regular cast iron dutch oven?

    1. I'm sure it would, they both operate on the same heat conduction theory.

  3. Yum! I bet you could do it in a crock pot too


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