In the Spring of 2015, I ordered me a bunch of chickens, as well as a couple of rabbits, from a nearby farmer who had been wholeheartedly recommended to me. The recommendation did come with a bit of a warning, though: Mr. Herman, he likes to raise BIG birds! I thought good, I love me some big fat chickens, you know. If I’m gonna go through the “trouble” of roasting a whole chicken, might as well make it worth my while and have it last a couple of meals.
Well, let me tell you, the guy really wasn’t lying. When Mr. Herman contacted me a couple of months ago to tell me that my chickens were ready to be picked up, I made a little bit of room in the freezer and drove off to the farm to collect them. I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me, though. I just couldn’t believe the size of them birds!!! Every single one of them weighs between 8 and 10 pounds! I mean these things are HUGE!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen chickens that big before. I was afraid I wasn’t even going to be able to fit them all into my car, let alone the freezer.
Thankfully, I managed to bring my precious cargo home and found enough room for them (save for 1, who was sent directly to the fridge) in the freezer, too. Now I’m afraid that my long overdue order for a side of beef is going to have to wait a bit, though… the poultry have totally invaded the entire space!
So anyway, given the size of the animals, I somehow got tempted to throw one in the Dutch oven and slowly roast it, just to see what would happen. Well, let me tell you, I am now completely, totally converted to this newly found method of roasting chicken.
While Dutch Oven Roasted Chicken might not be the prettiest, it most assuredly is the juiciest, moistest, tastiest, deliciousest chicken I have eaten my entire life. And it’s sooooo super easy to make, too!
Not only that, but as it slowly roasts, it releases all kinds of juices and naturally creates the most beautiful chicken stock ever, with no additional effort on your part, whatsoever!
I think that from now on, chicken will ALWAYS get cooked this way in this household. Even my Christmas turkey was thrown in a Dutch oven this year. And it got nothing but praise!
Seriously, give this method a try. I’m positive that you too, will be hooked. Oh, and humongous birds are optional. You could very well do this with more modestly sized birds.
Preheat your oven to 325°F
Cut an onion into 4 pieces and break some carrots and celery ribs into 2 to 3 pieces.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife. Don’t bother peeling your vegetables, that precaution won’t even be necessary.
Sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper and dried oregano into the chicken’s cavity, then stuff it with the onions, about half the carrots, celery and garlic.
Arrange the leftover carrots, celery and garlic (whatever didn’t fit into the chicken’s cavity) at the bottom of a 7 quart Dutch oven.
Place your bird over those vegetables and then sprinkle it generously with more salt, pepper and dried oregano
Feel free to experiment with other seasonings, too, if you like! Try a little bit of paprika, savory, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder… knock yourself out, have fun, try different things!
Now put the lid on and place your chicken in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, basting it with its own juices every hour or so…
Your chicken will be ready when the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the skin is nicely browned and somewhat crispy.
Although the skin won’t get SUPER crispy in a Dutch oven, it still doesn’t turn out all soft and soggy like it would in a slow cooker…
And as you can see, there is quite a lot of liquid at the bottom of that Dutch oven. That’s CRAZY tasty broth for you. Whatever you do, do not discard that!
You could even make more broth if you wanted to, by returning the chicken bones and all those cooked vegetables to the Dutch oven, top all that with water and then put everything back in the oven for another 5 to 6 hours. All you need to do then is strain through a fine mesh sieve and you’ve got lots of beautiful, tasty chicken broth!
- 1 large whole chicken (6-9 pounds)
- 1 large onion
- 3-4 carrots
- 2-3 celery ribs
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- Salt, pepper and dried oregano, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 325°F
- Cut the onion into 4 pieces and break the carrots and celery ribs into 2 to 3 pieces. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife. Don't bother peeling your vegetables, that precaution won't be necessary.
- Sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper and dried oregano in the chicken's cavity, then stuff it with the onions, about half the carrots, celery and garlic.
- Arrange the rest of the carrots, celery and garlic at the bottom of a 7 quart Dutch oven. Place your chicken over those vegetables and then sprinkle it generously with more salt, pepper and dried oregano.
- Put the lid on and place your chicken in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, basting it every hour or so, until it's fall-off-the-bone tender and displays a nice golden skin.
- Serve without delay.
And when this delicious chicken’s all gone, make sure to make some of that amazing Chicken Bone Broth!!!