Originally Posted by Chef Mark
Glad you feel confident enough to 'go for it'-hope you are stuffed
Well my first whole chicken turned out pretty darn good
I am not a new cook but cooking meat...especially large roasts is new to me.
I never made it to the market so I had to make do with what was on hand. The entire recipe was cooked in my Cast Iron DO (except for the potatos which were lefover from the grillout)
Here is what I did....
Carmelized onions in the DO added garlic and pear slices and sauteed.
Mixed the pear/garlic/onions with cubed baked potatos added some Herbs de provance a dab of butter and some olive oil. Set aside as stuffing
Sliced raw potatoes and onions about 1/2" thick and placed to create a "rack" at the bottom of the DO.
Coated outside and underneath skin of chicken with a butter/HDP/minced Garlic/Kosher Salt/lemon zest/Black Pepper rub
Stuffed bird with pear/potato stuffing mix
Placed bird on "rack" and garnished with lemon and pear slices tucking them in the "armpits"
Added 1 cup PinotGris and 1 Cup home made vegetable stock to bottom of pot
Cover on the bird (6+ LBS) cooked for about 2.5 hours until I noticed the popper had popped I tiook the cover off and let her brown a bit and removed from oven.
the meat was perfectly juicy and sweet without being overpowered by any flavor. there was nothing greasy or dry. The breast meat in particular was perfect.
here is where there was room for improvement.1, The skin did not crisp up quite as much as desired. this is beacuse there was a bit too much liquid in the DO and it rose up the side of the bird abit rather than stay in the bottom. I also think the thigh meat was overly submerged in the cooking liquid which made the skin a bit mushy there. 2, I would substitue fennel or carrot or some other vegetable for onions in the "rack" while the potatos were delicious the onions looked bioled and were not especially appetising. 3,The stuffing was really tasty but could have used a bonding agent to hold it togther better if I did it again I would mash the potato componenet rather than dice it. 4, because I did not make it to market there was no bacon or sausage in the dish. I would normally have added this somehwere - most likely to the stufffing.
Overall though I am super pleased with pulling off a whole chicken.... and I will once again rave about the cast iron dutch oven. After carmelizing onion and then roasting a chicken in wine on a rack of potatos for hours the thing cleaned up with a rinse and a quick scrub. Nothing stuck at all
the seasoning still looks perfect. I also attribute the nice even heating of the iron to cooking the chicken so perfectly and the glass lid made it easy to monitor progress without letting the steam out.
sorry for the ramble