Archive for February, 2011


a crock of chicken

a crock of chicken


ingredients on hand:
brussell sprouts

Prep the bird:
In this case i split the chicken and froze the other half , looks like only 1/2 is going fit in the crock.
Reserve the gizzards and trimmed fat from around the back etc. This isn’t a fryer so you get the gizzards, If you buy fryers now a days they don’t give you the gizzards anymore. Any other parts, backbone etc. reserve and freeze for stock, there is no reason to throw out any part of the chicken without first cooking it for stock etc. Instead of dicing the onion, a large wide, sweet vidalia type, I just peeled it and caramelized both sides, (butter, olive oil, or bacon fat) with salt and pepper. You’ll see why later.

Most recipes have you brown the bird in a pan, instead, fire up the broiler and butter massage the bird and drizzle with olive oil. (both sides) As close as possible to flame or heater element, brown the bird on each side. This could be done outside on the grille, but I might be tempted to cook it completely on the grille, besides the grilles are downstairs in winter storage and theres snow on the ground.

Back at the pan, remove the onion and caramelize the carrots, season as usual with salt and pepper.










I used to add seasonings directly to a recipe but I made a palette of herbs, spices, seeds etc.on a plate and adjusted as necessary. I started some herbs from seeds, so hopefully I’ll have fresh herbs from the garden this year, for now dried herbs and spices.

Now in the bottom of a crock, this one’s shaped like a bowl, center the onion and surround with carrots, nestle in the gizzards, trimmed fat and celery stalks, building a foundation to support the chicken off the bottom of the crock. The gizzards, neck etc. and fat will lend themselves for a favorable gravy. Sprinkle with a portion of your combination of seasonings.

Place the split browned chicken, skin side up, in the crock atop the onion and carrots, top with more of the herb spice mixture and add some stock and/or a combination of wine to the crock, up to the bottom of the chicken. Scrape up and add any juices from the sauteing and broiler pan or deglaze and add juices.

Send the crock to the oven, covered at about 350 degrees. About an hour check the chicken, add some celery leaves and a cut up tomato, about and 1/2 hour I’ll add some brussell sprouts and mushrooms. The bread is rising but that’s another story.

With the crock bubbling away, the sprouts, and whole mushrooms were added, about 20 more minutes in the oven, maybe 15, and let it sit covered, stove top for a bit. The brussell sprouts should be crunchy.

Remove from oven and carefully holding the lid slightly ajar with potholders, drain the juices from the crock into a sauce pan.

Recover the crock to retain heat. Blend about a tablespoon of each flour and butter in a teacup and whisk bit by bit to the juices in the pan while bringing to a boil to thicken to your liking.

Unpack the crock, plating the brussell sprouts, mushrooms and chicken. The well cooked carrots were mashed. The whole onion was reserved with the celery for later us and could be pureed as a spread for bread.The gizzards should be diced fine along with the meat picked from the neck bone. Add it to the gravy.

With a meal this rich, bread was the only other accompaniment. The flavor of brussells sprouts stands up to the gravy and instead of mashed potatoes you have the texture of the mashed carrots.

The chicken is fork tender. (possibly could be cooked 45m- an hour less) The giblet gravy ties this meal together as the seasonings and diced giblets give the chicken a gamey, earthy taste. NO you won’t even have to use any salt and pepper or even butter on the bread with the wealth of flavor from this dish. Also excellent leftovers.


February 2011

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