Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pot o' Gold ... I Mean Chicken

So it's not exactly an Irish recipe, but in honor of St. Patty's Day (early) I decided to make a big pot of something warm and delicious. This is another recipe Bill picked out of the How to Cook Everything recipe cards.

Chicken in a Pot
1 whole chicken, cut up, trimmed of excess fat, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
8 cups chicken stock
2 onions, quartered
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 leeks, split, trimmed, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper

Place the chicken in a large pot with the stock, onions, carrots and leeks. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.

Add the bay leaf, allspice, thyme, and salt and pepper to the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. With 15 minutes of cooking time remaining, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

When the chicken is done, use a slotted spoon to remove it and the vegetables to an ovensafe platter. Place the platter in the oven.

Raise the heat to high and boil the stock until it reduces by about 25 percent, 10 to 15 minutes.

Strain the stock into a large bowl and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve the soup as a first course, followed by the chicken and vegetables, or serve the chicken and vegetables in shallow bowls with the stock spooned over.

The recipe suggested that you could serve the stock as soup with dumplings, which sounded super appetizing to me. But they didn't include a dumpling recipe and after watching my pot o' chicken simmer for 45 minutes I wasn't in the mood to dig one up. But I'm still convinced that would be yummy!

The chicken was so tender, juicy and flavorful, but I felt like the veggies were a bit droopy after so long minutes in the stock. If I make this recipe again, I'll add the vegetables to the pot closer to the 30-minute mark. I prefer them crisp-tender instead of limp!

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