Mon 23 Jan 2012
It was a very cold and snowy weekend up here in the hills of New Hampshire, and to top it off, I had some trouble with the furnace/boiler at the old family homestead. Between visits from the heating guy, and periodic trips down to the basement to do a few things needed to get the boiler through a few days before repairs and replacements could be made – I was in desperate pursuit of a diversion.
While puttering around I came across my new Cuisinart Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole, which I just had to have but had not yet used. When I saw this baby I knew I found just what I needed to enjoy the weekend.
I love this piece of cookware – the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole – it is pretty to look at and when you feel it’s weight you know it is just perfect to prepare a stovetop meal.
About the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole: “Cast iron improves its solid reputation with Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron cookware! Home chefs can explore different cooking methods – from searing or grilling in the pans to slow braising or simmering in the casseroles. With incredible heat retention and even heat distribution, these versatile pieces yield great results whether it’s on the stove or in the broiler or oven. They also can go from oven to table and double as elegant serving pieces!”
I purchased the 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole in red and it looks great.
So back to my weekend meal. I wanted to cook a complete meal in my new cookware, so I went to the freezer to see what I had on hand. I discovered I had a nice 5 pound whole young chicken and knew it would be perfect. I defrosted the chicken using the cold water replacement method and I was good to go. I had some potatoes on hand and a few other things and I went to work.
I will cut to the chase – my meal came out perfect – so I am going to share with you exactly what I did. Here goes…
LOST COWBOY’S PERFECT STOVETOP CHICKEN DINNER
- 1 whole chicken – 5 pounds
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6 medium potatoes
- 1 large red onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Spices to taste (I used sea salt, dried basil, and rosemary)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Prepare chicken – remove giblet package, rinse, pat dry, put aside.
- Wash and peel potatoes, cut potatoes in quarters, set aside.
- Cut ends off onion, remove outer skin, place onion inside the chicken’s large cavity (seriously, this is the key).
- Heat small amount of olive oil in the pot on medium/high heat.
- Once oil is hot, place chicken in pot breast side down, sear the breast until light brown then turn breast with tongs so breast side is up. The idea is to just brown the chicken a little on the outside.
- Arrange the potatoes around the chicken breast in pot.
- Pour chicken broth over exposed breast.
- Sprinkle garlic and desired spices over chicken.
- Cover pot tightly, keep on medium high approximately 15 minutes, reduce to medium and continue cooking for approximately 45 minutes.
- If desired, when cooking is complete, remove cover and place pot under the broiler for a few minutes to brown (this makes for a prettier presentation).
- Remove chicken and potatoes from pot, arrange on platter and serve.
I served this with some broiled asparagus, so I cheated on the one pot meal thing, but it was a nice side dish. I saved the liquid in pot to use as a starter stock for soup, which can be made right in the same pot.
OK, I am not a good recipe writer, but this is exactly step-by-step what I did the other night. I always encourage experimentation, and I think this basic recipe can be adapted in many ways to suit your tastes.
Anyway, I love my new cookware and can’t wait to break it out again.