Chicken in a Pot

This chicken cooked slowly in a well sealed pot, in the oven yields tender, intensely flavored and juicy meat. The meat is served with the flavorful juices from the pot.
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine, Charles Kelsey, January & February 2008, no 90, p 9.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 50 mins
Resting time20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Main Course - Chicken - Poultry
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small roasting chicken, about 4 1/2 to 5 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Place 6 quart, oven-proof, Dutch oven on stove. Add olive oil.
  • Remove giblets from chicken and discard. Tuck wings under back. Pat chicken dry using paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Over medium heat, heat the oil in the Dutch oven. Place chicken in pot, breast-side down. Distribute remaining ingredients, except the lemon juice, around the chicken. After about 5 minutes, when chicken is light brown, turn chicken breast-side up. Cook 6 - 8 minutes, until chicken and vegetables are well browned. Remove from heat.
  • Cover the pot tightly with foil. Place the lid on top to seal tightly. Place in oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast and 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, about 80 to 110 minutes for a 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 pound chicken and closer to 2 hours for a 5 - 6 pound chicken.
  • Place chicken on carving board, tent with foil, allow to rest 20 minutes. Place a serving platter in the oven to warm.
  • Meanwhile, using fine-mesh strainer, pour juices from pot into fat separator. Press on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. There should be about 3/4 cup juices. Allow fat to separate, about 5 minutes. Place a small saucepan over low heat, pour in juices, without the fat, and stir in lemon juice. 
  • Carve chicken and place on warm platter. Add any additional juices to saucepan, adjust with additional lemon juice or salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve chicken, passing the jus.
  • Freeze or refrigerate chicken carcass to make stock or soup.