Monday, April 19, 2010

Dutch Oven Chicken and Herb Biscuits

When my husband and I were first married, I didn't know anything about cooking or even how long to boil an egg for. We got this dutch oven (family heirloom) as a gift from my Grandpop as a wedding present, my first thoughts were "Wow this thing is heavy!" and "What am I supposed to do with it?"  Well, I am sad to report, it sat in the back of our kitchen closet for several years collecting dust before I had the nerve to ask my mom what I could make with it. This is the meal she told me about, and WOW were we impressed. 
 To this day, this is still my husbands favorite meal. It's very simple to make, and while the chicken is baking you can easily whip up some Herb Biscuits and stick them in the oven as well. Use the broth and chicken for another favorite recipe Tortilla Soup.   Don't you just love making a new meal with your leftovers? :)

Chicken Recipe

1 whole chicken, gizzards removed
  4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 carrots, cut in to matchsticks

1-2 sticks of celery, cut up roughly

1/2 onion, cut up roughly
  1/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley
, chopped
salt and pepper

fresh herbs, cut up (like thyme, rosemary, and sage), if you don't have fresh herbs, dry will do as well

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Once you have rinsed off the chicken, and patted it dry with a paper towel, put it in the dutch oven breast side down. Place a couple cloves of garlic inside the chicken and around it. Tuck in the vegetables on the side of the chicken, season chicken with salt and pepper, sprinkle fresh herbs and parsley over chicken. It should look something like this:
Fill the dutch oven with water until about 3/4 full. Make sure you don't fill it too high, or it will boil over. Cover and place in oven for about 70 minutes (I would start checking it at 60 minutes to make sure). When you cut through it there should be no pink showing and if you stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part, it should read 165 degrees F. You will have about 5-6 cups of chicken broth, so either freeze it or use it for tomorrow's Tortilla Soup recipe.

Herb Biscuits

2 cups of all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole-wheat and 1 cup all-purpose and they turned out great!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 TB fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix together
in a large bowl all the ingredients  from flour to sugar. Add the butter pieces, and use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips to combine until it looks like a coarse meal. Add thyme.
2. Mix together milk and mayonnaise in a separate bowl. Add it to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface (like a floured cutting board) an pat into a circle that is about 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or the top of a tall glass, cut out circles in the dough and place on a dry baking sheet.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown. Serve with Dutch Oven Chicken.


Plan and Prep Ahead

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner.

~Chop all the vegetables ahead of time
~Just make sure you have at least an hour before dinner time to prepare this dish. 

That's it! 


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP?

~Sprinkle lemon pepper on top of chicken instead of regular pepper.
~Place half a lemon inside of the chicken cavity.

~Instead of biscuits, serve with your favorite rice side dish and a green salad.

~Skip the water and just roast the chicken in the dutch oven with all the vegetables.
~Add cut up sweet potatoes or yams instead of carrots. 
~Try leaks instead of onions. 
~Top with green onions instead of parsley. 
~Use rosemary or basil instead of thyme for the biscuits.


Dutch Oven Facts
Dutch Ovens have been around a LONG time, and date back as far as the 1600 to 1700's. It is one of the pieces of equipment that Lewis and Clark took on their exploration of the United States in 1804. It's considered an official equipment of the Boy Scouts of America. You can cook basically anything in a Dutch Oven, even cakes and pies. It's also great to take along when you go camping. Some modern Dutch ovens made by Le Creuset or Le Chasseur come enameled and in different colors. They sometimes refer to their ovens as "French ovens." 

Want to know more? Here's the Wikipedia version:

Don't have one and want to buy one? You can get them on amazon:


TnT said...

I love, love, love your blog! I am making my shopping list right now for a week's worth of your recipes. THANK YOU and keep it up!

awardrip said...

Can I just hire you to come down here and make all these yummy meals for me and my family?? My mouth is watering over all these great recipes and pictures! Can't wait to try them out!

dwashetko said...

Yum! I just made this dutch oven chicken and herb biscuits today. I liked your version better. The biscuits were good with this and I enjoyed them later too as a snack with goat cheese. I added my traditional quartered potatoes to the pot since I had room. The doggies got a whif while we sat on the balcony indulging...we all said YUM!

The Rhodes Family said...

Thanks everybody for your encouragement! I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog.
Mom--I haven't tried a goat cheese spread on the biscuits. That sounds delicious though. If you can also add sweet potatoes to make a yummy side dish.


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