Are you ready to get cozy? Like cold day, herb-roasted chicken in a dutch oven cozy?
Let’s backtrack for half a second here. The Boy works for the government (the US one), and sometimes he gets “stationed” in other states for long periods of time. He spent 4 months of 2020 at home with me (he disputes this claim, but I don’t, he was gone 8 months last year). With the pandemic, I’ve been working from home, so when he was sent to southern Georgia for work, I was able to go with him this time, and for the past couple of weeks, that’s where I was.
Putting aside the cultural differences of southeastern Georgia and southeastern Virginia (yay for living in a blue state), I’m going to focus on the weather. It was lovely. We were close to the Florida border (20 minutes north of Jacksonville), so it was like an early spring. It was in the 60s most days, and it even got up into the 70s a couple of days. It was like a mini spring preview for us. Too bad there was a global pandemic going on and we spent our time in the apartment so we couldn’t really enjoy the warm weather.
Then we came home… to snow. I’m not complaining, now. I absolutely adore snow, it was just the abrupt weather swap that caught me off guard, so I decided to bake something cozy. Look at this beauty:
Let’s see that one more time from another angle:
Did I add this second image just to highlight my fancy new Le Creuset dutch oven?
I would never. Yes, I totally did that.
On the way back home up I-95, I saw signs for the Le Creuset Factory Store. I wasn’t going to stop because I’ve been to outlets before where the prices were like 2% off the normal price (this is an exaggeration, I’m just cheap and unwilling to pay $300 for a purse…), so I was convinced this place would be the same, but I needed gas and figured, “What the heck, why not?”
I walked in to discover that not only were their outlet prices a good 20%ish off the normal prices, they also had additional discounts of up to 60%. Yep. 60% off an already reduced Le Creuset. I got a phenomenal deal on this beautiful oval dutch oven. I’m so excited, I took a bunch of photos and have been sending them to everyone like it’s my new baby.
But, This Post is About Chicken?
I suppose you want me to get back to the chicken…
I asked myself, “What recipe can I cook in this dutch oven?” Because I clearly needed to make something in this bad boy immediately. I settled on an oven-roasted garlic-herb chicken. This chicken is slow roasted in the dutch oven on a bed of potatoes and carrots so they get to roast in the chicken juices and melted garlic herb butter so everything cooks in one pan for easy cleanup.
Herbs de Provence
The herby secret to this roasted chicken? Herbs de Provence. And I don’t just say that because they’re French, and everything’s fancier when it’s French like I mentioned before in my Parisian Peas post, I say that because, for my money, they pack the best herby punch of any blend I’ve tried. Herbs de Provence hails from southern France, and are a blend of herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, savory, tarragon, oregano, and marjoram. Apparently, for the sake of tourists who saw the beautiful lavendar fields in the area, lavender was added to the blend, and that tends to be what I am able to find in the US, and honestly, touristy or not, I love it. I absolutely adore cooking with lavender.
One thing that the blend I’m using has that previous blends I’ve used did not have is dried orange zest, and I’ve decided I’m never going back. I got mine at TJ Maxx or Home Goods, but here’s a link to the same brand. It’s not an affiliate link, but it is a really fantastic blend. I use Herbs de Provence in nearly everything where I want this fresh, light flavor. I can’t get enough of the stuff. It’s superb in homemade sourdough too.
All of this to say, I your blend doesn’t have lavender or orange zest, add some! You don’t need to add much, a pinch or so of each, since you’re only using 2 tablespoons of the herbs, but trust me, they’re worth the extra effort.
Let’s Get This Chicken Party Started!
This cozy meal is the perfect bridge for winter into spring, and it’s easy for days when you want something home cooked with minimal effort and cleanup. I mean, I didn’t even cut my carrots or potatoes! I used pre peeled rainbow carrots (thank you, Trader Joes!) and baby potatoes and just washed them and stuck them in the bottom of the pot. Perfection.
Dutch-Oven-Roasted Herb ChickenCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Super Easy
Yummy garlic-herb chicken is the perfect cozy meal that you whip together quickly and then set in the oven to roast slowly.
4-6 pound whole chicken
8-10 Small Potatoes (or 1-2 medium/large potatoes cut into big chunks
8-10 mid-size carrots or 3-4 whole carrots peeled and gut into 4-inch chunks (baby carrots will be too small and turn to mush when slow roasting!)
4 tablespoons softened butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons herbs de Provence (make sure your blend includes lavender and orange zest, if not, add a pinch of each)
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Prepare your chicken. Remove any giblets and or restraints and rinse and pat it dry.
- Layer the potatoes and carrots on the bottom of the dutch oven, and place the prepared chicken on top, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Combine the softened butter, oil, garlic, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs de Provence, and spread the mixture over the chicken being sure to completely cover it. Stuff any remaining mixture inside the cavity of the chicken.
- Cover and bake at 325°F for 20 minutes a pound or until thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the bird reads 165°F, uncovering for the last 20 minutes of bake time.
- Let cool and serve surrounded by the roasted veggies.
- The pan drippings from this bird make an excellent gravy! Simply skim about half the fat off the top (leaving the juices that settled on the bottom) and whisk in a slurry of 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons water. Depending on how much dripping is in the bottom of your pan, you may need more or less, so add this in a little at a time, whisking between additions until you get the consistency you want.