Yes, but no ordinary chicken, no ordinary pot.
Seasoned with a pesto made of coarse grain mustard, garlic, sage, and rosemary, this free-range bird from Au Naturel Farms furthered the range of its Smiths Grove, Kentucky home with the tastes of Provence. With a savory paste both tucked under the skin and spread over the entire exterior, the trussed chicken got cooked to bronzy succulence in a Dutch oven.
And, yes, it was my trusty fig-colored LeCreuset, doing double duty on the stove top and in the oven. I credit the pot and the pesto for making this chicken glisten in a sauce that required no roux to thicken.
That grainy dijon mustard acts as a vehicle for holding the herbs and garlic in place, and adds a nice piquancy without being overtly, well, mustardy. I do believe, too, that it has thickening powers.
I hasten to add that I did toss in some cooked cranberry beans, which continued to cook, break down, and contribute a little more body to the sauce.
The process began on the stove top, where I browned the bird, and sautéed the sturdy mirepoix. A little water, a few glugs of red wine, and into the oven it went to finish off, for the most part, unattended.
After it emerges from the oven in all its glazed and stewy glory, you can carve the chicken at the table, and serve the vegetables and sauce on the side.
As my contribution to this month’s Third-Thursday Community Pot Luck, I decided to carve all the meat, and place it back to bathe in the sauce and vegetables. It was easy to serve to our group that way. ( cut the chicken into smaller bites, extend the liquid more, and you’ve got a rich soup.)
Some people spooned it over the potatoes dauphinoise, others decided the seven-jewel-grain-casserole was a perfect base, and still more chose to just let a serving swim on the plate with all the other wonderful dabs of dishes brought to the dinner. (Word: our third-thursday pot luck is AMAZING. forty local food lovers, forty unique dishes brought to the table!)
Provencale Chicken in a Pot
1 Whole Roasting Chicken
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Onions, chopped
3 stalks Celery, chopped
3-4 Carrots, cut into nice chunks
2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 cups Red Wine
2 cups cooked White or Cranberry Beans
1 batch of Coarse Grain Mustard Pesto (see recipe below)
Spread a nice dollop of the pesto underneath the skin of the chicken breast, and liberally coat the remainder all over the outside of the chicken.
Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.
Heat the Dutch oven on medium, add the Olive Oil and brown the chicken on all sides, starting with breast side down. This process should take about 15 minutes. Add vegetables and sauté them, about 5-7 minutes. Pour in red wine. Then pour in enough water to raise the level of liquid about 2 inches—about 2 cups.
Stir in the beans and place uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven.
Roast for an hour, periodically basting the bird.
Serve either as a whole roasted chicken, with its savory brown vegetable sauce on the side, or carve up all meat from the roast, return to the saucepot and serve over crusty bread or potatoes.
for the Coarse Grain Mustard Pesto:
2 Tablespoons Coarse Grain Mustard
3 cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Sage leaves
1 sprig fresh Rosemary
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor fitted with the swivel blade. Pulse until the garlic and herbs are well chopped throughout the mixture.