This meal is satisfying, tasty, and is quick to throw together . You can toss the ingredients in a pot and let them cook while you’re changing out of work clothes, cleaning kiddos, or taking the dog for a walk. Not only is it frugal by using the whole chicken, it also allows for a second meal the following night in the form of soup (stay tuned for a future ‘Spin on that). And, it is amazingly versatile, meaning you can literally use whatever food you have in your kitchen, besides the chicken of course.
But mostly this dish is simply delicious! You won’t miss the crisp chicken skin at all, trust me. The taste and juiciness of the chicken will make you forget all about crisp skin, and you’ll be turning to this chicken in a pot time and time again.
To make a chicken in a pot you need only four types of ingredients. I’ve even used vegetables that were starting to turn to the low-side of fresh and saved them from the compost bin. Below I give you two versions of this dish, but here are the basic ingredients. Let your own culinary tastes be your guide:
- 1 whole chicken
- 3 or 4 kinds of vegetables
- Seasonings or spices
- 1/4 cup of liquid (your choice)
The basic process is to first grab a large dutch oven or pot that will hold a whole chicken plus vegetables. You can fill it to the brim, just as long as there’s room to put a lid on it. No stirring is necessary in this dish, so your pot doesn’t need to be ginormous; just-big-enough is fine.
The first step is to place about a tablespoon or two of oil (olive, vegetable, or any sort of fat will do) in the bottom of your pot and brown both sides of your bird. Be sure to sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chicken, to taste. You can brown the bird as deep a color as you like–once I even accidentally burnt the damn bird, and went with it anyway. It worked out fine and gave the dish a nice “smoky” flavor. Another time I was in a huge hurry and bypassed the browning altogether, simply throwing everything in a pot and calling it good; it still tasted great!
After the chicken is browned on both sides, add your chopped vegetables. I always like to include onion and garlic in mine if I have them on hand, so I tend to pop those in before the other vegetables and let them brown a bit, too. Next, add the rest of your vegetables, which have been chopped into chunks or slices. Keep in mind that root vegetables need to chopped smaller than something that will take less time to cook, like cabbage. But this dish is very forgiving and you can easily leave the pot cooking until everything is cooked through. There is zero worry that the chicken will dry out.
Lastly, toss in about 1/4 cup of liquid, cover the pot, and turn the heat to medium-low. Let the chicken cook, covered, for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reads between 165F to 180F.
Here are some variations on this theme. Feel free to make up your own!