I was thinking that my poor friend Leslie would never get her cookbook back from me! Every evening we would come home and just leaf through Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan and then 'localize' the recipes and plan out our week. I just wasn't ready to move to the next cookbook for February! This recipe is pictured on the cover of her cookbook and, of course, looks better than the picture here but I am sure it didn't taste any better than ours. The seal from the dough almost makes the pot act like a pressure cooker making the chicken so tender and juicy. The vegetables and broth just give the entire dish a great flavor. The only ingredients you can't get locally are the preserved lemons, olive oil and sugar. Everything else we get from Utah Farms CSA except for the chicken which I buy from the McDowells about 5-6 chickens at a time and then place in my freezer. You can even make your own preserved lemons with just some salt and Meyer lemons. Liberty Heights fresh has some really fresh and well prized lemons.
My only issue is that I am not sure if you are supposed to actually EAT the bread around the pot rim. There isn't any salt in the dough so, when cooked, it tends to be fairly hard and not too tasteful by itself but gets nice and flavorful and moist if you just break off some pieces and let them soak in the broth, which is what I did.
You need to pry the pot lid off with either a screwdriver or strong knife so try not to scratch your Dutch oven in the process. It makes a beautiful presentation and we just carved the chicken in the oven itself at the table.
1/2 perserved lemon, peel only, cut into small squares
1 cup water
1/4 cups sugar
5 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large potatoes (russet or sweet), peeled and each cut into 8 pieces
2 onions, peeled, each cut into 8 pieces
8 carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered Utah Farms CSA
4 celery stalks, peeled, trimmed and quartered
4 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
3 thyme sprigs (still alive in my herb garden)
3 parsley sprigs (frozen from my friend Sue's summer garden)
2 rosemary sprigs (still alive in my herb garden)
1 chicken, about 4 pounds
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 & 1/2 cups freshly milled flour
3/4 cup hot water
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven.
2. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, drop in the lemon peel and boil for one minute; turn off heat; drain and save the lemon peel.
3. Heat 2 tbl. of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are brown on all sides. Spoon the vegetables into a large Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid. Stir in the herbs and the preserved lemon.
4. Return the skillet to the heat, add additional tbl. of olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides. Place the browned chicken into the Dutch oven, surrounding it with the vegetables. Mix together the chicken broth, wine and remaining 2 tbls. of olive oil and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
5. Mix the 1 & 1/2 cups flour with the hot water in a medium bowl. With hands dusted with flour, roll the dough out into a long rope. Place the long rope of dough on the rim of the pot. Piece it together if it breaks apart but cover the entire rim. Press the lid onto the dough to seal the pot.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes.
7. Remove from oven. Now you will need to pry the top off the pot either using a heavy spatula or screwdriver.
8. I just carved the chicken while it was in the pot and then you can dip some of the cooked dough in he broth to soften and eat.
adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan