Up the Mountain Chicken in a Pot – Poule au Pot

My understanding is that King Henry IV of France hoped that, as a wealthy nation, all his people could eat stew (or a chicken) once a week.  Poule au Pot became a favourite dish, and the fact that it is so simple to produce and tasty to eat makes me understand its popularity.

I cannot attest to the authenticity of this recipe, I didn´t set out to cook the famous French dish, but when I took it to the table, wafting delicious chicken and vegetable smells, Big Man asked me what we were eating and I told him “Chicken in a Pot”. Et voilà!

Ingredients for 4-6 people depending on the size of your chicken

  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 large potato per person, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, 2 sticks of celery and a leek per person (peel and roughly chop)
  • A few pieces of fresh thyme and some fresh parsley
  • 2 lemons cut into quarters
  • A large head of garlic, broken up a little but not peeled I used two small ones)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning
  • A glass of white wine
  • A large ovenproof pot with a lid (big enough to take all the ingredients)

Set the oven to low before assembling the dish. Rub the chicken inside and out with olive oil and season and stuff half the lemon, half the thyme and half the garlic inside.

Place into the pot, scatter the vegetables around, add the remaining garlic, lemon, parsley and thyme and season. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and pour a glass of wine over. Put the lid on and then place the dish in the oven on low for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your chicken.  Check that the juices run clear before serving. A wonderful tasting, easy meal all cooked in one pot.

For some other fantastic chicken in a pot dishes, check out Food Photography and France (it´s also a very funny read), Savoring Every Bite (for a romantic recipe) and Fired Up Cooking (if you´re planning on some outdoor entertaining) to see their delicious recipes.


82 thoughts on “Up the Mountain Chicken in a Pot – Poule au Pot

  1. That looks delicious. I’d eat the garlic on some fresh bread… ok, it’s official, I’m hungry! I think I’ll make one when my parents come over to visit in a month, it’s a simple dish as such, but it’s still impressive!

  2. King Henry IV had at least one good idea and considering HOW good, maybe the one was enough. We love roasted chicken at our house Tanya and this version looks outrageously good. Your photographs are really beautiful too!

    1. He was a clever old soul! And thanks for your lovely words. I only have a little digital camera, but I am trying to improve my snaps. The “before” photo is so colourful 🙂

  3. I love this sort of cooking. I make a variation of this with chicken drumsticks and root vegetables. One pot cooking is such a spectacularly good alternative to nipping to the takeaway (which I suspect isn’t a option for you in your location). Much healthier, much tastier, and significantly cheaper. I’d happily put anything of this ilk in front of guests with a bottle of good wine for dinner.

    1. I agree with you – it´s a great dish when you have guests as you are not faffing around at the last minute with saucepans full of veggies, there´s less washing up and it´s so tasty and easy- And yes, no takeaways here 😦 Took some adjusting after living in curry paradise in London!

      1. We used to eat lots of curry and fish and chips but since starting to eat more healthily we find them most disagreeable. As it takes no time to put a chicken in the oven I usually have one in the freezer…and a really good defrost mode on my microwave that earns its space in my kitchen by defrosting chickens!

  4. If this was Herbert Hoover’s intent (“a chicken in every pot”, doncha know), then I’d have voted for him. Guess I’ll vote for you if you decide to run for president (of anything!)! 🙂 Mmmm… and what beauuuuuutiful garlic too!

  5. Who cares if it is authentic! This dish ..er … pot sounds delicious! I’m heading to the grocery shortly to buy the few ingredients I need. You’ve just given me Sunday dinner and I can’t wait!

    1. Yes, it was one of ours – a little (well, a lot) smaller than usual as we bought about 20 cockerels last time and one turned out to be a hen, and she was getting “harassed” by the all those boys, so was the first one in the pot 😉

  6. Bonjour Chica,

    It looks really yummie to me and as a French I can tell you that you could have cook it at the court of our good Henri IV. I guess they didn’t put any lemon at the time but it must give a little “je ne sais quoi” very tasty! Bises

  7. Your photo alone makes me want some! It is gorgeous! The chicken and veggies look so good! This is a recipe keeper! Fabulous recipe that is for sure, Big Man and you must have really enjoyed this one!

  8. Yay. So many recipes I come across these days require cooking techniques or ingredients that we just can’t achieve in our limited Korean kitchen, with our limited village supplies! This, however, is totally doable! Delish!

  9. That looks cooked to absolute perfection. And looking at your photos I realise that it’s something I miss, my partner is a veggie, and just every now and then when I see recipes like yours and how simple and tasty they are I fancy making one. I’ll have to figure a way round, maybe invite some friends and cook 2 separate pots.

    1. That´s love – it´s a big sacrifice if you are not a veggie. Mind you, you seem to make the most amazing food! I guess it would be easy enough to cook two separate pots as you still wouldn´t have too much washing up at the end!

      1. I also think there is a dollop of laziness on my part – 1 meal for 2 people is plenty to do. besides I’m not a big meat eater, just every now and then I see a recipe, like yours, and start drooling 🙂

      2. I know what you mean, I don´t think I´d struggle to be a veggie but every now and then you just fancy something! And yes, making 2 meals starts to get a bit silly…

  10. The truth of it is that wholesome cooking techniques need to satisfy only THREE basic and simple requirements the food you eat should not have excess amount of fat and sodium i.e. should not be full of calories, it should retain the nutrients i.e. it should not be empty calories above all, it should taste good.
    Top Info, Nice to find another Food lover

  11. This is a wonderful recipe, Tanya. I seldom see the whole free range chicken here. I saw them a lot in Spain, France and Italy. I remember that my father-in-law when we were on holiday in Normandy bought them from the butcher and was so astounded that it was so expensive. He was buying the chicken for his dog who at the time was already old and picky with food. We ended up eating the chicken and it was really so tasty, far better than the mass produced chicken here in Holland.

    1. You were lucky that the dog decided he didn´t want to eat! Free range chicken was rather an expensive luxury for me until we started to keep our own…but yes, you really can taste how different it is.

      1. Two legs costing Eur 12 was too much for a little dog. We got him cheap chicken from the supermarket. The free range chicken was just so nice that I still remember it now with a smile on my face. 😉

  12. Aaah, look at all those chunky vegetables and that big, delicious bulb of garlic! I have a giant pot like this which I almost never use, and I haven’t cooked a whole chicken in….. wow, months! What a great idea – thanks for sharing Chica!

    1. I rarely cook a whole chicken, but this was a smaller one that sat comfortably in the pot (and the pot does seem to make a lovely difference to the taste). We have soup from the leftovers the next day!

  13. Mmmmmm, I love cooking chicken (or a small turkey) in the oven with a generous helping of fresh veggies (and one or two heads of garlic that become so soft you can squish the garlic into your mouth with your fingers)! So classic, and so yummy!

  14. I had to come back and tell you that I made this dish last weekend. It was great, Tanya! It couldn’t be easier to assemble and cook and the results are incredible, very flavorful! I’ll be making it again and soon. Thanks!

    1. I am so pleased first of all that you made it, and then that you enjoyed it. And of course, that you came back to tell me! It´s always a lovely feeling to think that someone has got pleasure out of sharing something that you have enjoyed making and eating 🙂

  15. Ooohh at last a recipe so I can learn to roast a chicken. No, seriously, that is what a nerd I am at cooking, I don’t know how to roast a bird. But now with this recipe I do, and we’re going to eat this tomorrow!

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