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
- 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.