ffwd – chicken in the pot: the garlic and lemon version

I’m willing to bet that a lot of the people who started cooking with French Fridays with Dorie were at least partially drawn to the project because of this recipe. This particular dish adorns the cover of Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table – the tome that we have been cooking through together for nearly 5 years.

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When we didn’t make this recipe early on, I assumed that eventually, if the group stayed together, we would make it our last. And in deference to the group – I have never made this particular recipe before.

This week, I have seen a lot of references to this particular recipe as those of us who have cooked together and shared our lives together, at least virtually (though for a lucky few – in person as well), have been making this recipe and talking about it.

I have to say that while I have been sidetracked lately – this time for a good reason (YAY!), I wanted to get to the finish line with all of my friends, even if I’d taken a few detours. Over the next several weeks, the caretakers of our group, the Amazing Mary of Lights on Bright, No Brakes, and the Wonderful Betsy of A Plate Full of Happiness, will challenge us to comment on our journey through both this wonderful book, and incomparable group. But this week is for our final recipe. chicken in the pot: the garlic and lemon version.

I just got back from a trip to Southern California this evening. I have a couple of new guys on my team, and recently (last week!) have several reporting directly to me – so I wanted them to get off on the right foot! And we are working on a very new initiative for my company – so it’s taken a bit of time away from some of my other pursuits. Fortunately, my friend Mary posted this recipe on line, so I could look at her post and see the ingredients. That way I could stop at the store to pick up a few ingredients on my way home from the airport. As I write at about 8pm Thursday evening, my chicken is cooking away in the oven. I don’t say this to make myself sound special or super-dedicated, but to let my fellow Doristas know that they are important to me, and I wanted to get to the finish line at least close as possible to when they did!

So! The chicken!! The big difference about this particular preparation is the sealing of the pot with dough! Dorie often speaks about ensuring that the pot of whatever you’re baking, braising, etc. … is properly sealed. This makes for a spectacular presentation (assuming it turns out like the photo). Otherwise, this is a nice chicken baked with a wonderful compliment of aromatics.

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As you can imagine, I took a couple of shortcuts, but nothing too drastic, I hope! For the preserved lemon, I substituted fresh and skipped the simmer in the sweetened water. That is one of the few “new” things that I’ve been introduced to that I don’t just love – preserved lemons. Probably because I don’t make my own like so many others actually do.

I decided to make my life a little easier as well by making my dish in one pot. I had a bit smaller chicken anyway, and looked at the photo – and realized that the shape of the lid might be important. So I did what I would usually do – and chose my vessel for the end product, and then went out of order. I browned the chicken in some olive oil. Seasoning as I went along (my unfortunate bird spread her limbs a little inelegantly!)

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Once set aside, it was time to brown my vegetables – in the same pot of course. I used 3 heads of garlic (unpeeled, whole cloves), since my bird was smaller. But took advantage of some prepared veggies.

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When browned, I added in the herbs and the peel of one lemon.

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Once that was all together, I put the chicken in the pot, added the juice of the lemon and a good amount of wine. I skipped the broth altogether. And then the final “cheat” was added – store-bought pizza dough instead of the “paste” from the recipe. This was a “Dorie” idea, so I didn’t even feel bad!

My only real challenge with this in retrospect is that my pot was still warm – maybe that was why Dorie suggested using a frying pan to get everything ready, then put into a new pot! Oh well! Tricky to get the dough to stick on the rim, trickier to get a photo!!

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At last however, it was together, popped into the oven and now, the waiting begins. It’s been fun making this recipe, anticipating everyone’s successes and, well, question marks about it. That is one of the most fun things about this group – as we make recipes, we often think of each other (will Cher “go rogue”?, will Liz add red?, the list goes on – I hate to leave someone out!!!), and then knowing that I will get to read my friends’ posts and find out what they loved, what they didn’t, and really, all about their experiences. What fun!!100_4000

Fast forward about an hour at 450 degrees – and here it is! Between the bit of oil on the rim, the pizza dough instead of paste – and maybe importantly the shape of the lid – mine popped off easily – no need for a screwdriver!!

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As I sit here munching this quintessential  Dorie dish, sipping a glass of wine (what else to do with the rest of the bottle? ok, not all this evening!), I think that this dish does represent what I think she was trying to do with this book – make French cooking accessible to the home cook by presenting recipes that one might very well be served at a dinner party or home-cooked meal in France – and particularly one that if you were lucky enough to be invited, Dorie might serve at her very own French Table.

Best dish ever? Not really. I would not put this at the top of my list from the book. That said, comforting, lovingly presented, and delicious in its own right. I do think that it is the perfect last recipe to an extraordinary adventure.

I’m sure that there will be others posting about this recipe, and our wonderful group. You can see all of those links at our French Fridays with Dorie site.

34 thoughts on “ffwd – chicken in the pot: the garlic and lemon version

    • Agreed! I need to put together a map, so that I can figure out where people are (I’m too visual). I DO need to get in touch with you because some day, I will be able to make time when I’m in CA to visit. It would be SO much fun!!!

  1. I also turned it into a one pot meal and I also realized late in the game that Dorie probably had a reason for using two pots:-) Oh well, live and learn.

    I can also relate to trying to squeeze these recipes into a busy work schedule. There have been weeks when I just couldn’t make it work, and other weeks where I was calling my husband from a hotel to instruct him to open the book and read me the ingredients so that I could also go grocery shopping on my way home.

  2. I like the idea of a Dorista map! I couldn’t agree with you more about this being the quintessential Dorie dish. A fitting way to close it out indeed.

  3. Yes, this dish is very Dori 🙂
    I am glad you were able to pull this one off while on the road. It’s been a great ride – I hope to meet you in real life some day.

  4. “Best dish ever? Not really. I would not put this at the top of my list from the book. That said, comforting, lovingly presented, and delicious in its own right. I do think that it is the perfect last recipe to an extraordinary adventure.” I couldn’t have put it better myself! Brava, my friend! And Cheers!

  5. Nice way to simplify the recipe, Candy! This wasn’t my favorite either but it was good. I would love to meet you someday Candy. I always enjoy your posts!

  6. Last night I woke up about 2am, couldn’t get back to sleep so, not the best idea, but I turned on the computer. You must have just posted your blog because it bounced up in my e-mails. It was so wonderful, Candy, and, to read it as I did made it even better, I think. Of course, your post played havor with my returning to sleep (I didn’t) because I had so many FFWD memories whirling in my head. I loved reading about your Chicken-in-the-Pot cooking process and salute you for even doing it. You have a big job, lots of balls in the air, and we appreciate your giving FFWD such priority status.

    • Well, at least you had yummy thoughts running through your head! Thank you Mary. I have to say I got a little teary-eyed as I was searching for the book cover photo and remembering all of our fun efforts shared over the last several years. (and then I finally bailed and just re-captured it!). I am committed to maintaining our friendship, no matter what happens with this particular group. This has been a special endeavor and wouldn’t have missed it!

      BTW, when you read about Prime Now – that’s my team. 🙂

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m off on another site visit! Hahaha!

  7. Dear Candy – what a beautifully written post – and what a wonderful looking Chicken in a Pot you made. Every time I make pizza dough these days, I remember that you told us that your brother makes the best pizza ever these days…I used pizza dough for the rim because for some reason I thought the kids would love this dish even more then… While I know that there are still a few posts coming up, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all your kindness, support and friendship during the last couple of years! Btw, how wonderful that your business is doing so well and you still found the time to participate!
    Andrea

  8. This is quite a week for all the Dorista’s, a bit sad, but a great feeling of getting to the finish line.
    I loved following your blog over these past four + years, and am sorry we never actually met. Who knows, someday, right? This was an interesting recipe, we really enjoyed it, and it was fun trying to copy the picture on the cover. Have a great weekend.

    • Thanks Nana!! I have so enjoyed sharing this journey with you! I hope I can meet with you sometime. How does every day get so packed?? It would be a treat to meet you in person.

  9. You’ve summed everything up so nicely, Candy. I’m so touched that you made time from your hectic life to cross the finish line together with the group. It was worth saving the cover for the final recipe,even if, as you say, this wasn’t the very best recipe in the book, but it still captures its essence.

    I hope we get a chance to meet in person some day. Sometimes I forget that we haven’t. I feel a special connection to you, my Dorista friend. In addition to always enjoying your posts, you won honey from my hive and you went to see my college friend at her art show.

    I’m so glad we traveled this AMFT journey together. I hope our paths continue to cross in the future. Keep in touch!

    • Thank you Betsy! I feel the same way!!! I’m hopeful that one of these days I will get back to your neck of the woods! I can’t really believe we haven’t met in person either. You’ll laugh, I even bought a “bees” bag at whole foods because I was thinking of you!!!

      It’s been a special journey my friend!!

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • You know, Mary sent me the whole food bees bag for my birthday. And I had nearly bought one for myself. I look forward to when we finally meet.

  10. I agree, this really is the quintessential Dorie recipe – and a perfect choice to be our last. I’m glad you got it in under the wire!

  11. Candy, I love this post and totally agree about this being the best recipe to end with! It is not my favorite either, by any means, but they can’t all be winners, I guess. 🙂

  12. Candy, I love this post and totally agree about this being the best recipe to end with! It is not my favorite either, by any means, but they can’t all be winners, I guess.

  13. Love the post Candy – awesome job. Your process photos are wonderful and I appreciate how you shared your shortcuts and opinions. That is what it is all about. And your reminiscing really touched me. I was laughing at the Cher going rogue and instantly thought of RED raspberries for Liz, and as you said, there are so many other idiosyncrasies and traits of our wonderful group’s members. I also loved that you shared what your busy week has been like and how you juggled to get it done. I can relate and there have been many feats of juggling during this time (not the least of which was completing the last recipe in Vermont and finding the laptop I left up there no longer worked !!!) and I know that like you said- it is not shared to make us look extra special but simply to show that this group and this activity means a lot. It is and was worth the sacrifice. The gains far exceeded the cost, though some weeks the cost was more than expected in effort – LOL. Definitely get Nana and I on that Dorie Map and look us up if you are ever in the Philly area. And by that I mean anywhere on the east coast- LOL 🙂

  14. I agree that this was the perfect recipe to end off with. We really enjoyed this one, but I don’t think it’s my absolute favourite – that post about my top five is really difficult!

    I like the idea of a Dorista map and hope we can meet someday, too. 🙂

  15. This was the perfect recipe to end with! As you pointed out quintessential Dorie, to all who have made this journey! I agree this was not my favorite but it was delicious!
    I also like the idea of a Dorista map! It’s been great!

  16. What a lovely post. Good job getting it done straight from the airport! Even though this wasn’t one of my favorite recipes either, it feels cozy and right for our final one.

  17. Good luck with all your work adventures. It sounds like things are going well. I am glad that I am not the only one who used one pot. Live and learn. Even though it has only been a year I have loved being a part of this group. Have a great week.

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