This is a true one-pot meal. The veggies, herbs, spices, and chicken all go into one Dutch oven. And that all goes together into the oven to cook together at the same time. This Dutch oven roasted chicken couldn’t be simpler.
A good roast chicken is all about getting juicy meat and crispy skin. The vegetables in the bottom of the pot cook in all of the juices to tender morsels of goodness. Paired together with some of the juice or a quick gravy and you have a whole meal with one pot.
Just look at that delicious browning above, but don’t notice that this chicken came with a broken drumstick on one side. Not my fault. That’s just how it was from the store. Note – this does not affect the flavor of the chicken in any way.
After enjoying this for dinner, you can save the chicken bones for homemade chicken stock. I made a huge batch of chicken stock the day after this meal. The flavor of the stock seems like it will be perfect to pair with some of the leftover chicken meat to make a simple chicken noodle soup.
Roasted Chicken in a Dutch Oven
The heat retention and distribution of a Dutch oven is great for roasting. It is the thick walls that help to cook everything evenly. They are suited for long, slower cooking. Which is exactly what we want for a roasted chicken. Though an hour and a half or so isn’t very long compared to some other meats, chicken is usually fairly quick-cooking.
Many recipes call for tying the legs together and sometimes tying the wings down as well. Though I do this when cooking turkey, I think it isn’t necessary for the chicken. It is not in the heat for long enough and the thick cast iron keeps things evenly heated inside.
For determining the proper doneness of the chicken, I highly recommend having an instant-read thermometer. It is useful for cooking any kind of meat and being certain that it is cooked to the correct temperature. You don’t want to have meat underdone and get sick – or have to throw it back on the heat. And you also don’t want to overcook meat because that makes it dry and tough. One thing I have learned from smoking meat is that you always cook to temperature and not time. Because things cook at different rates depending on hundreds of factors.
To serve it, I recommend carving the roast chicken up like a turkey. Then once you have vegetables and chicken plated, ladle some of the cooking liquid over the top of the chicken. You could also make a quick roux, add some of that cooking liquid, and turn it into a quick gravy to pour on top.
Mistakes Were Made
I made a few mistakes on my first attempt at this recipe. First off, I ended up putting the chicken in breast-side down without thinking about it. This didn’t ruin the chicken or anything. But, it makes it so that the skin isn’t crispy on that breast side. And because we load the herbs and spices on top of the chicken, there’s a little less chance for that flavor to really get down into the meat. So, make sure to put the chicken breast side up in the Dutch.
I also had too much paprika and too little salt in my original mix. Because I am a little partial to smoky flavors and always use smoked paprika. But when it was caking on top of the chicken I realized I had too heavy a hand. And the finished dish clearly needed more salt. So I went back to the recipe and made some adjustments
Rest assured that I am fully confident in the new spice ratios.
Dutch Oven Garlic Roasted Whole ChickenCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Moderate
Golden-crisp skin and juicy, tender meat make this roasted chicken perfect for dinner paired with roasted veggies
1 yellow onion
4 large carrots
3 large potatoes
15 garlic cloves, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
4 to 6 pound whole chicken
2 lemons, divided
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 sage leaves
3 small sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Wash and chop the potatoes, onion, and carrots into about 1-inch pieces
- Peel all of the garlic cloves
- Cut one lemon in half, juice one half of it, and slice the other half into thin rounds
- Slice the second lemon into quarters
- Cut the butter into cubes
- Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, and 13 of the garlic cloves to the Dutch oven, drizzle them with the olive oil, and stir to coat
- Top with half the butter cubes
- Slice the remaining 2 garlic cloves thinly and set aside
- Place the chicken in the center of the Dutch oven on top of the vegetables
- Drizzle the lemon juice over the chicken
- Sprinkle the paprika, salt, and pepper on top of the chicken and the vegetables
- Place remaining butter cubes on top of the chicken
- Add the sliced garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, and lemon slices on top of the chicken
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven, put it in the oven, and cook covered for 1 hour
- After an hour, uncover the pot, move the herbs and lemon slices from off the top of the chicken and cook until the thickest part of thigh reaches 165°F (75°C), another 30 to 45 min for a 5-pound chicken