Italian Potted Chicken


1 pound whole chicken, about 3
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup tomatoes (I used roma), peeled, seeded and chopped


Preheat the oven to 325º F. Rinse the chicken well, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large Dutch oven, preferably enameled cast iron, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken liberally all over with the salt and place the lemon half in the cavity. Brown the chicken, top and bottom, in the butter. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the Dutch oven, lower the heat to medium low and cook the onion, stirring frequently, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the tomato sauce in with the onion and add the tomatoes and herbs; stir well. Place the chicken back into the Dutch oven, breast side up, on top of the tomato sauce and lay 4 – 6 slices of bacon on top (reserve the rest), covering the chicken.
Baked, covered, for 1 hour, turning the chicken over at 20 minutes and again at 40 minutes; remove the bacon from the chicken before turning, then lay it over the chicken again before returning to the oven. After an hour, remove the lid and the bacon and bake for an addition 20 – 30 minutes, allowing the skin on the breasts to get crispy.
While the chicken is baking uncovered, chop the bacon that was on the chicken with the reserved bacon, and cook it in a small skillet with the remaining tablespoon of butter until crisp and brown. Remove the bacon from the skillet and allow to drain on paper towels.
Once the chicken is done, remove it from the Dutch oven and set aside on a cutting board, allowing it to rest for about 10 minutes. While the chicken is resting, skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then stir in the bacon and keep warm.
After the chicken has rested, cut it into quarters and serve with the sauce over puréed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.




Friday, September 17, 2010 - 2:23pm


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