The following recipe is from the April 16 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was so determined to raise his own livestock and grow his own vegetables that he moved from London to rural Dorset, England to set up the River Cottage Farm. In The River Cottage Cookbook he shares this simple recipe for pot-roast chicken and vegetables, which he calls his favorite one-pot dish, a satisfying way to cook chicken, vegetables, and gravy all at once. It can use either young roasting birds or old stewing chickens by adjusting the cooking time and temperature.
- 1 chicken, weighing 4 to 6 pounds
- 2 onions
- 3 large carrots
- 3 leeks
- 3 potatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon soft butter
- A glass of white wine
- A glass of water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken in a large casserole, a clay pot, or a deep roasting pan with a lid. Slice the onions and cut all the other vegetables into chunks. Arrange the vegetables and herbs around the bird. Rub the butter over the breast of the bird and pour over the wine and water, then season well with the salt and some pepper.
Place the lid on the dish and put it in a preheated 375°F oven. Remove the lid after about 50 minutes and give the vegetables a good stir. Baste the chicken with the fat on top of the juices in the dish. Leave the lid off and return to the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until the breast is nicely browned and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
To serve, transfer the chicken to a large warmed plate and carve it up fairly chunkily. Spoon vegetables from the roasting pot and plenty of buttery juices onto each plate beside the meat.
Note: If using a stewing chicken, turn the oven down to 300°F after the first half an hour, then cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours without removing the lid. Turn the bird over on its back halfway through cooking and give the vegetables a good stir at the same time.