Thursday, January 3, 2013

Shades of Grey Poupon French Cooking Lesson

Santa got me a Fontignac Enamel Pan (French oven) for Christmas.  It's like a Dutch oven, but the instructions are in French!  I had hinted that I wanted one after seeing the roast perfection that Mr. B. did one night in his enameled cooking pot and Santa came through.

Here is my first attempt at chicken in it.  It turned out really tasty, but the aroma, oh my, the aroma that filled the house.  Definitely worth a try if only to sit and watch both man and beast sniff the air.   It's not a "crispy skin" chicken, but it is so very, very moist, perfect for slicing up for salads and sandwiches later.

1 whole roasting chicken
7-8 strips of bacon
1/3 cup olive oil (80 mL)
2/3 cup  vermouth  (160 mL)
4 stalks fresh rosemary
1 large lemon
2 sweet onions
generous sprinkle of summer savory (I used Penzey's)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed slightly.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (177 C).

Stuff the cavity of the emptied, cleaned and dried chicken with one onion, outermost layer peeled away, the rest cut into quarters, half a lemon, squeezed (save the juice) and cut in half again, the garlic cloves and 3 sprigs of rosemary.

Take the other onion, peel and cut into medium sized rings, spreading out on the bottom of the enamel pan.

Truss your chicken.  This helps the bird cook evenly and hold it's shape as it cooks and as you carve it (even if two lemon slices stuck to the top of the French Oven.).  Basic directions are below but if you need additional help there's numerous videos of it on the net (though it's  "trussing" not "bondage" or you may get some web sites you don't want).

1) Pass about 3 feet of cooking string underneath the tail. Bring the ends of the string up around each leg and cross the ends over the top.
2) Bring the string under the drumsticks and pull both ends to pull the legs together. Draw the ends of the string along either side of the chicken and over the wing joints.
3) Turn the chicken onto its breast, cross the string over the neck skin, and tighten to pull the wings to the body
4) Tie the strings securely so your chicken doesn't fly the coop.
5) Turn the chicken onto its back again, it is now ready for. . . . bacon!

Sprinkle the chicken with summer savory and place breast side up in the pan on top of the bed of uncooked onion rings.

Place the bacon across the top of the chicken until most of the surface is covered.  Mix the lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon that went into the chicken with the vermouth and pour over chicken.  Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil. Slice remaining 1/2 lemon (do not squeeze first) and place on top. Sprinkle dismantled remaining rosemary sprig on top of that.
Cover and bake for one hour. Remove lid and bake until the bacon is done and the chicken is 165 degrees F (another 30-40 minutes) at the thickest part of the bird.  Cover loosely with foil and let set 5-10 minutes, remove foil and serve, warm or cold.

Now for your salad dressing.  Grey Poupon Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (5 mL)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (22 mL)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60 mL)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of tarragon (to taste)
Whisk together the mustard and vinegar, then SLOWLY stream in the oil in a thin stream, whisking to make an emulsion.  Salt and pepper to taste, adding tarragon if you wish (optional). Serve a portion of the meat on top of fresh chopped romaine with dressing accompanied by French bread, a glass of wine and a little Cartier Baiser Vole' Eau de Parfum behind each ear.

Or Hoppes No. 9

I'd not recommend Tinks. :-)


  1. Bacon and Chicken... mmmmmmm...

    We're still praying for your brother...

    Dann in Ohio

  2. Thanks Dann, I saved this recipe post after Christmas but if it doesn't make him want to eat something, I don't know what will.

    Off to sleep, I'll post an update Friday after travel.

  3. Good one, and THAT chicken I'll eat. Thoughts and prayers Lady.

  4. I stopped at the "perfum behind each ear"....


  5. If it's not crisp skin, then what's the point?
    I DO like Dijon, though :-P


  6. for crispy skin, crank the oven to broil and take the lid off for five minutes or so before you pull it.

  7. Very nice food and pictures !
    I just remembered I have a coupon for Grey Poupon ! Really, I do !

  8. Does a french oven make the chicken surrender?

  9. B. - yes, though my roast will never be as good as yours, I'm having fun experimenting.

    Old NFO - it's good chicken. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

    Bob - :-)

    armedlaughing - this was made for salad and sandwiches so I don't eat the skin. The bacon kept it really moist though.

    zdog - if I can do that without the uber high temperature damaging the enamel, I'll try that!

    Jane - thank you! I hate yellow mustard, but I like the Dijon and white wine varieties in some sauces and meat dishes.

    Tin Can - look, there's a little white flag sticking out of the pot!

    RabidAlien - wins the internets!

  10. Best chicken I ever ate was cooked in a Dutch oven at a Scout camporee, using I don't remember how many charcoal briquettes (fewer than one would think, though) for heat. I was right proud of myself. But your variation looks better than what I did :) (Plus, you're not standing outside in 20 degrees and snow cooking it...)

    All the best to your brother.

  11. Fuzzy D - oh yes. Sorry I missed the blog meet. Your new blog addy requires a registration so I've not commented, but have well enjoyed.

    Blog meets are always more fun when you're there, hippies falling off the bridges and all.

  12. Bacon wrapped chicken!?....oh, sweet baby Jesus! I think I just swooned a bit....


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