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Casserole-Roasted Chicken

Paris Home Cooking
From Parisian Home Cooking (William Morrow)
by Michael Roberts

Casserole roasting is a Parisian staple, from the days when most oven temperatures were unregulated by thermostats and the tight-lidded vessel moderated the uneven heat. Even people who could not afford an oven could roast a bird in a pot.


  • One 4 1/2- to 5-pound roasting chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola
  • 5 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the over to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Turn the wings under the bird and tie the legs together.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lay the bird on its side, cover, and transfer the casserole to the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the bird over on its back, cover and roast another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover and keep warm.

Skim the fat from the juices in the casserole. Place the casserole over medium heat and cook the shallots, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, broth, bay leaves and thyme. Boil the liquid until reduced by half, then remove from the heat and pour in any collected chicken juices. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the sauce into a sauceboat and serve on the side.

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