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French Pot Roast Chicken

A heart-warming classic, French Pot Roast Chicken or ‘Poulet au Pot’ is a terrific recipe for beautifully juicy, tender chicken with flavoursome root vegetables and a rich gravy. As a bonus, it's all cooked in one pot so less washing up!

Brrr! It’s pretty chilly outside! The last few days have been cold and blustery, with the wind whipping through the valley and banging the shutters on the house.

To tell the truth, I don’t mind this kind of day as it’s an excuse to sit around the stove in the kitchen and cook some deeply satisfying soul-food. The perfect day to heat up the oven and cook French Pot Roast Chicken.

French Pot Roast Chicken showing a chicken breast with a slice cut out of it.

What exactly is French Pot Roast Chicken?

Poulet au Pot or French Pot Roast Chicken is a fabulous way of making tender, juicy chicken by roasting the bird in an enamel pot or dutch oven with lots of vegetables, wine and broth.

Cooking this chicken using this method guarantees tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.

Why this recipe works

Roasting the chicken with plenty of liquid and aromatics in a dutch oven forces loads of flavour and moisture into the meat, preventing it from drying out or tasting bland.

As a bonus, this chicken recipe is all made in one dish there’s little in the way of clean-up, and you get plenty of delicious gravy. As the enticing cooking aromas begin to waft through the house, you’ll find people can’t help but be drawn to the kitchen with rumbling stomachs. Sounds good? It is!

Ingredients

To make French Pot Roast Chicken you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • CHICKEN: Look for a juicy, plump chicken. For this recipe, you’ll need a chicken around 1.4kg /3 lb. / Size 14.
  • SHALLOTS, CARROTS AND CELERY: These vegetables roast together with the chicken and add to the delicious gravy.
  • MUSHROOMS AND BACON: To add depth of flavour to the sauce.
  • GARLIC AND FRESH HERBS: These aromatics infuse the chicken and make for the most delectable chicken meat.
  • BROTH AND WINE: The basis of the gravy. I recommend a glass of wine for the cook too!

Full ingredient list and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

How to cook French Pot Roast Chicken

This recipe is so easy to make! To cook a pot roast chicken, there are 3 main steps:

  • First, sauté the vegetables until just beginning to soften.
  • Next, add the liquids to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Lastly, all you need to do is season the chicken, put it on top of the vegetables, cover and roast to golden brown perfection! So easy!

Variations

French Pot Roast Chicken is an extremely flexible recipe, so change up the vegetables to suit what you like. I always stick with the traditional carrot, celery, shallot combination, as well as a few potatoes, but it would be wonderful with parsnips, leek, or even fennel.

Check your chicken before you start.

Because we are really concentrating the chickeny goodness in this recipe, check your chicken to make sure it hasn’t been pre-seasoned and salted. (Australia is particularly guilty of doing this)

It’s not a deal-breaker if it is, you just need to reduce the salt you use when cooking.

What to serve with Pot roast chicken?

Even though there are potatoes in with this chicken, I still like to serve it with a nice loaf of crusty bread. There are loads of delicious juices to mop up and it’s a shame to let them go to waste.

French Pot Roast Chicken

How else can I roast chicken?

I’m glad you asked! If you fancy a culinary trip to Bavaria, why not give my famous Oktoberfest Roast Chicken recipe a go?


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I tell if the chicken is cooked?

A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken between the breast and thigh should read 75°C / 165° F. Alternatively, cutting into the thickest part of the chicken the juices should run clear.

Can I change the vegetables in French Pot Roast Chicken?

Sure! Use whatever you have handy. All root vegetables are good. Fennel adds a delicious flavour.

Can I make Pot Roast Chicken without alcohol?

Of course! Either use a bit more stock or replace the white wine with a mixture of fresh orange juice and water in a 50/50 ratio.

I like a thick gravy, how can I thicken the sauce?

That’s easy! Remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter and keep warm. Mix 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch with 2 Tbsp of cold water and stir through the sauce. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the gravy has thickened.

What sort of pot should I cook the chicken in?

Any heavy casserole with a lid will work perfectly for this dish. I have a lovely oval enamelled cast iron dutch oven like this one that I use especially for this recipe.


French Pot Roast Chicken

French Pot Roast Chicken Recipe

French Pot Roast Chicken or Poulet au Pot in an enamelled Dutch oven.

French Pot Roast Chicken

Yield: 4 Serves
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

A heart-warming classic, French Pot Roast Chicken or ‘Poulet au Pot’ is a terrific recipe for beautifully juicy, tender chicken with flavoursome root vegetables and a rich gravy. As a bonus, it's all cooked in one pot so less washing up!

Ingredients

  • 1.4 kg (3 lb.) whole chicken
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots or small red onions, peeled and quartered from root to tip
  • 3 carrots, sliced thickly on the diagonal
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 100 g (3.5 oz.) button mushrooms
  • 100 g (3.5 oz.) bacon or prosciutto, diced
  • 500 g (1 lb.) small potatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or small bunch fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped if fresh
  • 125 ml (½ cup) chicken stock or broth
  • 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
  • 1 small lemon
  • sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. HEAT THE OVEN: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Rub the chicken all over with the butter, then season well with salt and pepper, inside and out. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  2. COOK THE VEGETABLES: Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish (see notes). Add the shallots, carrots, celery, mushrooms and bacon and cook over high heat until the vegetables start to soften and brown, around 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic, bay leaves and thyme or rosemary to the pot. Stir to coat in the oil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. ADD THE LIQUIDS: Pour the chicken stock and white wine into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned on flavour on the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
  4. ROAST THE CHICKEN: Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, tucking the wings underneath the body. Squeeze over the lemon, dropping the halves into the pot. Cover with a tightly fitting lid (see note) then roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, removing the lid for the last 20 minutes so the chicken gets nice and golden brown.
  5. REST THE MEAT AND SERVE: When the chicken is done (you can check the temperature with a thermometer if you like, it should be 75°C of 165°F measured from the thickest part of the thigh), remove the pot from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Either remove the chicken to a warmed serving platter to slice and serve, or slice directly in the pot. Divide the chicken, vegetables and gravy between warmed plates and enjoy.

Notes

I use a large, oval enamelled cast-iron casserole dish that I picked up years ago. If you have a Le Creuset style pot, use that, otherwise, any heavy-based, oven-proof casserole dish with a lid will do. If the lid isn’t tightly fitting, scrunch up a piece of baking paper, dampen it a little, then unfold it and place it between the lid and the pot to create a seal. If you don’t have a lid at all use a double layer of tinfoil.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1241Total Fat: 64gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 346mgSodium: 1098mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 112g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 293

4 Comments

  1. Made this last night included fennel and a handful of fresh rosemary and oregano. Perfect for my Staub oval pot. It was a winner. Drained off juices’ added corn flour for the gravy and it was a fragrant hit. Couldn’t believe how aromatic it was with no added spices. Thank you

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