French Chicken in a Pot with Drunken Jus and Mashed Camembert Potatoes
French Chicken in a Pot with Drunken Jus and Mashed Camembert Potatoes
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  • 1 whole chicken (4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery and green tops, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and sliced
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 1 medium turnip, trimmed and chunked or 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup milk or chicken stock, warmed
  • 10-12 ounces ripe Camembert cheese or 1 small individual wheel
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 bottle dry white wine (about 1 cup)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Remove the giblets, then wash and dry the chicken. Tuck the wings back and underneath the backbone until they stay in place. Season liberally with kosher salt or sea salt and lots of black pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 275ºF.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

Add 1 tablespoon EVOO to the hot pot and brown the chicken breast-side down first; turn using a wooden spoon or closed tongs placed in the chicken cavity.

Once the bird has browned on both sides, remove the chicken to a plate and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cover the pan. Sweat the vegetables to make a little pan juice, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the bird atop the vegetables and cover the pot. Transfer to the oven with the rack at the bottom and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, until a thermometer reads a minimum of 165ºF at the thickest part of the bird.

About 15-20 minutes before the chicken comes out of the oven, place the potatoes and turnips in a pot; cover with water, bring to a boil and cook to tender. Drain, then mash with milk and the ripe Camembert cheese. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Cover and turn off the heat to keep the potatoes warm.

Place the chicken on a carving board and cover with foil.

In a large pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil for the green beans. Salt the water and boil the beans for 5-6 minutes for tender-crisp. Drain and dress with butter.

Pour the pan juices and scrape the solids through a strainer into a bowl and return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Press down on the straining solids to collect all of the pan juices. Add the wine to the hot pan and scrape up the drippings. Pour in the juices and reduce over a rapid simmer for about 10 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat. Transfer to a gravy boat or serving dish.

Carve the chicken and serve with pan juices, potatoes, and beans.

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