Brothy Same-Day Slow-Roast Whole Chicken
Braised in a flavourful onion, butter and white wine broth, this juicy one-pot chicken dish is a warming winter weekend dinner, perfect for the whole family.
I almost always want you to dry-brine every protein before cooking. It seasons the meat to the core, helps retain moisture during cooking, prevents overcooking, helps render fat, and promotes browning. But I get that it’s not always possible to plan ahead, so here’s a same-day roast chicken that’s still moist and flavorful. I braise a whole chicken, covered, in a Dutch oven with white wine, onions, and butter. The moist environment helps the chicken cook evenly and stay juicy, while the acidity from the wine keeps the meat tender, even if you overcook it a touch. In fact, I want you to take it a little further than normal to at least 170°F (77°C). This helps the connective tissue break down and the meat fall right off the bone. This isn’t a browned and crispy chicken, but a jammy and brothy one, perfect with a crusty baguette on a cold day. And if you’ve got time, go ahead and dry-brine, it will make this chicken even better; just season with salt and refrigerate for 12 to 36 hours! (Read more about dry-brining on page 258 of Start Here.)
|3 tbsp||unsalted butter|
|2 large (about 1½ pounds/680g)||yellow onions, thinly sliced|
|8||garlic cloves, thinly sliced|
|1 (3½ to 4 pounds/1.5 to 1.8kg)||whole chicken|
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
|1 ½ cups||dry white wine, sake or vermouth|
|House Salad (see page 18 of Start Here)|
You will need: a large Dutch Oven and an instant-read thermometer (optional).
Active Time: 30 mins. Total time: 1½ hours.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325°F (163°C).
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add the onions, garlic, and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are wilted and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves.
While the onions cook: On a cutting board, pat the chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Rub with the oil and season liberally with salt all over, making sure to season the inside cavity as well. (If you have time, you can place the seasoned chicken on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack and dry-brine in the fridge, uncovered, for 12 to 36 hours.)
Add the wine to the onions, bring to a simmer, and place the chicken in the Dutch oven, breast-side up. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast and the joint between the drumstick and the thigh register at least 170°F (77°C) on an instant-read thermometer (or when you wiggle a leg it feels like it wants to pull right off), 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set the broiler to high. Return the pot to the oven, uncovered, and continue cooking until the skin is dry and golden brown in some spots, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cut it into pieces, and transfer to a serving platter. Pour the onion broth over the chicken. Serve with flaky salt, butter, baguette, and house salad alongside.