This must’ve been either my grandmother or my grandfather’s favorite recipe for oven-roasted chicken. I say that because her hand-written recipe for the Spice Rubbed Chicken recipe labels it Poulet Favori. That literally translates to “Favorite Chicken” in English.
The original recipe was in French. This is my translation.
The original called for using seasonal mushrooms. Dried. But in some locales there is not a very wide selection of fresh mushrooms available and the ones in the market don’t look all that fresh to me. So I usually substitute dried mushrooms from reputable dealers. In most cases they are flash-dried soon after harvest and once re-constituted or powdered, they are far superior to the “fresh” ones I usually see in local grocery markets.
So don’t afraid of using good quality dried mushrooms. And in most American grocer’s you can find a wide variety — so this recipe is a great way to experiment with different types and tastes of mushroom to determine the ones you like best. Of course, if you have a favorite mushroom variety, by all means use that one.
Besides, this recipe calls for dried mushrooms anyway. So buying mushrooms already flash-dried saves you a whole step in the process.
In case you have a ready supply or you prefer to use your own fresh mushroom, I will add at link at the bottom of this article on to how to dry your own mushrooms.
My personal favorite variety of mushrooms in this this dish is either Porcini or Chanterelle. It’s pretty much a tie. And if I have low volumes on hand, I often mix them. That way I have three variations on a theme. And honestly, this dish has never come out bad!
There are a couple of key taste differences when you grind dried mushrooms rather than using them fresh or re-constituted from flash-dried mushrooms. Grinding dried mushrooms intensifies the mushroom flavor. And it adds a surprising little uptick in heat. That’s particularly true when you mix them with a bit of chili powder.
- Spice Grinder, (clean) Coffee Mill, Food Processor, or high-speed Blender (unless using commercial mushroom powder)
- Kitchen string for trussing the chicken
- small mixing bowl
- Enameled cast iron French Oven (Dutch Oven)
- 1 3 lb Whole Chicken, cavity emptied preferably organic & pasture-raised
- 1/4 Cup Dried Mushrooms, powdered preferably Porcini or Chanterelle
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1-2 pinches Sea Salt to taste of chef, optional
- 1 solid grinding Black Pepper to taste of chef, optional
- 1/2 Tablespoon Avocado oil or Grapeseed Oil
- Preheat oven to 315-320 F.
- Lightly oil the bottom of your French Oven with the Avocado or Grapeseed Oil.
- Preheat your French Oven on the stove top beginning with low heat for 1-3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium for another 1-3 minutes. Then heat the French Oven at med-hi for at least 2 minutes or until the oil begins to smoke slightly. You can start this process and proceed to the next step while the French Oven is heating.
- If you are not using Dried Mushrooms rather than prepared Mushroom Powder, grind 1/4 Cup of Dried Mushrooms in a Spice Grinder, (clean) Coffee Mill, Food Processor, or high-speed Blender. Grind to a fine powder.
- Transfer Mushroom Powder to a small mixing bowl. Add 1 Tablespoons of Chili Powder. Mix together well.
- Rub 2 Tablelspoons of the Chili-Mushroom powder into the skin of the chicken, distributing it well over the entire body. Then sprinkle all but about 1 teaspoon of the remaining powder mixture into the cavity of the chicken before trussing. Set that 1 teaspoon of powder aside to finish the juices at the end.
- Truss the chicken well, then seer it in the pre-heated French Oven on the stove top. This should should be a quick seer. The skin will crisp further in the oven.
- Then put your already heated French Oven with the seered Chicke in it and place it in the pre-heated oven. (Be sure to turn the top burner off.)
- Raost in the oven about 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 180 F.
- Then remove it from the oven and baste the Chicken with the pan juices that have formed in the bottom of the French Oven. Cover the Chicken and let it rest for 30 minutes. (The cast iron will ensure just the right amount of continued warmth.)
- When the Chicken has gone through it's rest, finish it with another basting of the bird and a sprinkle of the retained powder.
- You can easily serve this dish right on the table in the French Oven although you may want to put it on a towel or trivet. And you defnitely want to remove the bird to cut it and then put it back in the French Oven because you don't want to mar your lovely bakeware with knife marks. The cast iron will still be warm, so you don't have clean it out, simply put the cut chicken back into the pot it was cooked in to serve and use use a wooden spoon, a wooden spatula, or a pair of tongs to remove the servings at the table.
This is the first in So Frenchly’s FRENCH CLASSICS series.
If you want to be sure not to miss the others in the series, sign up for the So Frenchly newsletter so you get notifications each time a new recipe is posted.
This series was inspired by a chance finding of a box of my grandmother’s recipes. All in French. Surprisingly most were Keto-friendly. And the others were easy to modify. Most are designed for a French Oven, so there is only one pot involved.
So what goes with this dish? Glad you asked.
We find this lovely French Rosê from Provence a wonderful wine-pairing with Poute Favori (our Spice Rubbed Chicken). You can typically find La Grand Vigne Rosé Coteaux Varois for under $10. It’s quite versatile in its pairing so this is a great bottle to keep on hand. We find it pairs well with most all chicken dishes and it counter-balances much hotter dishes than this surprisingly well for a Rosé. You can read our full review of La Grand Vigne Rosé Coteaux Varois here. And if you click on the photograph, you will branch to one of our most trusted online vendors with the best price we have found. It typically runs $12-$14 a bottle depending on the whether you obtain a bottle count discount.
A very different, but we think equally delicious, wine pairing with this dish is the 2018 Cais de Ribeira Douro White from the Douro Valley in Portugal. This classic Vinho Verde is one of our favorites. It is super refreshing as an outdoor summer aperitif. But it works year-round quite well. It is a particularly good pairing with fish of any kind, but it plays beautifully with chicken and pork. And it always pairs with spicy. You can read our full review of the 2018 Cais de Ribeira Douro White here. And if you click on the picture of it, you will branch to a trusted online source with an excellent price. We typically find it priced around $9-$10 a bottle, depending on purchase volume.
SOURCES FOR THE BEST INGREDIENTS
The best price we have found on high-quality dried Porcini mushrooms are these Dried Imported Porcini Mushrooms from Mycological, available on Amazon that are usually available there for about $5 an ounce. This particular packet comes in a 1-oz size. But we also have used a powdered form from an Amazon vendor that takes one of the steps out of our recipe right off the bat. Dried Porcini Mushroom Powder from Vigorous Mountains is flavorful, easy to use, and great to have on hand. It runs about the same price per ounce as the Mycological, but the jar contains three ounces so you usually pay about $15 for it.
The day-in-day-out best price for quality we’ve found for dried Chanterelle mushrooms is also from Amazon. Our favorite is this offering of Mushberry Gourmet Kosher Dried Chanterelle Mushrooms on Amazon. The price varies, but they are usually about $7.50 an ounce. This packet contains 1.6 ounces and you typically can get a packet this size for around $12 on Amazon. We find the name “Mushberry” sort of funky, but we get the drift of where they are trying to go with it. And since the taste is really superb, we think that says a lot more than the name. And the Chanterelles from Mushberry are 100 percent wild harvested — and presumably organic but impossible to certify since they are wild.
HOW TO COOK IT THE WAY WE DO
We are true believers when it comes to Staub cookware and Le Creuset cookware. And in no piece is that more true than in a French Oven. We will be posting a review shortly on the Five Best French Ovens currently available on the U.S. market. Whether you go with round or oval or with Le Creuset or Staub or another brand is mostly a matter of personal taste, market availability, the configuration of your stove, and the state of your budget.
But if we were adding a French Oven to our collection today, it would be this Staub 5.75-qt Coc au Vin Cocotte because in spite of the fact that it was specifically designed for a chicken (cooked in wine, thus “coc au vin”), it is perfect for any style of chicken, beef, or pork roast to be cooked in an oven.
And it’s beautiful!
Plus I’m slightly obsessed with Staub’s Grendine color and am dying to add a piece in that color to my cookware stash.
You can pick up this Staub 5.75-qt Coc au Vin Cocotte on Amazon in Basil, Cherry, Dark Blue, Graphite Gray, Turquoise, White, Matte Black, this Grenadine, or one of the yummiest neutrals ever that Staub calls White Truffle. The interior of the entire Staub line is their signature matte black enamel that looks like raw cast iron but keeps with the ease of enamel. The Staub interior surface that originally designed for use in commercial kitchens in France.
The Le Creuset version is this Le Creuset Signature Enameled Oval Dutch Oven (at least that’s how Amazon names it — Le Creuset calls it a French Oven) in one of Le Creuset’s shades of red called Cerise, available on Amazon. This is one of those cases that the Le Creuset piece is way more expensive than it’s Staub counterpart. And honestly, for this piece we may be willing to spend the additional $100 for the Staub, just not the other way around. Of course that’s not to say the Le Creuset isn’t a wonderful piece of cookware because it most certainly is. But it certainly isn’t $100 better than the comparable Staub — at least not to us.
The colors usually available on Amazon in this Le Creuset piece include three varying shades of blue — Caribbean, Marine, and Marseilles — as well as White, a relatively new mid-range neutral shade they call Oyster, and the original shade of bright orange Le Crueset dubs Flame. The interiors are all Le Creuset’s smooth white enamel. And $100-more or not, there is absolutely no question that Le Creuset makes excellent cookware that will outlast pretty much any of us.
To be clear, the shape of the cookpot isn’t really important for this dish. It’s the construction of the pot that matters. I have made this dish in my 11-year-old 5.5-qt round Staub French Oven for a more than a decade and it works great.
I just honestly think the oval is pretty. And if I were starting over, I might be seduced by the shape…
However, the exact pot I’m using is this Staub 5.5-qt Round French Oven, available on Amazon in an assortment of their beautiful colors. My pot is this shade Staub calls Basil. And the last time I checked the Amazon page, the price was exceptionally good. It’s priced less than what I paid a decade ago. But be advised, the prices I’m posting here can change. They change not only daily but hourly.
The Amazon links I’m sharing here show prices at the time of this posting. By the time you looking at them and by the time you click through they may have changed.
You can read my
LINKS TO PRODUCTS AND EQUIPMENT MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE