Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Estimated Cost: Under $10
The first time I made this chicken it was a winner and we immediately added it to the "cook it again list". This method of cooking the chicken creates a tender, juicy, fall-of-the-bone meal that is straight out of flavor crystal heaven. It is easy to make and takes very little culinary skill, after all I am just the driver.
It's not technically roast chicken since it's partially cooked in liquid, hence the "faux". It's semi-roasted, the legs and thighs are cooked in liquid while the white meat and most of the veggies, being above the liquid, are roasted to perfection. You get fall-off-the-bone dark meat and juicy roasted white meat, best of both worlds.
- 1 whole chicken that fits in your Dutch oven, cleaned and trimmed of excess fat
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped and divided into two piles
- 1 lemon, halved with seeds removed
- 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 6 strips of bacon, diced
- 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 16oz beer or 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tsp cayenne chili powder, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start a small charcoal fire or a larger wood fire, it should take 30-45 minutes to have enough coals to start cooking.
- In the mean time, prep the carrots, potatoes, garlic and onion and set aside.
- Clean and trim the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Make a few small incisions over the breasts and legs of the chicken and insert half of the garlic. Place half of the lemon and the rest of the garlic into the cavity of the chicken. Mix the oil, salt, pepper, oregano and cayenne and massage into chicken.
- Once the coals are ready, separate them two piles. One pile will be used to cook the chicken and the other as a source of additional coals. Make a secure base to place the Dutch oven on. Be sure there is air flow underneath. You want low heat at the bottom, so use about 4 or 5 hot coals to start with, adding a new coals as the others die out.
- Add the vegetable oil to the Dutch oven and heat for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, five to ten minutes. Add the bacon and sauté for an additional five minutes.
- Add the remaining lemon half to the pot. Carefully place the chicken in the Dutch oven and add the potatoes and carrots around it.
- Pour the beer or chicken stock around the sides of the chicken. There should be two to three inches of liquid in the pot, enough to cover most of the legs and thighs of the chicken.
- Place the lid onto the oven and add coals on top. You want higher heat on top, start with eight or nine medium-sized hot coals and add more once there is steam coming from the lid.
- After about 40 minutes remove the coals from the lid, blow the ash off and check the chicken. Add more liquid if needed and replace the lid. Place eight or nine medium-sized coals back onto the lid and add more once there is steam coming from the lid.
- The depending on the size of the chicken, dinner should be done in about 1.5 hours. Remove the coals from the lid, remove the ash and carefully remove the oven from the fire, place on a heat resistant surface.
- Give it a few minutes cool and think about what it's done, then serve and enjoy.