Roasted Dutch Oven Chicken (Extra Crispy!!!) Part 1

Roasted Dutch Oven Chicken (Extra Crispy!!!) Part 1

We have been wanting to go do some more camping before the heat got too oppressive at night (no A/C in the tent- yet), so wanted to get a cast iron dutch oven (DO), the kind with legs and a flat lid to put the charcoal on. We opted for a Lodge 6 quart camp Dutch oven, as it seemed to be the perfect size for what we intend to do with it.

Coincidentally, one of the frizzle chickens I purchased a while back started to crow last Thursday morning, so his time was limited. Liz & I discussed it, and decided it was a great opportunity to roast a chicken, and why not use everything we could from our yard.

So, after harvesting the young rooster, we brined him for 24 hours, then stuffed him with garlic chives, a quartered lemon, and some rosemary. Other than the salt, we had produced it all right here. I was proud!

We did butter him up a bit, and added some pepper to the outside. We also tossed in some carrots and celery for filler, as it was a small bird (and LizĀ  wouldn’t be eating much of the chicken on the bone anyway).

Most dutch oven cooks recommend using charcoal briquettes due to uniformity and the evenness of the heat produced.

I wanted to try it the old-fashioned way, with wood, and that meant we had less items to carry along, since we already had firewood for the campfire. Call it a frugal decision.

I set up the DO with a little space below for air and some coals from the fire. Cooking with a DO is mostly with the heat on the top, since it allows for a more even heating that way. I then piled on more wood on top, feeding it regularly.

The recipe I followed was from http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/too-hot-to-roast-a-chicken-dutch-oven-it/ and stated it should take between “an hour to an hour and a half, depending on size”, so I figured it would be done in about 90 minutes, since it would take a little longer for the DO to heat up with the uneven heat of the wood.

As it cooked, the smell was wonderful! You could hear the sizzling of the fat rendering out of the bird. It was a joyous time! We had friends camping with us that were always interested in my crazy projects, and we usually end up impressing on the food-related ones…

Below are the photos in sequence:

Grab the lid……

Lift it off…WOWa LOT of steam!

Wait…that sort of looks like smoke….must be from the adjacent campfire….

Ah crap. Not the campfire! Even the veggies are now turned to charcoal!

The good news is that the center wasn’t completely destroyed. A small bit of it was not only edible, but the flavor was VERY good! We ate what we could….and increased out carbon intake for the day. One of my kids said, “Its just like mom’s cooking when she makes grilled cheese for you, Dad!”
Nice!

So I burnt the chicken almost to “completely destroyed”. Being the prepared-minded folks we are, Liz had packed a backup meal, so we ate smoked sausage and sauerkraut instead. She’s a good wife! We laughed about our failure, and everyone made a joke or two at my expense. I was a little bummed…

However, we saw the potential for both the method and the recipe…

So this is not over….stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!

12 comments:

  1. When I saw the title of the post I was thinking I’d invite you to hang out this weekend and help with a survival class and show us how to cook in a Dutch Oven. You’re still welcome – but maybe we should use a Solar Oven for the cooking.

    Ridgerunner

  2. Oh, no! I’d definitely agree that you had your fire too hot. Low and slow is how I roast things, after I start fast. I’ll try to update my blog post with a warning. I also do check my chicken while I’m roasting it.

    1. It was the very first attempt at cooking in a dutch oven using methods other than a stove, so I was happy to have ANYTHING edible come out of it…check tomorrow’s post to see our learning curve :)

      And FWIW, I just fired up another batch of coals to let the wife cook dinner :)

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