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 Liz wouldn’t be eating much of the chicken on the bone anyway).
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:
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!”
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!