Roast Chicken in Creuset Dish?
Hi Everyone. I'm in the middle of reading through Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories, and in the roast chicken section he mentions that at Chez L'Ami Louis in Paris, they roast chickens in a Le Creuset gratin dish. What sort of dish, exactly, is he talking about? Has anyone ever been there / roasted a chicken in this way?
Thanks very much.
A gratin dish would be for a pretty small chicken. For the one I get in the store, I brown some onions and potatoes in a touch of oil with salt, pepper and a rosemary sprig and thyme sprig or two. I stuff the chicken with more sprigs, a halved lemon and a halved onion and place it on top of the taters and onions. Season with salt and pepper and roast until done. I find that small potatoes, halved, cook in just the right amount of time, but if the chicken finishes first, I just remove it and finish the potatoes.
Not sure if that is exactly what you are after, but I end up with the tastiest potatoes ever, and the Creuset (coated cast iron) reflects heat so well that the chicken ends up tasty, juicy and gorgeously browned. Note: I don't have any drippings for gravy, because the potatoes soak them up, so I make a make-ahead gravy with the giblets.
A gratin dish, as opposed to an LC dutch oven, would have low sides. And that's the cricitical point here. If you roast a chicken in a pot with high sides, the chicken skin isn't going to brown and crisp the way you would want it to. You could substitute a cast iron skillet or any roasting pan that's not much larger than the size of the chicken you're going to be putting in it.
Thanks very much for the replies. I agree that the low sides are the key, and then I think that the point of the Creuset addition is that the Creuset pots really do hold and reflect heat well, as katecm says. I'm going to go for one of these http://www.amazon.com/Creuset-14-1-4-... when I can afford it.
Of course, as Hopkinson says in the book, it doesn't hurt to smear butter all over the chicken before you roast it.
You've already gotten some responses on what a gratin dish is - I wanted to respond to tell you that I do roast chickens in an oval Le Creuset gratin (enameled cast iron). The medium size one is the perfect size for a regular size chicken. Nice low sides, holds heat, and you can make a pan sauce/gravy in the pan after the roasting is complete.