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Breaking in the Cast Iron

For Christmas, Tim’s aunt gave me a cast iron dutch oven! I’m over the moon, as I’ve wanted one for ages and could never quite justify the price of one. It’s only a small one, but it’s the perfect size for us.

Tonight, I had planned on making Herbed Chicken Traybake, something we hadn’t had for a while and then I was looking up instructions on how to clean some black spots off my Corningware dish and I stumbled upon some cast iron dutch oven recipes, including one for Braised Herbed Chicken Thighs . I thought it was pretty similar to my traybake recipe, so I decided to combine the two recipes.

You will need:

1 large zipper top bag
dutch oven
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Flour
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Lemon Pepper (if you don’t have lemon pepper, use 1tsp pepper and the zest of one lemon)
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Thyme, Bay, and Salt grinder OR 1 bay leaf and 1/2 tsp salt
skinned chicken thighs (I used 4, but had to cook them 2 at a time)
about 300g vegetables – I used a combination of Swede, Carrot, and Parsnip
400ml chicken broth (or stock)
250ml wine (great way to use up leftover Christmas wine!)
1 TBS corn flour

First things first – remove the skin from the chicken legs. It’s really not too difficult, even if it is gross! I discovered that as long as you can cut the skin at the bottom of the leg, the rest of the skin peels right off. You could probably also leave the skin on, but since the skin is supposed to be bad for you, I took it off anyway.

Step 2: Put the olive oil in the dutch oven, and heat over medium heat. Next, combine the flour, herbs, salt & pepper in a zipper top bag with a few clicks of the JO grinder. If you don’t have the JO stuff, hang onto the bay leaf for now, but add the salt. Add the chicken to the bag and shake until chicken is well-coated.

Step 3: Put the chicken (and whatever remains of the flour mixture) in the Dutch oven and cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side to lightly brown the chicken. Dissolve the corn flour in the chicken broth, and add to the chicken along with the wine and vegetables (and bay leaf, if you need it at this stage). Bring to a boil (with the lid on) and then simmer 30-40 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are done. Remove the lid the last 10 minutes or so to help the liquid thicken.

If I had been thinking when I started this, I would have tossed some potatoes into the oven to have roast potatoes, but instead, I made baked potatoes in the microwave.

I also received a ceramic Le Creuset from Tim (for oven use only), some mini glass pyrex dishes from Mom (perfect for mini pot pies) and a silicone giant cupcake cake pan from my SIL, who has informed me she wants me to bake her a giant cupcake for her birthday in February. Better start practising! Sadly, no one picked up on my hints for a new apron/pinny.

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3 Comments so far

  1. falnfenix January 4th, 2011 3:49

    i love my dutch oven. absolutely love it. 😀

  2. Kara January 5th, 2011 11:50

    We got a dutch oven as one of our wedding gifts, and for Christmas, I gave Bill a cast iron skillet along with THIS cookbook. We are anxious to break it in, but we’re waiting until we figure out where we’ll be going, since we’ll most likely be moving this year. At some point, his mom wants to give us all of her cast iron that she doesn’t use anymore because it’s too heavy for her now.

  3. Rebecca January 5th, 2011 12:11

    Nice! I have a skillet my mom gave us as wedding present, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet!

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