Unlike the classic French recipe of this name, which calls for a mature stewing hen stuffed with forcemeat and poached in stock for hours, our modern version is something of a cross between sautéed chicken and braised chicken, cooked and served with vegetables. What would be the easiest way to pack the most flavor into this Americanized dish?
Like almost everyone else these days, we're always looking for versatile, nearly effortless recipes that don't take much time. "Chicken in the Pot" was about to become one of our favorites.
Start with a large chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds, cut into smaller pieces, or, if you prefer, you can use all white or all dark meat. Cook in a large, heavy skillet, browning the chicken first in a combination of oil and butter. Sauté the vegetables in the same skillet, then arrange on top of the chicken so the vegetables don't get crushed. Cook in a small amount of liquid (stock or wine) over medium heat, basting throughout the cooking time. Because chicken's mild flesh pairs well with delicate seasonings and vegetables but can also stand up superbly to bold spices and hearty ingredients, you can vary the recipe in almost endless ways.