A heartfelt confession, dear readers: I am completely smitten with roast chicken.  After a dalliance with Barefoot Contessa’s Roast Lemon Chicken with Croutons, I have reverted back to my original amour, chicken Pot-au-Feu – a traditional French mixture of meat baked with vegetables.

The origin of my roast chicken romance stems from my mother’s version of Pot-au-Feu.  My favorite memories of coming home in college are those where I’d fling open the heavy oak door of my family home in Palo Alto and the smell of chicken and vegetables roasting in wine would waft over me.  I was immediately enveloped in olfactory wonderment, accompanied by a very keen craving.  What makes this recipe so unique is the addition of sauvignon blanc.  Ever the advocate of alcohol-laden food, mom’s recipe includes an entire bottle of the wine, which infuses every bite with intoxicatingly complex flavor. 


Like any true love, Monsieur Pot-au-Feu and I have evolved together over the years.  While my mother serves the chicken sliced with the roast vegetables on the side, I dreamt of a more sumptuous version - a creamier concoction similar to a beef bourguignon.  The best way to achieve this effect is a thickening agent, common in creamy foods like mac + cheese, sauces, and gravy, called a “roux.”  At first blush, this technique seems intimidating, but it is really just flour, butter, and cream whisked together.  

By adding the roux to the vegetable/wine/broth/herb mixture post-roast, my wish was realized…  Quel dénouement!  The roux combined with the vegetables created a buttery, velvety, and decadently delicious stew worthy of my deepest affection.  Whip up your own Pot-au-Feu this weekend, and you’re guaranteed to start a roast chicken love affair of your own.  xx tt


Recipe - adapted from Mom


·  5-pound chicken

·  1 lemon

·  1 large yellow onion

·  1 bag baby carrots (though my general preference is large organic carrots, the smaller version works best for this particular recipe)

·  1 head of celery

·  1 pound baby Dutch yellow potatoes

·  1 head of garlic

·  ½ cup fresh basil

·  1 14-ounce can chicken broth

·  2 beef bouillon cubes

·  1 bottle dry white wine (I used Honig’s Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc)

·  Kosher salt + pepper

·  6 tablespoons olive oil

Optional - roux will make this recipe feel more like a hearty stew (but adds calories and fat)

·  1 stick unsalted butter

·  ½ cup flour

·  ½ cup heavy whipping cream


·  Preheat oven to 425 degrees

·  Quarter lemon

·  Cut entire head of garlic in half

·  Chop onion, celery, basil and carrots

·  Put onion, celery, basil, carrots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, bouillon cubes, and 1 tablespoon salt + 1 tablespoon pepper in roasting pan

·  Toss well

·  Add bottle of wine and chicken broth to the pan

·  Place roasting rack into pan

·  Wash chicken inside and out, pat dry with a paper towel

·  Salt + pepper inside of chicken, add lemon and garlic

·  Place chicken on roasting rack

·  Brush four tablespoons olive oil all over the chicken’s exterior

·  Salt and pepper

·  Place in the oven for 2 hours 15 minutes

·  Remove chicken from oven, place on cutting board and put foil over it for 10 minutes

Optional Roux

·  Make a roux by melting 1 stick of butter in a medium-sized saucepan

·  Add ½ cup flour, and whisk till fully combined

·  Slowly add ½ cup heavy whipping cream and whisk to thick consistency (like pudding)

·  Whisk roux into roasted vegetable/broth mixture (this will give it a stew-like consistency)

·  Remove foil from chicken, and shred it (or slice and dice it if you prefer)

·  Combine chicken into the veritable mixture

·  Serve with these drop biscuits – or cheat and use store-bought (I did!)