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Love it and Leave: Dutch Oven Ideas

Posted on February 6, 2014

When it comes to cooking for a family, the Dutch oven is a prized pot. Much like the slow cooker, when the right ingredients are added, Dutch ovens require very little babysitting to produce crazy good one-pot meals. The key is knowing what those ingredients should be.

Generally, Dutch ovens are used to cook braised or roasted dishes that require a relatively long cooking time. They can also be used on the stovetop, which makes them extremely versatile. That said it’s important that your recipe involves ingredients that can take the heat. Go for meat and poultry cuts that take time to break down and tenderize, rather than those that toughen up when cooked for long periods. Veggies like peppers and root vegetables stand up to a lengthier cook time, while more delicate veggies like broccoli or green beans will wilt and wither. Dried beans, potatoes and whole grains are also great choice for Dutch oven cookery since they’re sturdy and require a solid cook time.

Want to put your pot to use to warm up your household? Here are a few of our favorite Dutch oven ideas to get your started:

Chicken Cacciatore: Brown bone-in FreeBird chicken thighs in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. Stir in coarsely chopped onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Pour some canned tomatoes, red wine and enough chicken stock so that the contents of the Dutch oven are halfway covered. Season with some thyme, salt and pepper, then cover and cook in a 375 – 400ºF for about an hour until fork tender.

Chicken and White Bean Chili: Brown coarsely chopped chicken thigh meat with onions, celery and poblano peppers. Add white beans and lots of chicken stock. Season with cumin, salt, pepper and plenty of cilantro. Cover and simmer on stove top, checking periodically to make sure there is plenty of stock as beans cook through. Add liquid as necessary and cook for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.

Coconut Curry Chicken: Place an 8-piece cut up FreeBird chicken in a pot and brown on stove top with red onions, garlic and ginger. Add chunks of butternut squash and pour in coconut milk and chicken broth until liquid covers chicken halfway. Season with chili flakes, salt and green onion. Cook in a 400ºF oven for about an hour until chicken is fork tender and cooked through.