Ok, Mindy Kalin tells me you, dear reader, aren’t interested in any kind of story about a recipe. As Kalin puts it, “Just show me the…recipe, goddammit!” Um, ouch.

In a fit of pique, I tweeted to her: “Gosh, and why did I have to sit through all your neurotic babbling on The Mindy Project, when all I wanted was to see Chris Messina shirtless? Hmmmm.“ That seems to have gotten her attention, because she blocked me!

Well, if you happen to agree with Mindy, hush a moment. There’s a story that goes with this Dutch oven-roast chicken recipe, originally called Jackson Pollack chicken.

Indulge me, please.

The One has always been an art aficionado, and one of his all-time favorite artists is Jackson Pollock. He’s simply mad for him.

He’s read countless biographies and watched every documentary as well as the Academy Award-winning movie “Pollock,” starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden as his wife, Lee Krasner.

Two men, side by side. The one on the right is Jackson Pollock.

But that’s just the beginning of this weird connection. First, many friends have remarked on their physical similarities. For two summers, The One rented us a cottage in the Springs, in East Hampton, just miles from Pollock’s home. Many mornings he’d visit the local general store for coffee and his paper; the same one Pollock visited for his coffee and paper. Pollock bought chicken from Iacono Farm; The One did the same. Pollock died on August 11, 1956; The One was born a year later.

See where I’m going here? The One is Jackson Pollock reincarnated. There’s no other explanation.

Now, about the recipe. This chicken supper is from Dinner with Jackson Pollock, a cookbook The One utterly adores. And this dish includes all of Pollock’s favorite ingredients–chicken, shallots, lemon, and thyme–which just happen to be The One’s favorites, too.

If my theory is correct that he’s the reincarnation of dear ole Jackson, it of course makes sense he’d love this dish because the recipe comes from Pollock’s recipe collection. Er, his old recipe collection.

Coincidence? I think not! ?

I’m just waiting for the day while savoring this chicken, The One falls into a reverie and suddenly remembers where he hid a stash of his famous drip paintings worth tens of millions.

And THAT will prove to Mindy Kalin why stories are so important to recipes.


The word "David" written in script.
david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

There’s a whole bunch of reasons our recipe testers gobbled this up. They found the chicken to be juicy and tender, with a subtle tang of lemon, and every single tester raved about the “delectable” roasted shallots and garlic.

Yvonne Z. summed it up perfectly with her comment, “This Dutch oven-roast chicken is a chicken worth roasting. The aroma from the shallots and the garlic filled the house with a wonderfully warm and inviting smell on a single-digit evening in New England.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

A whole chicken, shallots, garlic cloves, olive oil, a lemon, and some thyme on a white background.
  • Whole chicken–A 3 1/2-to-5-pound bird is perfect for the recipe. You don’t need the giblets or gizzards. Freeze them then pull them out when making chicken stock or chicken gravy.
  • Garlic–You’re going to be roasting the garlic in their skins to keep them tender and avoid over-browning them, so do not purchase peeled garlic. Use large cloves that are approximately the same size.
  • Shallots–Choose large shallots that are approximately the same size.

How to Make This Recipe

A raw chicken being rubbed with oil and sprinkled with thyne, salt, and pepper.
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Tie the chicken legs together with string and rub the chicken all over with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Let rest at room temperature.
A yellow pot with a raw chicken and shallots ready for the oven.
  1. Sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil in a large Dutch oven until golden brown. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat.
  2. Nestle the chicken in the Dutch oven. Baste with pan juices and roast for 1 hour.
Lemon juice and zest being poured over a roast chicken and shallots in a yellow pot.
  1. Pour in lemon juice and baste with pan juices.
  2. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Increase oven temperature to 430°F and roast until the internal temperature is 165°F and the skin is golden.
  3. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving the chicken. Serve with the shallots and garlic.


Common Questions

What should I serve with this?

We suggest a green vegetable and a starch – pan-fried haricot verts and garlic mashed potatoes would be fantastic.

What is the difference between broiler, roaster, and fryer chickens?

Broiler refers to pretty much any young chicken (6 to 10 weeks old) that is raised for its meat. There’s no difference between a fryer and a broiler, and sometimes they’re labeled “broiler-fryer.”

According to the USDA, a fryer chicken is between 7 and 10 weeks old and weighs between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 pounds when processed.  A roaster, on the other hand, is an older chicken, about 3 to 5 months old and 5 and 7 pounds. As you can guess, you’ll get more meat from a roaster.

Helpful Tips

  • If your chicken is browning too quickly while roasting, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Leftover roast chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Use extra chicken in carrot soup, chicken salad, or toss it into fried rice.
  • This recipe is suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets.
A large yellow Dutch oven with a roast chicken on a bed of cooked shallots, topped with lemon zest and herbs.

More Great Roast Chicken Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A large yellow Dutch oven with a roast chicken on a bed of cooked shallots, topped with lemon zest and herbs.

Dutch Oven-Roast Chicken and Shallots

5 / 15 votes
This simple roast chicken is nestled on a bed of shallots and garlic and roasted until golden and crisp-skinned. It's an easy hands-off meal that's perfect for entertaining.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories607 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours


  • One (3 1/2- to 5-pound) whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 12 cloves garlic, skins on and rinsed well
  • 12 shallots or small onions, peeled and kept whole
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup juice and 1 tablespoon zest)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Remove giblets from chicken, rinse the bird inside and out, and pat dry. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  • Rub all over with 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Set the chicken aside for 1 hour to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • In a large cast-iron casserole, Dutch oven, or roasting pan, over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add garlic and shallots or small onions, and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and nestle the chicken in the casserole dish, breast side up. Baste chicken all over with pan juices until well covered. Roast for 1 hour.
  • Baste with pan juices and lemon juice and sprinkle with half of the lemon zest.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425°F (220°C).
  • Roast the chicken until an instant read thermometer reads 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, and the skin is crisp and golden, 15 to 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.
  • Let the chicken rest 15 minutes, then carve and serve, with the roasted garlic and shallots on the side, if desired.


  1. Avoid over-browning the chicken–If your chicken is browning too quickly while roasting, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  2. Storage and leftovers–Leftover roast chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Use extra chicken in chicken salad or toss it into fried rice.
  3. Dietary–This recipe is suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets.
Dinner with Jackson Pollock Cookbook

Adapted From

Dinner with Jackson Pollock

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 607 kcalCarbohydrates: 18 gProtein: 28 gFat: 48 gSaturated Fat: 10 gMonounsaturated Fat: 28 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 102 mgSodium: 1560 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Robyn Lea. Photos © 2023 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This Dutch oven roast chicken is a chicken worth roasting. The aroma from the shallots and the garlic filled the house with a wonderfully warm and inviting smell on a single digit evening in New England. The chicken was fragrant and melt in your mouth delectable.

A large Dutch oven with a roast chicken on a bed of cooked shallots, topped with lemon zest and herbs.

It went really well with simple rosemary roasted potatoes. Since my chicken was on the larger side, the lemon zest blackened after spending a bit too long in the oven. Next time I would add during the last 5 minutes of roasting.

I served the chicken with simple rosemary and paprika roasted sweet and red potatoes and a small portion of roasted broccoli with soy sauce.

Jackson Pollock is one of my very favorite artists and chicken is one of my favorite foods – so when I saw the combination I knew I had to make it. And, I was very happy that I did.

Although the ingredients appear to be simple – they come together beautifully and result in a delicious, tasty, and moist chicken with a wonderful tang of lemon. The shallots and garlic were incredibly tender and bathed in the sauce – making for a delicious side to be served alone or a sauce to be spooned over the chicken pieces.

I encourage you to use the largest shallots and garlic cloves you can find and to definitely use sea salt as opposed to any other salt. I believe the coarseness of the salt added to the taste of the chicken.

I paired it with a crisp Chardonnay and we were in heaven!

I highly recommend serving this with bread drizzled with olive oil and toasted slightly, or crusty country bread. It’s the perfect foil for that delicious roasted chicken. The chicken is nicely flavored with the herbs and lemon, but the sauce – it’s incredibly, richly delicious from the shallots and garlic in all their sticky, roasted glory.

I only wish the recipe had produced more sauce – next time I’ll add in a bit more stock to coax out a bit more pan sauce from this marvelous one-pot meal. After roasting the chicken for 1 hour, there were no pan juices to baste the chicken, so I drizzled a little melted butter over the chicken and sloshed just a bit (1/8 cup) chicken stock into the pot.

The simple preparation of this dish belies the rich shallot and garlic sauce. The result is worth the trouble of finding fresh thyme in January, and loads of shallots during these pandemic shortages.

Twelve shallots seemed like a lot, and yet I found myself sautéing even more the next night to serve with the deboned chicken. While I prefer a crispier skin, this one was more moist and tender than our usual birds.

This is an easy roast chicken recipe that produces a tender, juicy bird. I roasted it in my biggest cast iron skillet and I added some carrots to the garlic and shallots. Next time I’ll throw in some potatoes as well to soak up the pan juices. 

The thyme is a nice flavor, and my lemon was generous so I had plenty of zest and juice to finish off the bird at the end.  We had this with a simple green salad. It would easily serve four. 

I made and served this Dutch oven whole roast chicken on a day that didn’t get above -4°F and this was the perfect dinner – elegant comfort food at its finest — making us feel warm and cozy while it was anything but outside. The chicken was tasty but, oh, the sauce and the onions were sublime.

While the recipe didn’t say to, I mashed the garlic into the sauce which made it velvety and the garlic and lemon flavors took everything to the next level, including the roast broccoli I served alongside. Mashed potatoes would have been an excellent accompaniment as well.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Batter-Fried Chicken

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1 hr 30 mins

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delish – the flavour and juiciness belie the ease of putting this chicken together! Do not skip the basting; it really helps with amping up the flavour. I had extra thyme and I stuffed it into the cavity along with the squeezed-out lemon halves. I made it for dinner with friends and we were all literally picking over the bones, mining it for every last scrap of meat. One can never have too many roast chicken recipes; thank you David!!

    1. Ling, you are more than welcome. That is a showstopper of a bird! I’m delighted you and yours enjoyed it so much. Obrigado!

  2. Oh, David, you’ve done it again! I drooled all over my phone screen.

    I’m guessing this would work for turkey also, with the ingredient amounts adjusted accordingly, based on the size of the turkey?

    We Canucks 🇨🇦 celebrate Thanksgiving next Monday, so I’d like to have all my ducks…er…turkeys in a row, before I go shopping. After I get all that pesky ice off my SUV windows. Grrr!

    1. Terry, we haven’t tried it with turkey, but I think it would work fine, as long as you’ve got a Dutch oven large enough to accommodate your turkey.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, DAVID! WOWZA! Perfect for dinner guests! We spent a month up in Maine and stayed with my sister. Huge home and welcoming! I made this for her, and she just had to have the recipe, lol! Thanks again and have a great August!

    1. Christine, you’re more than welcome. This is one of my all-time favorite chicken recipes, and I’m delighted you and your sister enjoy it as much as we do!