A Dutch oven cooks food with slow, even heat in a sealed environment that keeps the food moist. Dutch ovens are made of heavy steel, iron or crockery, and have tightly fitting lids to seal in moisture. You can cook a whole chicken in a Dutch oven, and make it a one-pot meal by adding vegetables. Slow cooking the chicken in moist heat yields a tender, flavorful bird.
Wash the chicken with cold water and remove any giblets or organ meat packed inside.
Place the chicken in the Dutch oven on a meat rack. If you don't have a meat rack, arrange three metal canning jar lids in the bottom of the oven and set the chicken on these. This keeps the chicken from sticking to the bottom of your Dutch oven.
Season the chicken with herbs and spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon pepper or red pepper yield flavorful chicken.
Peel and cube two potatoes, two carrots, two stalks of celery and one small onion and arrange the vegetables around the chicken in the Dutch oven. Pour in two cups water or chicken broth.
Place the lid on the Dutch oven and put in an oven. Set the oven temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chicken for one hour.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and carefully remove the lid. Insert a meat thermometer into a chicken thigh. Your chicken is done when the temperature registers at least 165 degrees.