This recipe is brought to you by our friends from Stella Artois.
The hearty Alsatian casserole called Baeckeoffe (“bake oven”) is made a bit more elegant by Michelin three-star chef Antoine Westermann, who combines a whole chicken with Riesling, potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, fragrant herbs like rosemary and thyme, and plenty of garlic. Preserved lemon blanched in syrup adds another elegant layer of aromatic flavor. As per tradition, the casserole dish is tightly sealed with a ring of dough, then simmered in the oven until juicy and tender. For a dessert recipe from the chef, see his Caramelized Brioche with Glazed Pears and Beer Ice Cream recipe.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 1 hr 40 min
- Active: 40 min
For the dough:
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 8 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
For the Baeckeoffee:
- 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
- 8 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 4 1/4 cups Riesling
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 10 baby onions
- 1 1/4 pounds potatoes
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 tomatoes
- 1/4 blanched preserved lemon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 7 tablespoons water
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 10 leaves parsley
- Mix the flour, warm water, and salt with an electric mixer, then let dough stand in a cool place while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Break the stems off of the artichokes and remove the hearts. Using a very sharp knife, peel the bottom of the artichokes around the stem and pull the large leaves away from the base of the artichoke. With the knife, remove the large leaves, slice the perimeter, and slice the small tender leaves above the choke. Remove these small leaves so that only the base of the artichoke remains and squeeze lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
- Peel the baby onions and potatoes. Remove the stems of the tomatoes and plunge the tomatoes into salted boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds, then remove, peel, and cut them into quarters, removing and discarding the seeds. Rinse the parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
- Rinse the preserved lemon quarter in cold water. Remove the white part, keeping only the peel, and cut into large squares. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, to make a syrup. Place the squares of preserved lemon into the syrup and let them cook for 10 minutes. Remove and drain of excess syrup.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute the potatoes, onions, artichokes, and unpeeled garlic cloves for 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large oven-safe casserole dish with a lid, arrange the sauteed potatoes, onions, artichokes, and garlic, plus the tomato quarters, drained squares of preserved lemon, and aromatic herbs around the perimeter. Place the chicken in the middle, and pour over the chicken stock and Riesling. Season again with salt and pepper, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Roll the rested dough out into a long rope. Place the lid of the casserole over the dish and seal tightly by pressing the cord of dough around the seam, making sure it tightly joins the casserole dish and lid. Brush the egg yolk over the dough. Place the dish into the center of the oven and cook for 55 minutes.
- Take the dish out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, then remove the dough seal, open the lid, and serve.